Impact of address on car insurance premium

Find out why where you live can have an impact on your car insurance.

Car insurance premiums are a calculation of risk involving a number of factors. These can range from the obvious such as your age, car make and model, and your driving history to the slightly more obtuse such as your line of work and where you live. Essentially anything that affects the odds of you making a claim will impact your premium. Find out more about how your address may affect your car insurance premium.

Why does my address affect my car insurance?

Though not obvious at first, where you live has a major impact on your car insurance rates.

Urban areas are more densely populated than rural ones, with busier roads, more car accidents overall and a generally higher likelihood of making claims of any kind. This increases premiums in cities.

However, living in rural areas means you typically need to drive longer distances on every commute, the roads can be in worse condition and you may be more likely to lose a car to bushfires or other hazards than someone living in the city.

In addition, statistically, 90% of all car accidents occur within miles of the driver’s home and insurance providers know this.

How does my address affect my car insurance?

Your address is used to apply very specific loadings based on location, and risk factors vary between neighbourhoods the same way they can vary between states. This is based on the odds of making a claim, and might be affected by countless factors such as how narrow or wide your road is, whether it turns onto an unusually dangerous intersection and many others.

  • Where you park. You can pay less for car insurance if you park in an enclosed garage or carport overnight, instead of on the street. Therefore, addresses without a garage have higher car insurance prices.
  • Weather. Rain, snow, fog and other bad weather can cause car accidents, so areas with frequent poor weather can have higher prices.
  • Crime. If your policy includes cover for theft, the crime rate in your neighbourhood will likely impact your premiums.
  • Population density. The more crowded your area, and the more cars on the road, the higher the prices.
  • Road maintenance. Poor road conditions are responsible for many accidents, so having better maintained roads in your area can lower premiums.

Finder survey: How confident are you that you understand how car insurance premiums are calculated?

ResponseYorkshire and the HumberWest MidlandsWalesSouth WestSouth EastScotlandNorthern IrelandNorth WestNorth EastGreater LondonEast of EnglandEast Midlands
Not very confident35.29%40%31.82%31.88%35.76%30.26%45.83%27.27%26.19%28.7%45.98%26.14%
Somewhat confident30.59%23.48%37.88%36.23%37.75%28.95%25%37.19%40.48%41.67%29.89%39.77%
Not confident at all29.41%18.26%21.21%23.19%17.88%23.68%16.67%25.62%23.81%15.74%12.64%23.86%
Very confident4.71%18.26%9.09%8.7%8.61%17.11%12.5%9.92%9.52%13.89%11.49%10.23%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 1032 Brits, December 2023

Steps to reduce costs

The golden rule of car insurance prices is that your odds of making a claim determine your premiums. Fortunately, you don’t need to move house to reduce location-dependent factors. Instead, try finding a policy that matches your situation and needs.

Choosing the level of cover

There are three different types of car insurance to choose from. The more at-risk your area is for certain hazards, the more important it is to get covered against it, but it will typically cost more.

  • Comprehensive. The highest level of cover available. The only policy that typically includes comprehensive cover for weather damage, which means it may be disproportionately more expensive, but also important, in locations that are prone to extreme weather. Parking in a garage or under cover can help lower the cost of comprehensive cover.
  • Third party with fire and theft. A liability policy with cover for fire and theft. Unlike third party only policies, locations at higher risk of car theft will attract higher prices. Car security systems, such as immobilisers, alarms or VIN etching, can help you keep costs down.
  • Third party only. The most affordable type of policy. This policy generally comes with little or no cover for damage to your own car. If you live in a high-risk, high-premium location, then this policy type will be disproportionately more expensive, but may be missing the type of cover you need.

There are many other factors which affect car insurance prices besides location. It can be worth looking over them for other ways to cut your car insurance premiums. Once you’ve done that, getting low prices is largely about comparing policies side by side.

Frequently asked questions

*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £539.54
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Esther Wolffowitz

Esther Wolffowitz was a publisher at specialising in insurance. Esther holds an MSc in Media and Communication Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). See full profile

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