UK motorists are paying some of the cheapest prices for their car insurance since 2016, new figures show.
Comparison website Confused.com has found the number of road traffic accidents has dropped significantly, as people claim to be driving fewer miles than before the pandemic.
This, among many other reasons, has contributed to a significant reduction in the amount drivers are now paying for their car insurance, Confused.com said.
Insurers are facing a lower risk of paying out on claims and the good news for drivers is that this translates into cheaper prices.”
Alex Kindred, Confused.com
The average annual mileage in the UK has dropped by 43% since before Covid-19, to 4,113, as drivers expect to be on the road less.
Police forces around Britain have reported a 26% year-on-year drop in road traffic accidents (RTAs) in 2020.
Details obtained by Freedom of Information requests to UK police forces show there were 192,001 RTAs last year, or 525 every day, on average – down from 258,994, or 710 per day, in 2019.
The number of cars declared “off the road” more than doubled at the start of the pandemic last year, with twice as many applications compared to March 2019.
Meanwhile, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ figures show new car sales in March and September 2020 at their lowest point in 10 years.
According to Confused.com’s later car insurance price index report, the average price paid by drivers in the first quarter of 2021 was £538 – down by £87 year-on-year.
The survey of UK drivers also found more than one in three (37%) expecting to use their car less after lockdown.
For nearly two in five (38%) this is because they won’t be commuting to work as often, while almost one in three (31%) will be making fewer journeys.
Reduced accident risk
With so many cars sold, or sitting at home on the driveway during lockdowns, the number of cars on UK roads has reduced significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the risk of accidents is a lot less than usual, Confused.com said.
Insurers have been able to reduce their prices to reflect that fewer claims are likely to be made, meaning drivers can make significant savings when shopping around for their car insurance.
Confused.com car insurance expert Alex Kindred said: “We are seeing drivers paying the lowest price on record since 2016 for their car insurance, something we have no doubt many people will welcome after an incredibly challenging and turbulent year.
“And this is simply because so much has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March last year.
“Our report shows that roads are a lot quieter, and police forces are reporting a significant drop in the number of accidents they’re attending to.
“This all means that insurers are facing a lower risk of paying out on claims and the good news for drivers is that this translates into cheaper prices.”
The way people use their cars changed a lot last year, allowing many drivers to make significant other savings, besides insurance, on their regular outgoings.
According to Confused.com, drivers saved an extra £92 per month, or £1,104 over a 12-month period, on average.
For most (83%), these savings came from generally using less fuel, while nearly half (49%) saved money from making fewer long journeys.
Lower repair bills
One in four (25%) also saved by having fewer or no repairs to their car, although this could be down to the fact that many garages were forced to shut during the early stages of the pandemic.
The UK Government also announced an MOT holiday – entitling people to a six-month extension on existing certificates.
More than one in seven (15%) drivers made use of this – equivalent to six million car owners.