Longer jams and higher insurance premiums will welcome commuters when lockdown ends with indications of an almost doubling in private cars being used to replace public transport, particularly in Wales.
Millions of drivers could see a spike in their motor insurance premiums in the coming months as the number of people driving to work increases and face possible fines if they don’t update policies for commuting.
New research by comparethemarket.com reveals that 61% of UK drivers expect to commute by car when they return to the workplace post-lockdown, compared to 34% who drove to work before the pandemic. This equates to an extra 10.5 million cars being used for the daily commute.
Individuals intending to drive to work will need to ensure that their motor insurance policy covers not only social travel but also commuting. Motorists intending to drive to work when they did not do so before the pandemic will need to swap their insurance to a Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting policy (SDP+C).
However, these policies can be more expensive. 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.
The proportion of people who will start driving to work in light of the pandemic varies across the country, but is particularly high in Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands.
In London, almost a third (32%) expect they will now drive to work, compared to the fifth (20%) who commuted by car before the pandemic. However, 45% of Londoners confirm they still plan to use public transport.
comparethemarket.com predicts that the cost of motor insurance overall could be set to increase. Nearly a fifth (17%) of UK households think that they will use their car more than they did prior to the pandemic.
Premiums are underwritten by insurers based on a number of factors, including the likelihood of crashes. With more cars on the road, the risk of collisions increases, which could cause motor insurance premiums to rise accordingly.