Why meerkats think East London drivers are so bad on the road

Flipped... this car ended up a wreck in Whitechapel Road in 2009 outside the White Hart pub

Flipped... this car ended up a wreck in Whitechapel Road in 2009 outside the White Hart pub. - Credit: Joe Lord

Crash... bang... it seems East London drivers are the very worst for how often they have to claim on their car insurance, a national survey has found. 

The average UK driver hasn’t made a claim in seven years, according to the study by the meerkat’s comparison site analysing data by local authority areas.

Two cars in head-on smash in Old Street

Wallop... two drivers meeting head on in Old Street - Credit: Paul Wood

Topping the entire list for the shortest period of not making claims appears to be Tower Hamlets. 

We have “the dubious honour of the lowest average no claims bonus” rates where the average vehicle owner has gone just four years without making a claim, researchers discovered. 

But it’s no wonder, with congested trunk roads like the A11 Whitechapel Road, the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach or the A13 East India Dock Road, while not forgetting the nose-to-tail Ring Road along Commercial Street. 


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There are 22 local authority areas where the average no claims bonus is just five years, more than half of them London boroughs like Barking & Dagenham further along the A13.   

Driver lost control of his BMW in Sidney Street, Whitechapel, but managed to crawl out unharmed

Right up the wall... this driver lost control of his BMW in Sidney Street, but somehow managed to crawl out - Credit: Met Police

Perhaps it’s a bit much expecting our would-be careful drivers to avoid every scrape and prang with so many other road users getting in our way—unlike the quiet country lanes of Dorset where drivers make fewer claims on their motor insurance than anywhere in Britain. 

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“Having more years of no claims could mean that your risk is lower,” Compare the Market’s Dan Hutson said.  

“Lots of factors are taken into account calculating a driver’s risk profile, but having a higher no claims period could be an indicator that they drive carefully.” 

The Meerkat survey also looked at how technology is making cars safer, with devices tracking driving habits which increased the average no claims period to eight years in 2019. 

So east London drivers have a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the country for avoiding the crunch and having to claim on the insurance. 

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