13th February 2014
The number of 4×4 cars on Britain’s roads has increased by around a fifth in the last five years according to research by insurer Admiral.
It also shows that Banchory in Aberdeenshire is the four wheel drive capital of the UK, but that wealthy areas of London and the Home Counties are also major 4×4 hotspots.
Admiral examined data from more than 3 million motorists to see which of them drive a 4×4, where they live and what they do.
Since 2009, Admiral has seen the percentage of customers who own a 4×4 rise by 21%.
The postcode areas which have the highest percentage of 4×4 owners are predominantly in the far north of Scotland and the south east of England.
Top of the list is Banchory, Aberdeenshire, where a quarter of motorists drive a 4×4 car. This is followed by somewhere distinctly less rural and mountainous, prosperous South Kensington and Knightsbridge in London, where just over 23% of residents drive a 4×4.
Kensington and Holland Park is 4th place and Chelsea comes in 5th place, suggesting the moniker ‘Chelsea Tractor’ is more than just an urban myth.
Elsewhere in the top ten are three other places in Aberdeenshire; Turriff at 3rd, Inverurie at 7th and the area around the north west of Aberdeen at 8th. The remainder consist of affluent and rural parts of the south east of England, including Wadhurst in East Sussex at 6th, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire at 9th and around Henfield in West Sussex at 10th.
Top 10 postcode areas for percentage driving 4x4s*
|Position||Postcode||Town or district||Percentage with 4x4s|
|2nd||SW7||South Kensington & Knightsbridge, London||23%|
|4th||W8||Kensington & Holland Park, London||23%|
|6th||TN5||Wadhurst, East Sussex||22%|
|10th||BN5||Henfield, West Sussex||20%|
*Based on postcode areas with a minimum of 500 Admiral customers to prevent skewing of data
Admiral managing director, Sue Longthorn said, “There is no doubt there are more 4x4s cars on our roads now than there were just five years ago. We wanted to see if they are more popular with certain people around the country.
“Among 4×4 owners there appears to be two very distinct groups: those who have to drive one because they are practical vehicles in rough terrain, where winter weather can be extreme. And those who live in cities and urban areas, who might only have to tackle speed bumps and kerbs most days, but for who 4x4s have become the must-have vehicle. Not only do they have the looks and space, but they also have the performance.”
Admiral also looked at which occupations have the highest percentage of 4×4 owners.
Top 10 occupations for percentage driving a 4×4
|Position||Occupation||Percentage with 4x4s|
|8th||Director of Finance||22%|
Admiral’s research also shows how much more popular 4x4s are with parents than those without kids. It discovered that 14% of motorists with children drive one, compared with just 6% of those with no children.
Land Rover dominates the list of the most popular 4x4s that Admiral insures, with the top 3 positions occupied by their cars. The Range Rover is by far the most common, followed by the Freelander and Discovery.