Diamond

4x4s double in a decade

23/01/2009

Britain's roads now seem to be dominated by people driving 4x4s, whose idea of off-roading is driving through some mud on a dirty road, in fact a new study shows that the number has doubled in the last 10 years. But who exactly is driving them all?

Women's car insurance specialist Diamond looked at over 13 million vehicles driven over the past 10 years, and found that the number of 4x4s has more than doubled since 1998 and is showing no signs of slowing down, as it increased by almost 10% last year. The increase has been slightly higher for men than women overall, however, it's no surprise to see that the biggest rise is for those drivers with children. Dads have seen an increase of 153% compared to mums with an increase of 166%.

Postcodes in the South East dominate the list of areas with the highest percentage of 4x4s*, with 8 of the top 10 postcode areas there, and 3 specifically in Kent. Ashford in Kent, Ongar in Essex and Banchory in Kincardineshire (near Aberdeen) contain the highest proportion of 4x4 drivers, but just outside the top 3 in 4th is Chelsea in London. All of the top 10 are more than double the UK average for 4x4 ownership of 6.65%.

The list is as follows:

Position Postcode District

%age of 4x4s

1st

TN27

Ashford, Kent

15.16

2nd

CM5

Ongar, Essex

14.36

3rd

AB31

Banchory, Kincardineshire

14.31

4th

SW3

Chelsea, London

14.24

5th

TN17

Cranbrook, Kent

14.02

6th

GU5

Guildford, Surrey

13.81

7th

DL13

Bishop Auckland, County Durham

13.81

8th

TN11

Tonbridge, Kent

13.81

9th

RH5

Dorking, Surrey

13.72

10th

SG9

Buntingford, Hertfordshire

13.63

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis, commented, "I've definitely noticed an increase in the number of 4x4s on the road, but was really surprised to see that the number had increased so greatly. The South East certainly seems to be 4x4 central, and it's good to see Chelsea in the list living up to its stereotype as the birthplace of the 'Chelsea Tractor'."

When it comes to the occupations, unsurprisingly farmers are the most likely to own a 4x4, however, they're followed by child minders and property developers. Also in the top 10 are publicans, stockbrokers and housewives*.

Sian continued, "You'd expect farmers to be most likely to drive a 4x4 but for child minders to be second in the list emphasises how popular 4x4s have become away from what they were originally designed for. Many people see them as a practical way in which to ferry children around due to their size, and some people perceive them to be safer for passengers. They can easily accommodate plenty of children and all the paraphernalia they attract."

What are all these 4x4 drivers behind the wheel of? The most popular is the Land Rover Freelander followed by the Toyota Rav-4 and Honda CRV, so it's the smaller 4x4s that dominate:

  1. Land Rover Freelander
  2. Toyota Rav-4
  3. Honda CRV
  4. Land Rover Discovery
  5. Range Rover

 

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