Lockdown Eases, Confidence Returns, UK Gets in Its Car

  • Insurtech
  • 16.04.2021 11:00 am

By Miles, the UK’s leading provider of pay-by-mile car insurance, underwritten by Zurich Insurance, can report that based on data collected the week lockdown restrictions were relaxed, 29th March – 4th April, there was a staggering 17% increase in car usage from the week before, which has continued to rise in the weeks since.   

Based on data collected after the previous two government-sanctioned lockdowns, this is the greatest increase in car usage so far. The UK population appears to be behaving in a bolder fashion, buoyed by the promise of better weather, seeing their families and high rates of vaccination.

Car usage increases measured week-on-week:

  • Week after 1st Lockdown ended (23rd June - 29th June 2020): 7% increase
  • Week after 2nd Lockdown ended (2nd - 8th December 2020): 13% increase
  • Week after 3rd Lockdown ended (29th March – 4th April): 17% increase

Pay-by-mile car insurance provider, By Miles also reveals that policy sales in March 2021 jumped by over 150% compared to the same time last year, demonstrating a massive increase in demand for more flexible, usage-based insurance policies. Recent independent analysis found that 51% of consumers could save £283.97 on their car insurance with a By Miles policy*.

Research from By Miles recently suggested that up to 26 million (48%) Britons are driving less overall since the pandemic started**. This is despite periods when travel was permitted and encouraged by the Government, and the top reasons for the reduction in car usage were credited to people walking more (34%) and increased usage of online shopping deliveries (28%). 

In spite of the changing regulations, the survey from 2020 suggested that an estimated 30 million (72%) UK drivers said they planned to cut down their annual mileage in the next year. The research revealed the challenges faced by the public with this, however, with 93% of drivers admitting it would be hard to do without clear incentives such as cheaper monthly premiums for driving less topped (36%), cheaper and more regular public transport (34%), and reducing car tax if you drive less (33%).     

Oliver Baxter, Head of Product at By Miles, said: “The frequent lockdown restrictions have shown UK drivers that traditional car insurance models aren’t designed for everyone. At By Miles we’ve designed policies to work this new world, offering a greater degree of control and transparency for drivers. The flexibility of our pay-by-mile policies actually encourages people to drive less, which not only offers motorists an opportunity to save, but it’s better for public health, road congestion and the environment. Having said this, it’s definitely encouraging to see the UK population showing confidence by getting out and about as the Government sanctions are lifted, and we’re thrilled to be supporting them as they get back out on the road.”    

Mark Muir, motor insurance expert at Zurich, commented: “We are seeing an undeniable shift in UK drivers’ needs and behaviours, with a significant proportion of the UK workforce now working from home. This is leading to motorists considering on-demand cover as a viable prospect – in a way that just wasn’t possible decades ago. Zurich is responding to this, leveraging the innovative technology of partners like By Miles, which incentivises motorists to drive in a sustainable way by driving fewer miles, is absolutely the right thing for the planet. However, seeing the green shoots of confidence return is just the hopeful indicator we’re all looking for.”


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