Capital car insurance costs £4.33 per hour of car use vs. £2.21 in rest of UK

Nov 14, 2013

London car owners are paying a hidden insurance levy, with the average car in the capital costing £500 more to insure per year than the rest of the UK, according to latest research from Zipcar, the UK’s largest pay-as-you-drive network.

At £1,170 per year on average, insuring a car in the capital works out 75% higher and costs £4.33 for every hour the car is typically in use, compared to £2.21 outside of London.

What’s more, after depreciation*, the average London car owner can expect to spend more money insuring their motor over the next two and a half years, than their car might actually be worth.

Zipcar’s new research compares car values with car insurance costs across all age groups, and highlights the ever increasing costs of traditional car ownership in the capital.

Key research findings:

- The average Londoner between 20-54 years of age spends just 5 hours 29 minutes in their car every week, with insurance costing £4.04 per hour used. This compares to 6 hours 4 minutes, and £2.38 per hour used outside of the capital

- London car owners between 25-34 years of age spend more on car insurance in little over two years (26 months) than their car will be worth at the end of that period. This works out at £4.14 for every hour the car is in use and compares to £2.83 per hour used outside of London

- Over 55s in London spend £6.19 on car insurance per hour used, compared to £1.97 outside of London – with annual insurance costing more than double in the capital

Table 1: Car insurance costs and car values – London vs. rest of UK

Age group

Car value today**

Annual insurance cost

Time in car per week

Insurance cost per hour used

Insurance cost exceeds current car value after:

Insurance cost exceeds depreciated car value after: ***






5h 4m


1 yr 8 mths

1 yr 5 mths




5h 45m


3 yr 4 mths

2 yr 2 mths




5h 12m


5 yr 8 mths

3 yr 8 mths




5h 29m


5 yr 8 mths

3 yr 8 mths




3h 53m


4 yr 5 mths

2 yr 10 mths




5h 29m


3 yr 8 mths

2 yr 4 mths




5h 12m


4 yr

2 yr 5 mths






8h 17m


3 yr

1 yr 11 mths




4h 40m


3 yr 9 mths

2 yr 5 mths




5h 44m


5 yr 8 mths

3 yr




4h 35m


7 yr 4 mths

3 yr 10 mths




5h 18m


9 yr 8 mths

4 yr




6h 4m


6 yr 1 mths

3 yr 5 mths




5h 45m


7 yr 1 mths

3 yr 8 mths

Research carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Zipcar, based on responses from 2005 UK car owners

Zipcar provides a convenient, flexible and cost-effective alternative to car ownership in the capital. It offers its members 24/7 access to cars and vans in hundreds of locations across London for as little as £5 per hour, with insurance, the Congestion Charge and 40 free miles per day included. The typical Zipcar member saves £264 per month compared to owning their own vehicle.

Mark Walker, General Manager of Zipcar UK, commented:

"Owning a car is no longer the status symbol it once was, especially among today’s savvy urban consumers and businesses. For Londoners, the quality of public transport combined with ever increasing vehicle costs makes car ownership distinctly unattractive. This hidden car insurance levy is astounding, and sits alongside depreciation, parking permits, the congestion charge and petrol prices as a wake-up call to many Londoners as why on earth they would want to own their own car in the capital. The car will always be a necessary part of the transport mix - for some journeys nothing else will do - but a pay-as-you-go car club remains the most cost effective and convenient way to drive, especially in a city like London."


* Depreciation figures from the AA –

** Car value figure based on estimate of car value today by all survey participants

*** Table 2 – Average London car owner – car insurance costs vs. depreciated car value

Length of car ownership

Insurance paid

Car value (inc 20% depreciation)

0 yr



1 yr



2 yr



2 yr 5 mths



3 yr



Note: figures do not take in to account month-on-month depreciation

For further information: For more information, please contact Russell Barrow at The PR Network: