According to UK car insurance statistics from the Bank of England (BoE), the private motor industry insurance market issued over £10.1 billion in gross written premiums (GWP) in 2020, with the commercial motor insurance issuing approximately £4.1 billion in the same year.
Although these figures are the most up-to-date available from the BoE, research collated from other sources suggests that this figure is likely to have risen substantially in subsequent years.
Our research gathered the most recent UK car insurance statistics for 2023, to include information on people’s average car insurance premiums, as well as demographic breakdowns such as age, gender, region, job type, and car type. By looking at past data and future projections, we were able to outline how the industry has evolved over time and make predictions about the future of car insurance in the UK.
*For legal purposes, motor vehicles are often identified within a number of vehicle classes including cars, buses, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, light trucks, and regular trucks. This means that these figures account for more than just car insurance.
According to Global Data, the UK car insurance market is expected to accelerate in value from £18.4 billion to £20.6 billion, between 2021 and 2026
The 10 biggest car insurance companies in the UK account for nearly 70% of the total market
Private motor insurance is expected to account for 80% of the total industry revenue in 2022-23
The average cost of car insurance as of Q3 2022 is £436, a rise of around 2% from the same time the previous year
According to a car insurance report from Admiral, men pay around 17% more on average for car insurance than women
Younger drivers paid the highest insurance premiums, with 20-year-olds paying an average of £851 per year
Drivers in Greater London paid more than £200 per year, on average, for car insurance than any other English region.
There are an array of common reasons why car insurance claims are made across the UK, with some of the main reasons including:
The types of claims made will depend both on the incident and the type of insurance the driver has. The three most common types of car insurance in the UK are:
Third-party insurance is the minimum cover of car insurance required by law in the UK. This type of insurance covers you against costs that occur from damages or injuries that you caused to other people, but will not cover any damage or injuries you incur.
Third-party, fire, and theft insurance offers all the cover of third-party insurance but with the added protection that covers your car against being damaged, stolen, or lost in a fire.
Fully comprehensive insurance is the highest level of cover available in the UK. This type of insurance pays out if you damage your car, someone else's car, or injure someone in an accident—irrespective of who is at fault.
Fully comprehensive insurance has all the benefits of third-party and third-party, fire, and theft policies, while also covering medical expenses, accidental damage, and any damage or theft to the contents of your car.
Aside from the three main types of car insurance in the UK, other insurance types are available, such as:
Black box car insurance (also known as telematics car insurance) – a type of policy where your driving is monitored via a small device fitted into your car. As such, black box policies can also be a beneficial type of insurance for new drivers of any age.
Classic car insurance – a specific type of insurance policy aimed at owners of classic cars. This type of insurance takes into account the fact that classic cars are typically driven less and well maintained, with these factors often reflected by cheaper premiums than standard insurance.
European driving insurance – designed for those who plan to drive abroad anywhere in Europe. The cover, premiums, and regulations of this policy can vary depending on your destination.
The latest UK car insurance statistics from the BoE found that the private motor industry insurance market issued over £10.1 billion in gross written premiums (GWP) in 2020. The same data found that the commercial motor insurance industry issued a further £4.1 billion that year, taking the combined GWP to £14.2 billion.
Estimates vary as to the size of the industry, with a car insurance report from Global Data valuing the UK motor insurance industry at £18.5 billion in 2020 and £18.4 billion in 2021.
The same Global Data report predicted a considerable rise in value for the car insurance market, which is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% from £18.4 billion in 2021 to £20.6 billion in 2026, in terms of direct written premiums (DWP). The main reason for these expected increases is the rising cost of comprehensive motor insurance plans in the wake of rising inflation and an increase in vehicle sales since the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) implemented pricing reforms in January 2022 banning motor insurers from charging higher prices to renewing customers than to new customers. These changes are expected to result in short-term price volatility as the market adjusts to the new pricing model for new and renewing customers.
According to the latest UK car insurance statistics, as of 2023, the car insurance industry is valued at approximately £19.1 billion. This is a 1.1% increase from 2022, and nearly 5% from 2021.
The upward trajectory of these figures suggests that the market is slowly recovering in value from the Covid-19 crisis where it suffered a value drop of over 10% - from £20.73 billion to £18.19 billion - between 2020 and 2021.
Despite this steady rise, the overall value of the car insurance market remains a far cry from 10 years ago, with the 2013 total of £28.49 billion around 30% higher than the 2023 valuation. In fact, the auto insurance stats show the market has dropped in value by an average of 4.1% between 2018 and 2023.
While the Covid-19 crisis and the general decline in the UK economy were undeniable factors in this decline, these figures represent a steeper decline than the one faced by the overall UK economy during this period.
Private motor insurance is expected to account for 80% of the total revenue in 2022-23, with the four largest car insurance firms expected to be responsible for around 37.5% of the overall industry revenue.
The most recent statistics on the UK car insurance market share indicate that, as of 2022, the top 10 biggest UK car insurance providers accounted for around 70% of the total market.
Of these companies, the Admiral group had the largest market share. The company, which includes established subsidiary brands like Admiral, Bell, Diamond, Elephant, Gladiator, and Veygo, was found to have a market share of 14%.
This figure was more than 3% higher than the Direct Line Group and Aviva ranking second and third with market shares of 10.8% and 10.5%, respectively.
Of the top 10 car insurance companies, nine have seen a decrease in their market share between 2021 and 2022. The biggest fall was recorded by AXA, with their market share more than halving from 12.6% to 6.1% over this period.
The only company in the top 10 to record an increase was RSA, with their share increasing by 0.9% from 3.2% to 4.1%.
|Year||Net combined ratio (NCR)|
(Source: Ernst & Young Global Limited) *Predicted figures
The latest stats on UK car insurance premiums found that the industry incurred net combined ratios (NCR) of 90.3% and 96.6% in 2020 and 2021. The net combined ratio is a measure of profitability and is used by insurance companies to indicate how well they are performing. It is calculated by dividing incurred losses from claims and expenses by the earned premiums.
As both figures are below 100%, this indicates that the industry was operating at a significant profit in both of these years, suggesting that post-pandemic factors such as low levels of commuting and fewer insurance claims had a considerable effect on the premiums paid out.
However, this trend is expected to reverse in 2022 and 2023 as driving habits return to pre-pandemic levels. NCRs are expected to soar to 113.8% in 2022 before dropping to 111.1% in 2023. These predicted losses have been largely driven by increased inflation caused by rising costs of materials, labour, and energy prices.
The considerable losses anticipated across the industry are likely to have been a key factor in the sharp rise in insurance premiums predicted for many drivers in the coming year.
After a reduction in early 2022, average driver premiums were predicted to have increased by 2% (£8) later that year and are expected to soar by 18% (£81) in 2023.
|Company||Amount of UK general insurance premium written (£mn)||Amount of UK general insurance premium written for motor (£mn)||Percentage of general insurance written (%)|
|Ageas Insurance Limited||1,207*||£676.5*||56.10%|
|Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited (LV)||1,211**||£933.1**||77.10%|
|esure Insurance Limited||908**||£701.5**||77.30%|
|Direct Line Group||1,523*||x||x|
|NFU Mutual Insurance Society Limited||1,825**||£399***||21.90%|
|Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Limited||2,060**||x||x|
|Admiral Group PLC||1,265*||£317.3*||25.10%|
|Aviva Insurance Limited||3,900*||x||x|
|AXA Insurance UK Plc||5,317**||£35||0.70%|
|Hastings Insurance Services Limited||969**||x||x|
(Source: Annual reports for each company | Please note: * = 2022 data. ** = 2021 data. *** = 2020 data)
The most recent gross figures posted by some of the most prominent insurance firms in the UK show that car insurance continues to make up a substantial percentage of the overall written premiums of many insurance firms.
With over £701 million in written motor insurance premiums, esure Insurance Limited’s motor insurance figures accounted for 77.3% of their total premiums written. While this represented the highest percentage, Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited (LV=) recorded the highest figures in terms of car insurance premiums, with their total of £933.1 million accounting for 77.1% of their overall written premiums.
Surprisingly, some of the companies with the highest market shares within the UK car insurance industry recorded fairly low percentages when it came to how much motor insurance contributed to their overall written premiums.
Despite amassing a motor insurance premium total of £317.3 million, Admiral received only 25% of their overall written premiums from motor insurance. Similarly, while AXA’s written motor premiums were £35 million, this represented just 0.7% of their overall premiums written. These figures bear testament to how prominent these companies are in other insurance markets.
The latest statistics on the average cost of UK car insurance show that the average price paid by motorists for their insurance increased by over 4% between Q1 and Q3 of 2022.
In the third quarter of 2022, the average premium paid for private motor insurance was £436—a rise of nearly 2% from Q3 2021 but down more than 5% from the same period in 2020.
The average cost of repairing vehicle damage under a policyholder’s own motor policy increased 16% to just over £3,000 from Q2 2022. This can likely be attributed to the creation of more sophisticated vehicles that require more expensive repairs, the continued shortage of semiconductor microchips, and other global supply chain issues in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The latter issue has led to longer waiting times for new cars and parts which have resulted in used car prices rising by an average of 30% in 2021, according to Autotrader. This is another potential factor in the rise of average car insurance costs for customers.
On 1 January 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced changes to the way companies were allowed to price motor insurance for new and existing customers. These changes were designed to safeguard existing customers from being offered worse deals than new customers taking advantage of introductory plans.
Indications are that these changes have had a considerable effect on the market, with the average premium paid for a new policy in Q2 2022 £129 higher than a renewed policy. Additionally, average premiums for new policies rose by 3% to £500, while average premiums for renewals increased by 0.5%, to £371.
The latest UK car insurance statistics found that the classic car insurance market was worth £717 million in 2022. This figure is expected to rise by 1.7% in 2023, taking the total market value to nearly £730 million.
While this represents a considerable rise, the industry remains a fair distance from its 2019 peak, when the market was found to be worth over £747 million. Between 2019 and 2021, the industry suffered a value depreciation of over £70 million, suggesting that the industry may have been impacted by people neglecting to renew their insurance amid the restrictions and financial uncertainty of the pandemic.
If 2023 predictions are correct, then the classic car insurance market size would have decreased in value by over 2% from 2019 to 2023. This drop has been largely driven by a slump in real household disposable income due to the cost of living crisis, as well as high competition across insurance companies.
While these issues continue to impact the market, the upward trajectory in value for the last two years suggests that the classic car insurance industry is at least beginning to recover from its pandemic slump in 2020 and 2021.
We analysed car insurance stats by age to identify the average annual cost for drivers across seven ages. The findings confirm the widely referenced belief that younger drivers tend to pay more for their car insurance, with the youngest age paying by far the highest costs.
With average annual car insurance fees of £851, 20-year-olds paid over 15% more than the next youngest age in the study (25-year-olds) and more than 40% more than those aged 55. Costs for car insurance dropped rapidly between the ages of 20 and 55, with each subsequent age group seeing a price drop of at least 10% from the one before.
This trend stops at the age of 55, with their average annual fee of £486 being the lowest in the study. From here, average prices begin to rise slowly with 65-year-olds paying around 1% more than 55-year-olds, before accelerating dramatically at age 75. With average car insurance costs of £752 per year, 75-year-olds paid more than 50% more than the next oldest age and incurred the second-highest fees of all ages covered in the study.
This data highlights the fact that, as drivers reach the oldest age categories, they begin to lose the cost benefits widely associated with car insurance for the over 50s.
Recent UK car insurance statistics on the average insurance price by job title indicate that chefs will pay the highest rates on average of any occupation in 2023.
With an average insurance cost of £474.08, chefs will pay fractionally more than bar staff, social workers, traders and sales assistants who were all found to have average costs of £474.14 per year.
Despite finding themselves at the top of the table, four of these five jobs are expected to see a reduction in insurance premiums from last year, with only sales assistants expected to pay more (£25) than they did in 2022. Of these four, social workers are expected to save the most, with their expected figures around a third (£240) less than they were last year.
A similar theme can be found at the lower end of the list with nurses, trainers, and hairdressers all expected to pay between 4% and 10% less on their car insurance compared to 2022. These findings within the top 10 are an accurate reflection of the industry at large, with the same study finding that 64% of job titles will pay less on car insurance in 2023 than they did the previous year.
Despite these reductions, most industries are still paying more for car insurance than they were in 2021. Of all the industries, mechanics were found to have been hit hardest by these rises, with their premiums accelerating by £154 (around 50%) between 2021 and 2023. Of the 100 occupations covered in these auto insurance statistics, only those who drive for a living will spend less on car insurance in 2023 than they did in 2021 (down from £479.20 to £421.76).
A string of managerial and legal-based roles were found to be in the job titles with the lowest average car insurance premiums, with policemen, lawyers, product managers, branch managers, and production managers all featuring in the bottom 10. Branch manager was found to be the job with the lowest car insurance costs, with an average annual rate of £409.82—around 14% less than the fees paid by chefs at the top of the table.
The latest stats on the average car insurance costs by gender from two prominent industry companies show that men continue to pay considerably more than women for their car insurance. These figures come in the wake of a recent EU directive prohibiting insurance companies from using gender as a factor in their risk assessment forms for car insurance.
Admiral found that their male drivers paid nearly 17% more on average for car insurance than their female customers. With average premiums of £833.02, this meant that male drivers were paying around £140 more per year.
In similar findings, car insurance facts from Autoadvisor found that men paid an average of £878 per year for their car insurance, around 13% more than women’s car insurance which was found to be £764. These findings suggest that, despite the recent EU directive, factors such as accident rate and other driving infractions have contributed to men continuing to pay higher premiums.
Visit our comprehensive car insurance guides section for expert advice on managing your car insurance.
Recent statistics on the average car insurance costs by UK country paint a varied picture of prices across the UK. With average annual premiums of £814.94, Wales was found to be the UK country with the highest average costs.
Wales’ figures were nearly 3% higher than England, whose average fees of £780.92 were the next highest of the four countries. Car insurance in Northern Ireland and Scotland was found to be considerably less than the other two nations, with Northern Ireland’s total of £685.36—more than 13% less than the average cost of insurance in England.
With the lowest average premiums, Scotland’s total of £669.77 means that their drivers pay around 18% less on average for insurance than Welsh drivers.
The latest statistics on the average car insurance costs by region found that drivers in Greater London pay by far the highest premiums of any region in England. With an average car insurance price of £1,007 per year, Greater London drivers were found to pay over 15% more than the North East and West Yorkshire who paid the next highest average fees at £847.15.
While there are many road and driving-related factors that could have contributed to Greater London’s inflated fees, the higher cost of living in the capital is likely to have played a significant factor in the level of the disparity.
At the other end of the table, the South West’s average annual fees of £642.71 were more than 10% lower than any other region and around 36% less than the annual costs in London.
Outside of London, other southern regions tended to pay comparatively lower fees with the South West (£642.71) and South East (£725.58) recording the lowest and third lowest average premiums, respectively.
Contrastingly, both the North East and West Yorkshire and the Midlands paid more than 10% extra on their average car insurance premiums than any southern region outside of Greater London.
|Age group||UK drivers licence holders (million)||Average miles per year per person (as driver)||Billion vehicle miles per year||Roads accidents in 2021||Collisions per billion vehicle miles travelled||Average car insurance cost (£)||Value for money score|
To identify which age group receives the best value for money on their car insurance, we conducted a study looking into 14 different age groups. For each, we analysed the number of licence holders, the total number of miles driven, and the number of road accidents and compared them with the average car insurance cost for each age group to give an overall value for money score (the higher the score, the better the value for money.)
From the stats, we can see the accident rate was high in the youngest age categories before reducing steadily with each subsequent age group. With over 25,000 accidents across 2.9 billion vehicle miles driven, 17-24-year-olds were responsible for over 70% more collisions per vehicle mile travelled than 25-29-year-olds. Despite this age group having one of the highest average car insurance costs (£808), their higher accident rate meant that they received the best value for money score in our study.
While the number of collisions per billion vehicle miles travelled for the 25-29 age group is considerably less than 17-24, these figures are nearly 15% higher than those aged 30-35 (2,044). For this reason, 25-29-year-olds were given a better value-for-money score than 30-35-year-olds, despite their average premiums being nearly 10% higher.
The number of road accidents and insurance costs continues to decline as we rise through the age groups, with 66-70-year-olds recording the lowest number of collisions per billion vehicle miles travelled and having average insurance costs of £588. Despite having car insurance costs almost 30% less than 17-24-year-olds, this age group’s value for money score of 1.07 suggests they are getting considerably less value than their younger counterparts when considering their significantly lower accident rate.
As with insurance premiums, accident rates begin to slowly climb beyond the age of 70, before accelerating from 76 onwards. The oldest age group in our study (age 86+) recorded the second highest accident rate per billion vehicle miles covered. This represents an increase of nearly 125% from the next oldest age group (81-85-year-olds).
Despite having the highest average insurance costs, those aged 86+ were considered to have better value car insurance, compared to drivers aged between 76 and 80, who received the worst value for money score in our study (0.78). Despite being involved in substantially fewer accidents, those aged 76-80 pay, on average, more than 30% extra for their car insurance compared to 17-24-year-olds. This suggests that the oldest drivers, not the youngest, receive the harshest car insurance fees.
(*Weather conditions are weighted according to the statistical increase in accidents when each condition is present)
Our analysis of weather data compared the prevalence of adverse weather conditions—like rain, high wind, fog, and snow and ice—to see which months had the safest weather conditions for driving.
We conclude that April has the best driving conditions in the UK, with the spring month having 5% rain and instances of fog well below 1%. July ranks in second place, recording the lowest percentage for high winds (0.7%) and, given it’s in the midst of summer, it was one of six months of the year found to have no instances of snow and ice.
In fact, the top half of the rankings are dominated by the spring and summer months, with June, May, September, and August finishing third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the bottom half of our table is dominated by the winter months. With a rain percentage of nearly 10%, and more than three times the high wind volume of April, December is the month with the worst weather conditions for driving. Even though January narrowly avoided the bottom place, its high snow and ice percentage of 2% was over 1.5% higher than the figures recorded in December.
Interestingly, despite these findings, the months with the safest weather conditions did not necessarily have the lowest accident rates. Despite finishing top of the list, April recorded 8,463 accidents, which is around 34% higher than January’s and 38% more than February’s.
Several factors could have contributed to this, including the number of drivers on the road each month and how adverse driving conditions affect people’s driving habits. For example, some drivers are less willing to drive at night and reduce their speed in adverse weather conditions.
|Weather condition||Share of weather condition over 12 months (%)||Percentage of accidents (%)||Impact of weather condition on traffic accidents (%)|
|Snow & Ice||2.223||2.558||15.1|
Our in-house study examined the prevalence of four adverse weather conditions in the UK, looking at the percentage of accidents during each weather condition to see which had the most significant impact on accident rates.
Our findings show that fog had the biggest impact on accidents. Despite occurring less than 0.2% of the year, fog was present in 0.5% of accidents. This suggests accidents are over 220% more likely to occur during fog than when no adverse conditions are present.
Despite only occurring 4.7% of the year, rain was present during nearly 12% of accidents, meaning that the most common weather condition in our study increased accident rates by around 148%.
Perhaps surprisingly, snow and ice were found to have the lowest effect on traffic incidents, with an increase of just over 15%.
The latest UK car insurance stats on complaints and customer satisfaction found that over 38,000 new complaints were registered with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) with regard to insurance in 2021/22.
Of these, 18,644 were found to be related to motor insurance, meaning that motor insurance complaints accounted for just under half (48%) of total complaints for the year.
The same report from the FOS found that car and motorcycle insurance was the product with the most newly registered complaints, with its total of 9,310 accounting for almost a quarter (24%) of all complaints made that year.
In Q1 2022/23, 4,652 new complaint enquiries had been made to the FOS with regard to motor insurance. Of these, 2,524 (54%) were new cases and 337 were referred for an ombudsman’s decision. In total, just under a third (29%) of all cases were upheld.
The latest motor vehicle industry stats from IBIS World found that there were 38.832 million registered motor vehicles in the UK as of 2023 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 0.5% per year since 2018.
Motor vehicle industry statistics reveal a number of changes in recent years including:
Over the past two decades, the number of motor vehicles has steadily grown, with over 10 million more registered vehicles in 2023 than in the year 2000
Between 2019-20, the number of vehicle registrations rose by 0.9% to 38.6 million, of which 31.8 million were cars (82%)
The total number of vehicles fell by 2% in 2021-22 to 37.5 million
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), the number of new vehicle registrations fell by 0.3% in Q1 2020, before rising by 0.8% in Q1 2021
According to SMMT data, the total number of new car registrations for 2022 exceeded 1.6 million (a 2% drop from the previous year).
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