older-carsWould you expect more accident claims for newer or for older cars? It has been revealed by Virgin Money car insurance in the UK that cars that are three to six years old account for nearly 40% of insurance claims despite making up only 24% of all vehicles on the road.

What do the numbers reveal?

  • Drivers with five-year-old vehicles make the most claims (9.61%)
  • Owners of four-year-old vehicles make the next most claims (9.56%), followed by drivers of cars six years old (9.08%).

Virgin Money Car Insurance spokesman Grant Bather believes that this provides some justification to the trend by vehicle owners to change their cars every three to five years.

“This is not to say that cars five years old are the most dangerous, but that they are more likely to be involved in an incident that leads to a claim being made. This may be a traffic accident, breakdown or theft.
“Looking at these statistics, people looking at buying a second-hand car should also make sure that they have taken the necessary action to ensure that the car meets all of the road standards.”

Why does the vehicle age result in more car insurance claims?

It is nice to have this information –but meaningless if we do not discuss the possible reasons for the increased claims percentage!

We could consider the following factors as contributing to this data:

  • Vehicle owners are more alert and vigilant when driving a new car – they are perhaps more aware of the need to protect this asset.
  • Effective vehicle maintenance is usually in place for new vehicles.
  • Many new vehicles have a “car maintenance plan” for 5 years or 100,000 km’s – this result in effective maintenance and the roadworthiness of the vehicle.
  • Owners of older vehicles might be less attentive to the vehicle components required for safety on the road – such as tyres, shocks, brakes, lights etc
  • We also need to recognize that newer vehicles have more safety features such as ABS breaking, stability control etc.

The characteristics of the driver are also important. Few first time drivers will be able to afford a new vehicle – whereas older more experienced drivers will more likely drive newly purchased vehicles. Your younger less experienced drivers will more likely drive the older vehicle and this could lead to increased vehicle damage from accidents!

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