Unemployed Drivers Could See Car Insurance Rise by More Than 50%

Depending on a motorist’s job or employment status, premiums could increase by as much as £200, and key workers are currently facing some of the highest prices.

Stressed young driver leaning on the steering wheel

The UK’s furlough scheme is due to end in October, and with many companies being forced to make people redundant due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is predicted that hundreds of thousands of drivers will soon be unemployed and, unfortunately, they will face higher car insurance premiums as a result.

Comparethemarket.com has recently carried out research to see exactly how jobs can affect the cost of car cover.

After analysing quotes for nearly 100 job titles based on a male driver, aged 30 from Bury St. Edmunds, insuring a Ford Fiesta, here are some of the key results (see complete car insurance job title list here):

  • HGV drivers could be hit the worst if they lose their job, with the average premium costing £370.75 and the average price for an unemployed driver costing £571.28 for exactly the same cover and policy – a 54% increase.
  • Many key worker professions face the most expensive premiums, with professional carers paying an average of £431 (6% higher than average) and an NHS healthcare assistant having to pay around £427 (5% higher than average).
  • Car insurance is around 40% more expensive for unemployed drivers on average.
  • After unemployed drivers and nurses, taxi drivers, chefs and waitresses face the highest prices for cover, with premiums costing £485.13, £459.79 and £449.86 respectively.
  • Lorry and bus drivers pay the lowest average price at just £371.81 and £381.14 respectively.

This research shows that the cheapest job title for car insurance in the UK is currently an HGV driver.

Learn more: How to Find Cheap Car Insurance for the Unemployed

How can your job affect car insurance?

The cost of car insurance is calculated by assessing how likely you are to make a claim for compensation on your policy, which is the main reason why cover is expensive for unemployed drivers as insurers believe that those without a job are more likely to claim.

To work out the cost, the insurer will look at factors such as your age, where you live, your occupation, the make and model of your vehicle, how much you drive (your annual mileage) and your driving history, among other things.

Head of car insurance department at comparethemarket.com, Dan Hutson, stated:

“Each factor has a different level of importance in an overall policy and this research demonstrates just how important a job title or employment status is when getting insurance. Take care that the information you disclose regarding your occupation and throughout the quote is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. If you don’t do this, an insurance provider could increase your premium, cancel your policy, treat it as if it never existed, refuse a claim or not pay the claim in full.”

Read more: How Your Job Can Affect the Cost of Car Insurance

What if I can’t afford car insurance?

Unfortunately, these spikes in the cost of cover have come at a time when drivers can least afford it due to the knock-on financial implications of Covid-19, particularly with younger drivers who have witnessed the biggest rise in unemployment, with up to 76,000 more 16- to 25-year olds being unemployed compared to last year, according to the BBC.

Mr Hutson also stated: “If driving is unaffordable for this group, this could have a serious impact on their ability to secure another job, with our research showing that 54% of young drivers saying that not being able to afford to run their car will negatively impact their ability to get a job.”

Some of the best ways to get cheaper car insurance is to compare quotes online, get in touch with a young driver insurance specialist or look into black box policies which have been designed to help young drivers save money on cover.

How can I get cheaper car insurance by tweaking my job title?

It is widely advised that you can cut the cost of cover by changing your job title slightly, but of course, it must represent what you actually do for a living and you need to make sure that you do not lie, otherwise your policy will be invalid and you won’t be properly covered when driving on UK roads, which is illegal.

For example, you may have stated that you are a secretary on your car insurance application, when, in fact, you are a medical secretary or legal secretary, so in this situation, you could change your job title to match your exact occupation. This may or may not reduce your premiums, but it’s worth getting a few different quotes with similar job titles to see if the price changes.

Another example could be that you’ve told the insurer you are a cleaner when you are actually a window cleaner. While you do essentially clean for a living, ‘cleaner’ doesn’t accurately describe your job role, so again, you may want to tweak this.

Of course, we don’t recommend you changing your job title to something completely irrelevant, as you’d be committing fraud if you did this.

According to industry experts, there’s no real way of knowing whether your chosen job title is close enough to your actual profession, and you need to use your own judgement to determine which title describes your occupation most accurately. And if you’re really not sure what to choose, your best option would be to speak directly to your insurer to check.

Remember, if you change jobs, you must inform your insurer straight away to ensure you’re fully covered.

Car insurance job title list

According to comparethemarket’s research, here is a list of the most common jobs and the average cost of car insurance for each profession, from the most expensive to the cheapest:

Occupation Cost of Car Insurance Policy
Unemployed £571.28
Taxi driver £485.13
Chef £459.79
Waitress £449.86
Shop assistant £447.20
Professional carer £431.91
Cleaner £431.55
Security officer £429.51
Bar staff £427.80
NHS healthcare assistant £427.64
Nurse £421.81
Housewife/Househusband £413.88
Student (living at home) £406.83
Sales assistant £405.03
Teacher £400.93
Teacher's assistant £399.44
Manager £397.83
Retired £396.85
Engineer £384.93
Bus driver £381.14
Lorry driver £371.81
HGV driver £370.75

The above data is taken from comparethemarket.com and all quotes are based on a 30-year-old male driver from Bury St Edmunds who is insuring a Ford Fiesta. Bear in mind that your individual quote could differ from the above, depending on your own personal details.

How to get cheaper car insurance as an unemployed driver

While tweaking your job title to fit your profession more accurately will not help unemployed drivers, there are other ways to help people without a job to save on cover:

  • Purchase annual cover rather than pay for insurance monthly (as this will incur interest and could affect your credit score if you miss a payment).
  • Make sure you provide an accurate mileage limit when applying for cover – many drivers overestimate this, meaning they end up paying more for no reason.
  • Drive a car that is cheaper to insure.
  • Switch car insurance providers around 14 to 21 days before your renewal date is due – loyal customers usually pay more simply for staying with the same company year after year.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess can reduce cover, but only set it at an amount you could afford to pay in the event of a claim.
  • Adding a more experienced, sensible driver to your policy as a named driver could lower premiums, but beware you don’t commit the crime known as fronting.
  • Build up a no-claims bonus.

For more information on cutting the cost of car insurance for unemployed motorists, read our guide: How to Find Cheap Car Insurance for the Unemployed

To get started on comparing quotes with a range of providers, tap the button now to get started. And for further advice and information, read our guides below.