Britain turns its back on big cars Thursday 17 July 2008 PDF Print Press Release 17th July 2008 Swinton figures reveals: big car quotes fall 16%, small car quotes rise 20% Rocketing fuel prices, emissions-based car tax and climate change are taking their toll on drivers who are turning their backs on gas guzzlers and choosing smaller cars as well as public transport, according to research by Swinton. Swinton, the UK’s largest high street insurance retailer, has analysed its motor insurance quotations database over the last 12 months and reports a dramatic increase in the numbers of motor quotations for smaller-engined cars. Motor insurance quotations for the very largest cars on the roads including Hummers and Range Rovers have fallen by 16% compared to 06/07 quotes, with Swinton are also seeing a decrease in drivers seeking insurance quotes on more everyday Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), down 11% in the last year. Quotes for cars with engines below 1.5 litres (diesel and petrol) have risen by an astonishing 20%, a statistic that Swinton’s analysts lay squarely at the door of higher fuel prices, car tax bands and driver concerns over climate change. One further finding from the research which may point to near-future trends in British motoring is the high number of requests from drivers seeking lower premiums for lower mileage. Swinton analysts believe that with fuel prices increasing by 30% in less than a year many drivers are now being forced to choose public transport and car sharing schemes rather than their own car for the daily commute to work and are now thinking about motor insurance policies to match their lower annual mileage. However, the statistics also reveal that fans of large family cars are not quite ready to get rid of their large saloons, estates and SUVs altogether but simply prefer to use their beloved bigger cars for shopping and family leisure pursuits at the weekend rather than weekday commutes – again resulting in lower annual mileage. Some families with more than one car are going one step further to reduce their outgoings by taking a vehicle off the road completely and declaring it to the DVLA as SORN (Standard Off Road Notification). This enables owners to save money on insurance, fuel, tax and servicing until the economy and fuel prices return to normal. Chris Collings, Director of Insurer Development at Swinton, said: “The value of larger second hand cars, even with very low mileage have plummeted and many owners would rather stack their car on bricks rather than realise its low value now. It is possible that we will be seeing more people declaring their cars off road as drivers feel the squeeze and tighten their belts. “We have already seen London’s congestion charge change to an emissions-based scheme, and insurance providers will also begin to offer greater incentives to hard-up motorists and those doing their bit to alleviate climate change.” Swinton has been insuring the nation’s cars since 1957 and has 470 branches across the country, two UK-based customer contact centres and employs over 3,000 staff. It handles over two million policies every year and in addition to motor it offers travel, home, pet, specialist and business insurance. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have reported that sales of SUVs have declined by 18% in the past year. During 2007 there were 128,646 band B cars sold – cars producing less than 120g/km of Co2. This is a 20% increase in the number sold during the previous year. Swinton’s top-ten low emission savers: • Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI – Co2: 99g/km • Seat Ibiza 1.4 TDI – Co2: 99g/km • Toyota Prius T3 Hybrid 1.5 – Co2: 104g/km • Mini Cooper D 3dr – Co2: 104g/km • Citroen C1 1.0– Co2: 109g/km • Peugeot 107 1.0 – Co2: 109g/km • Toyota Aygo 1.0 – Co2: 109g/km • Smart ForTwo 61bhp – Co2: 112g/km • Ford Focus 1.8 – Co2: 115g/km • Honda Civic 1.3 IMA – Co2: 116g/km - Ends - For further information please contact Daniel Kennedy, Adele Mandy or Lucy Sinclair at SKV PR on Tel: 0161 838 7770 or email: email@example.com About Swinton • With 470 branches nationwide Swinton is the largest high street insurance broker • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates • Swinton offers a ‘clicks and bricks’ approach to insurance - online prices with a high street presence. 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