Are some vehicles more accident-prone than others? It would seem so. Online insurance comparison site Confused.com recently released its own survey, naming and shaming the ten most-crashed in the UK. “Most crashed” doesn’t mean the highest number of accidents but the highest proportion of claims relative to owner numbers. Prepare for some surprises as we present the Top Ten of Britain’s most crashed cars…
1st Place: Honda FR-V
Topping the list is this unremarkable six-seater MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). Sedate it may be, but somehow 2,529 FR-V owners on Confused’s database managed to rack up 466 accident claims between 2006 and 2011, a “hit rate” of 18.4%. The first (but by no means the last) Honda on our list…
2nd Place: Volvo XC90
At number two, we find this large and luxurious SUV (sport utility vehicle) from the Swedes. Of 3,890 XC90 owners on the confused.com database, 619 made claims: an accident rate of just under 16%.
3rd Place: Lexus RX
Another SUV, Japanese this time, the Lexus RX notched up 574 claims from only 3,701 drivers, an accident rate of 15.5 per cent.
4th Place: Mazda 5
At number four, one more people carrier, this time the well-featured Mazda 5. Out of 2,431 owned, 373 were crashed. Accident rate: 15.3%. We’ll be hearing more from Mazda shortly.
5th Place: Volkswagen Touran
Volkswagen’s Touran MPV is the fifth most accident-prone model, but has only a very few claims behind the Mazda. It also has an accident rate of 15.3%, also shared with….
6th Place: Honda Jazz
The second Honda on our list, and one that could be described as a mini-MPV, the Honda Jazz also has an accident rate of 15.3% from 3,119 owners.
7th Place: Honda CR-V
What is it about Hondas? The CR-V makes it in at number 7. Mind you, given that it is a cross between an MPV and an SUV, maybe the only surprise is that it doesn’t feature higher.
8th Place: Hyundai Santa
The Hyundai Santa was a semi-SUV that was soon replaced by the current Santa Fe – but not before it racked up an accident claim rate of 14.3%.
9th Place: Toyota RAV4
It’s an SUV, it’s Japanese, and it has a claim rate of around one in seven. Meet the Toyota RAV4, our ninth most accident-prone car.
10th Place: Mazda 3
Bringing up the rear, with an accident rate of 14.2%, the Mazda 3 hatchback, remarkable in this company for being neither an SUV nor a people carrier. What went wrong?
More data needed
The confused.com survey is anything but definitive: it was only based on an opinion poll conducted among site users and presented as a mere “snapshot” of claims..
When we look at the lowest claim rates highlighted in the survey, we find the Mazda 2 with only nine claims recorded in the last five years. So it isn’t a marque thing. Also, hovering around the one per cent mark were two real “boy racers”, the Nissan Skyline and Ford Focus RS.
Vehicle faults and poor design don’t cause accidents nearly so much as bad luck and driver error. Ultimately, improving your own driving skills – perhaps by taking an advanced driving course – could have a far bigger impact on minimizing your risk of having an accident than the kind of vehicle you buy and could also have a positive impact on insuring.
Alex Johnson is a freelance writer based in Oxford.She loves vintage and unusual cars and drives a 10 year old Peugeot 206.