According to new research by MoneySuperMarket, drivers of manual cars pay almost £100 less than drivers of automatic cars on their insurance premium. The research by the UK’s leading price comparison site analysed over 15 million car insurance enquiries between January 2018 and February 2020 to reveal that automatic drivers pay up to £94.07 more on average compared to manual car drivers.
Despite being more expensive to insure, enquiries for automatic cars have risen steadily over the last two years from 22% to 28% of all enquiries. The proportion of enquiries relating to automatic-only UK licence holders also increased from 2.14% in January 2018 to 2.67% by January 2020.
The type of licence also affects the cost of a premium. Those with a full UK licence will pay £483 on average compared to £833 for those with automatic only licences.
From 2018 – 2020, the average price for both automatic and manual insurance policies decreased. Manual car insurance premiums dropped by 24% (-£151.18) in comparison to a 14% decrease (-£88.57) for automatics. In February 2020, the average policy cost for an automatic car (560.01) is 20% more than a manual (£465.94). In January 2018, the average price for automatic cars was only 5% more expensive. Although we cannot be certain a likely reason for this price increase could be down to the technology advancements in automatic cars improving over time. Driverless and drive-assist technology are found in cars more frequently and as technology increases the more expensive repair costs become.
The data also reveals that London has the highest proportion of enquiries for automatic car and automatic only driving licences. Insurance claims from automatic car drivers were all higher for those living in London boroughs, over half (51%) of respondents from Harrow, Ilford and Barking made enquiries for insurance to cover their automatic cars. London postcodes as a whole were as follows: EC (52%), W (53%), NW (54%) and WC (56%) residents enquiring about automatic car insurance over manual car insurance.
Outside of the London Boroughs, other areas of the UK with the highest proportion of insurance enquiries for automatic cars include Jersey and Guernsey, while at the other end of the spectrum the Isle of Lewis sees the smallest proportion of automatic drivers.
Dave Merrick, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket commented: “There are many factors that can affect the cost of insurance premiums, such as age, driving experience and the car make and model.
“From January 2018 to January 2020 we have seen a huge increase in the price difference between insurance for both automation and manual cars. This has risen from 5% to 21% and has stayed stable for the last six months.
“One reason for this could be a result of increased technology in automatic cars over time for, example, the parts that make up an automatic gearbox are more complex and could cost more to repair. However, due to improvements in technology, an automatic car might help you save money in the long run through better fuel efficiency.
“Regardless of your car’s transmission, there are always ways to make savings. By shopping around you could save up to £270 . Another way to save money is to think about paying for your insurance in a lump sum, rather than each month.”