Rural Aberdeenshire tops the 4×4 ownership charts followed by Kensington, Holland Park, Knightsbridge and Chelsea

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
1st AB31 Banchory, Aberdeenshire 25%
2nd SW7 South Kensington & Knightsbridge, London 23%
3rd AB53 Turriff, Aberdeenshire 23%
4th W8 Kensington & Holland Park, London 23%
5th SW3 Chelsea, London 22%
6th TN5 Wadhurst, East Sussex 22%
7th AB51 Inverurie, Aberdeenshire 21%
8th AB21 Aberdeen 21%
9th RG9 Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire 21%
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
1st Farmer 31%
2nd Property Developer 27%
3rd Stockbroker 26%
4th Company Director 25%
5th Investment Manager 23%
6th Company Secretary 23%
7th Property Landlord 23%
8th Director of Finance 22%
9th Merchant Banker 22%
10th Shop Owner 20%

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.

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