What does your car say about your driving?

If you were an insurer and I presented you with a Subaru driver from East London and a Seat driver from St Albans, who would you consider the bigger claim risk – the souped-up east-ender or the cathedral city car owner? If you said the Subaru, then MoneySuperMarket’s latest bit of research may be something of an eye-opener: owners of the classic ‘boy racer’ car have been found to make the fewest ‘at-fault’ insurance claims, while drivers of the Spanish-made Seat make the most. Not only that, drivers in the St Albans area make more claims than most while the drivers of East London are among those that make the least. Surprised? Read on…

Would you have had a Scooby-Doo?

[caption id="attachment_4709" align="aligncenter" width="461"]
subaru impreza
Subaru Impreza[/caption] The latest study from MoneySuperMarket’s number-crunchers looked at over 13million quotes run on the site between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 and found that the Subaru Impreza could be about to shake of its ‘boy racer’ image. The findings reveal how Subaru drivers make, on average, 62.9 claims per 1,000 drivers, while those behind the wheel of a Seat make 94.1 claims per 1,000. So, has the Subaru gone all grown up? In a word, yes – Subaru owners are less likely to be young drivers these days and more likely to be in their 30s and 40s, which indicates that the ‘boy racers’ of the 1990s have grown up and taken their prized wheels along with them. However, the fact they’re less likely to make a claim doesn’t mean they get the cheapest car insurance quotes as there are a number of other factors that come into play. Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, explains: “Interestingly, the fact Subaru drivers are least likely to make a claim doesn’t directly translate into them paying the cheapest premiums. While claims are one factor insurers take into account when setting premium prices, other factors also play a part. These include the engine size, the number of miles you clock up, where you park, and your profession among other things. “Smaller cars are generally cheaper to insure as the cost of repairs and parts is likely to be lower than those on more premium models. If you want to pay less for car insurance, it is worth considering these factors when choosing your motor as this will help reduce the overall cost of running a car.” In addition to Subaru drivers, owners of Smart, Fiat, Nissan and Peugeot cars were all among the least likely to make a claim. On the other hand, closely behind Seat owners, drivers of KIA, Mini, Honda and Mazda vehicles were all found to be the most likely to make a claim.

Location, location, location

The area in which you live also has a bearing on how likely you are to make a claim, with those inhabiting – or driving through – London’s commuter belt making more claims than most. Drivers in Watford are the most likely to claim in the event of an accident, with an average of 180.0 claims per 1,000 drivers, and are closely followed by those in Hemel Hempstead (177.5), Chelmsford (171.4), St. Albans (169.9) and Enfield (169.4). As you might expect, drivers in less densely populated areas as less likely to make a claim as motorists in Hull make an average of 110.6 claims per 1,000 drivers, while motorists in Falkirk (111.7), Llandrindod Wells (112.2) and Truro (113.8) are all just in the rear view mirror. Peter Harrison explains: “Living in a commuter town such as Watford or Hemel Hempstead will have an impact on the amount you pay for your car insurance premium. Heavily congested areas, particularly around key commuter routes such as Greater London, mean statistically you are more likely to make a claim. “Regardless of whether motorists are making the most of an open motorway, or are bumper to bumper on the daily commute, they should always be vigilant of their own driving and that of those around them.” There is, however, one exception, as motorists in East London make an average of 111.6 claims per 1,000 motorists, putting them just behind those in Hull as the least likely to make a claim – it seems the stereotypical boy racer really has come of age.

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