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Why is car insurance more expensive in London?

Just as houses and pints are more expensive in London, car insurance is also dearer in the capital. Drivers in London can expect to pay up to double for cover compared to motorists in other parts of the country. But why is it so much more expensive in the capital?

The London premium on car insurance comes down to the higher rates of claims in the capital, higher repair costs at garages in the city, the higher value of many Londoners’ cars, and parking provisions in the city.

If you’re insuring a car in London, your premiums will be influenced by the higher rates of vehicle crimes, including theft, and collisions within the M25. According to official data, London has the highest rate of vehicle crime in the country, at 113 incidents per 100,000 people. High traffic volumes also mean London tops the list of cities with the most car accidents, both minor and severe.

And it’s not just Londoners paying higher premiums as a result of higher crime rates and traffic congestion in cities. Residents of other major urban areas, including Manchester and Leeds, also pay more for car insurance for the same reasons.

Additionally, when cars are damaged in collisions and through vandalism in London, they’re repaired in local garages. Garages in London typically charge more than elsewhere, reflecting higher labour costs in the capital. Higher repair costs factor into higher claims values in London, meaning insurers hike premiums for the capital’s drivers.

Many Londoners also pay higher premiums because they’re driving expensive vehicles, which are costly to repair and replace and also more likely to be targeted by thieves. If you’re driving a budget vehicle in the capital, you’ll pay less than drivers in your area with those luxury cars. But the high cost of other vehicles on the road means a potential claim from a collision you’re involved in could be very expensive, contributing to higher insurance premiums for you too.

Londoners are also more likely to park their vehicles on the street, given the lack of driveways and personal garages in the city. Vehicles parked on the street are more likely to be hit by another car, stolen, or damaged during the theft of their contents. While you may park your vehicle in a garage in London and will benefit from a discount from that, you’re also more likely to accidentally hit a parked vehicle when driving than motorists elsewhere in the country. The higher likelihood of these types of accidents means higher premiums for all London drivers.

If you’re a driver in London, you don’t have to despair. You can take steps to keep your premiums as low as possible:

  • Fit an industry-approved security devices like alarms, immobilisers, and trackers
  • Park your vehicle off road, if possible
  • Drive a cheaper, less flashy car less likely to attract the notice of thieves

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