Where are 4x4s most popular in the UK and who’s driving them?


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Admiral Car Insurance research shows clear trends in 4x4 usage and ownership

As the popularity of 4x4s continues to grow, there’s also been an increase year on year with the number of 4x4s insured by Admiral Car Insurance – with now nearly one in ten vehicles on cover being a four-wheel drive. With this growth, Admiral set out to find out just where the most 4x4 owners live, and who they are.

After looking at data from more than 3 million motorists, Admiral found two clear trends amongst four-wheel drive owners within the UK with regards to which parts of the country have the most 4x4 drivers.

North East Scotland and South West London have the most 4x4s

The number one 4x4 hotspot in the UK is the AB33 postcode area around Alford in Aberdeenshire – with more than 25% of the cars Admiral insures there being four-wheel drive vehicles. In a close second spot is the RM4 postcode area around Abridge in Essex, and in third is AB34 around Aboyne in Aberdeenshire.

But it’s not surprising to see more 4x4 vehicles in the rugged parts north east of Scotland as more drivers would require the toughness of a four-wheel drive vehicle. This shows that drivers in this area are using the vehicles because they need them to get around the landscape.

It’s a bit of a different story for drivers in the smarter areas of London. As the landscape isn’t as rugged or rough, it appears that drivers who own 4x4s have them for reasons other than practicality purposes. Instead, these 4x4s are purchased for their spaciousness and luxury.

Here’s a list of the top 10 postcodes for the percentage of 4x4 cars*

1. AB33 Alford, Aberdeenshire - 25.22%

2. RM4 Abridge, Romford - 24.88%

3. AB34 Aboyne, Aberdeenshire - 24.74%

4. AB53 Turriff, Aberdeenshire - 24.36%

5. W8 Kensington & Holland Park, West London - 24.14%

6. AB31 Banchory, Aberdeenshire - 23.40%

7. SW7 South Kensington, South West London - 23.16%

8. AB14 Peterculter, Aberdeenshire - 22.30%

9. SW13 Barnes, South West London - 22.28%

10. AB51 Inverurie, Aberdeenshire - 22.25%

*Based on postcode areas with at least 250 cars on cover to prevent skewing

Commenting on the research, Admiral’s head of service, Alistair Hargreaves, said, “Our data shows 4x4s are most popular in two distinct areas of the UK; rural parts of northern Scotland and the affluent districts of west London. This suggests there are two types of drivers for whom they are an essential drive; those who need them because the landscape they live in requires it and those who want to drive a 4x4 for its specifications, comfort and prestige.”

Who’s driving the 4x4s?

Aside from looking at where the most 4x4s are located, Admiral also looked into which occupations are most likely to own four-wheel drive cars as well. Although the list consists of primarily well-paid financial jobs like stockbrokers, merchant bankers and investors, there’s one occupation that drives 4x4s for more than a lifestyle statement. Unsurprisingly, farmers are most likely to drive four-wheel drive cars, as their occupation generally requires the toughness and durability of a 4x4 vehicle.

So who else is driving 4x4s? Research also suggests that owners of four-wheel drive cars are more likely to have children, and that owners are more likely to be men than women. Alistair Hargreaves explains that, “Many families chose a 4x4 for the space and comfort they offer, and they are often perceived as a safer form of transport.”

Percentage of 4x4 vehicles owned by occupation

1. Farmers – 33.05%

2. Property Developer – 27.34%

3. Stockbroker – 27.21%

4. Company Director – 25.63%

5. Property Landlord – 24.42%

6. Company Secretary – 23.25%

7. Investment Manager – 23.19%

8. Merchant Banker – 23.18%

9. Director of Finance – 23.05%

10. Chartered Surveyor – 20.32%

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