Commuting change could push up car insurance premiums
When you return to the office, how will you get there?
An expected spike in driving to work, to avoid the use of public transport, could push up car insurance premiums.
That’s according to new research by comparethemarket.com, who found that 61% of UK drivers expect to commute by a car when they return to the workplace post-lockdown.
Before the pandemic, only 34% of drivers used their car to get to work.
It means that an extra 10.5 million cars could be used for the daily commute.
If you’re planning to use your car for the daily commute, you need to ensure that your car insurance policy covers this activity.
That means having a Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting (SDP+C) policy, which is typically more expensive than a Social, Domestic and Pleasure (SDP) policy.
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.
Across the country, the proportion of people who intend to start driving to work varies. It’s particularly high in Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands.
In London, 32% of motorists expect to drive to work, compared with the 20% who commuted by car before the pandemic.
However, 45% of Londoners confirm they still plan to use public transport.
According to comparethemarket.com, the cost of car insurance overall is likely to increase.
Nearly a fifth of UK households thinks that they will use their car more than they did prior to the pandemic.
Car insurance premiums are set based on several factors, including the likelihood of crashes.
More cars on the road mean a higher risk of collisions, pushing up car insurance premiums accordingly.
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.