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OVER 10 MILLION UK DRIVERS COULD SEE PREMIUMS INCREASE POST-LOCKDOWN AS MAJORITY CHANGE THEIR COMMUTE TO DRIVE TO WORK

OVER 10 MILLION UK DRIVERS COULD SEE PREMIUMS INCREASE POST-LOCKDOWN AS MAJORITY CHANGE THEIR COMMUTE TO DRIVE TO WORK

Published: 26 June 2020
  • 61% of people expect to commute by car when they return to the workplace post-lockdown, compared to 34% who drove to work before the pandemic
  • Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting Policy (SDP+C) are likely to cost more than standard (SDP) policy
  • Nearly a fifth (17%) of UK households think that they will use their car more than they did prior to the pandemic, potentially pushing premiums up further
  • 17% of households are worried about being able to pay their bills in the coming months

15 June 2020 – Millions of drivers could see a spike in their motor insurance premiums in the coming months as the number of people driving to work increases. New research from comparethemarket.com reveals that 61% of UK drivers expect to commute by car when they return to the workplace post-lockdown, compared to 34% who drove to work before the pandemic. This equates to an extra 10.5 million cars being used for the daily commute*. 
 
Individuals intending to drive to work will need to ensure that their motor insurance policy covers not only social travel but also commuting. Motorists intending to drive to work when they did not do so before the pandemic will need to swap their insurance to a Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting policy (SDP+C). However, these policies can be more expensive. For example, a 36-year-old man living in West London, who has driven for 19 years and has a Skoda Octavia will pay around £330 for an SDP policy compared to around £350 for an SDP+C policy – a 6% increase.
 
The proportion of people who will start driving to work in light of the pandemic varies across the country, but is particularly high in Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands. In London, almost a third (32%) expect they will now drive to work, compared to the fifth (20%) who commuted by car before the pandemic. However, 45% of Londoners confirm they still plan to use public transport.
 
comparethemarket.com predicts that the cost of motor insurance overall could be set to increase. Nearly a fifth (17%) of UK households think that they will use their car more than they did prior to the pandemic. Premiums are underwritten by insurers based on a number of factors, including the likelihood of crashes. With more cars on the road, the risk of collisions increases, which could cause motor insurance premiums to rise accordingly.
 
The findings come at a time when household finances are already stretched. According to comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker, nearly a fifth (17%) of UK households are worried about being able to pay bills and keep on top of household finances in the coming months given the ongoing economic hit due to the pandemic. This figure rises to nearly a quarter (24%) amongst families with children at home who are also far more reliant on cars, with 22% likely to use their car more than they did pre-lockdown compared to 15% of those without children at home.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket.com, said:

“The Government is encouraging the UK to get back out to work and to society and, crucially, to avoid public transport where possible. Cars are so important for keeping us protected from the virus but, at a time when households are already financially stretched, being asked to drive more could have a significant hit on finances.
 
“Motor premiums, which have fallen recently, could be about to jump once more. More drivers will need to adapt their policies to include cover for commuting and insurers may increase their prices in anticipation of more cars, and more crashes, on the road. In addition, higher car usage will also result in a higher fuel bill. At a time when money is already tight, it’s important that motorists look to save money where they can and shopping around for the most competitive policy remains the best way to do so.”

Notes to editors:

**Vehicle Licensing Statistics: 38.9 million vehicles licensed for use on roads in Great Britain

  • Drivers who commuted before lockdown: 34% of 38.9 million is 13.2 million
  • Drivers who will commute when returning to the workplace after the pandemic: 61% of 38.9 million is 23.7 million
  • Difference: 10.5 million
  Commuted to work by car before the pandemic Expect to commute by car when returning to work after the pandemic
Scotland 35% 57%
North East 30% 62%
North West 36% 62%
Yorkshire & Humberside 41% 72%
West Midlands 40% 78%
East Midlands 41% 68%
Wales 41% 77%
Eastern 35% 65%
London 20% 32%
South East 37% 69%
South West 28% 56%

comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker analyses on a weekly basis how the UK’s financial confidence is increasing or decreasing in response to the changes to our lives and finances as a result of the current pandemic. 

Populus survey on behalf of comparethemarket.com of 2,094 UK adults between 5-7 June 2020.

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