Cost of car insurance falls by £87 a year for old bangers

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The average cost of insurance for older cars fell £87 in 2020 as more drivers kept their existing cars rather than upgrading to a new model, new research has revealed.

Cars often become more expensive to insure as they get older, however, the pandemic has caused a decline in premiums which has offset the usual increase, according to data from Compare the Market. 

As a result, last year, the average premium for a car that is more than 10 years old reversed to £1,521, down from £1,608 in the previous year.

In contrast, over the same period, the average premium for new cars increased by £128 to reach £1,212.

The average cost of insurance for older cars fell by £87 as more drivers kept their existing cars

More people have chosen to stick with their current vehicle as new car sales slumped during the pandemic. 

Last year saw the lowest new car sales since 1992, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trades.

It is likely more people will continue to keep their old cars as electric cars become more popular with many stating they are not keen to purchase one until prices fall.

As a result, research from Compare the Market found that seven in 10 cars on the road are now more than five years old and nearly two in five are more than a decade old.

Last year, the most common age for a car on UK roads was four years old, with a typical premium costing £1,066.

This is marginally lower than in 2019 when a premium for a four-year-old car would have cost an average of £1,102.

Cars manufactured 36 years ago are typically the most expensive to insure with an average premium of £1,953.

The cheapest car to insure, that is over 20 years old, is the Toyota RAV4 Gx costing just £327 on average a year. 

This is followed by the Mercedes-Benz SLK Convertible with drivers only paying slightly more at £338 each year. 

Classic cars: Morris Minors are one of the most popular cars that are over 50 years old

Model Average premium
Toyota RAV4 Gx £327
Mercedes-Benz SLK Convertible £338
Land Rover 90 Defender County TDI £417
Nissan Almera Ambition £488
Fiat 500 L £561
Jaguar XK8 Convertible Auto £582
Fiat Punto 60 SX £603
Triumph Stag Auto £611
Alfa Romeo Spider Lusso TS Cabriolet £633
Land Rover110 TDI County £634
Source: Compare the Market   

Triumph Spitfires are a classic car that will cost the average driver £1,389 to insure, data says

Older cars can be more expensive to insure as they are more likely to break down and lack the improved safety features found in newer vehicles. After this peak, average premiums then decline for older cars.

This happens as cars gradually change from being day-to-day vehicles to 'classic' cars owned by collectors, which are typically driven less. 

On average, cars that are 50 years old are £179 cheaper to insure than those which are just 15 years old.

Vehicle age (years) Average premium
0 £1,212
5 £1,089
10 £1,144
15 £1,364
20 £1,417
30 £1,775
40 £1,599
50 £1,185
Source: Compare the Market 

Based on Compare the Market proprietary enquiries data, the most popular 50 year old cars to insure are Morris Minors, followed by Volkswagen Beetles and Land Rovers.

Of the top 10 most popular cars, premiums for Mustangs are the most expensive costing £2,712. 

Meanwhile, premiums for MGBs are typically the cheapest costing just £622.

Morris Minors, which are one of the most popular dated cars, will set back drivers an average of £1,185 each year.  

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, said: 'New car sales have practically ground to a halt during the pandemic as showrooms have been forced to close, people have not been using cars to commute and many drivers have been under more financial strain.

'These conditions mean the average age of cars on the road is increasing as most drivers are content to delay buying a new car until the economic situation is more certain.

MGB's are another popular car with average premiums costing drivers just £622 on average

'The good news for most drivers is that average premiums for older cars are falling year-on-year. 

'For anyone planning to channel their inner Steve McQueen by buying an old Mustang or another classic car, it is a good idea to check the cost of the insurance beforehand. 

'Premiums can change significantly by the year of the car's production or between similar models. Given these vehicles can often have steep maintenance or repair costs, drivers should look to save as much as possible on the cost of their insurance.'

Motorists are encouraged to shop around for the best deal when their policy comes up for renewal. 

If they have automatically renewed their policy for a few years in a row, they may find they are paying substantially more than they need to for their car insurance. 

Model Average premium
Morris Minor £1,185
Volkswagen Beetle 1300 £994
Land Rover 88 £1,056
MGB £622
Land Rover 88 Diesel £1,617
Triumph Spitfire £1,389
MG Midget £782
MGB GT £1,226
Ford Mustang (LHD) £2,712
Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible £742
Source: Compare the Market  


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