Little white fibs: UK drivers who write off cars lie about how it happened

14th September 2017

Churchill Insurance uncovers the truth behind car write-offs in the UK

  • A quarter (24 per cent) of British drivers have written off a car
  • Men are more than twice as likely to lie about how it happened
  • Blue cars are most likely to be written off

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of British drivers has written off a car and men are twice as likely to be at fault for a collision with another car as women, new research from Churchill Insurance has revealed.

One third of male drivers has had their car scrapped but it appears they don't like to admit the whole truth to loved ones, with men more than twice as likely than women (48 per cent vs. 20 per cent) to lie about the details of the accident.

Nearly one in five (19 per cent) has even gone as far as asking their children to lie to a partner about the circumstances of the write-off.

The research further reveals the most common causes of car write-offs are accidents with another car (50 per cent), extreme weather conditions (eight per cent) and a mechanical or technical fault (eight per cent). Interestingly, only a quarter (28 per cent) of write-offs actually take place on the road, with write-offs often taking place on country lanes (13 per cent), roundabouts (eight per cent) and car parks (five per cent).

Blue car drivers should take heed as it is the most likely colour car to be written off (18 per cent), closely followed by silver (15 per cent) and white and red (both 12 per cent).

The younger generations are most prone to write-offs, with 18-34 year olds twice as likely to have their car written off than drivers aged 55 and over, even on familiar roads: an incredible 44 per cent of this age group have written their car off on the street they live on.

Sophie Frampton car insurance manager at Churchill Insurance commented: "The words ‘writing your car off’ conjure images of dramatic crashes and, whilst there are sadly many traumatic instances in which a car is written off, it can be surprising to some how a seemingly innocuous accident can lead to a write off. In fact, as the research shows, writing a car off is actually more common than some may think with one in four of us having done so in our driving careers.

“One in ten drivers worryingly sees writing a car off as a 'rite of passage' – but for many drivers this means facing the inconvenience of investing in a new vehicle. As well as giving cash to buy a replacement, we can actually source this for our customers, as well as providing the option for them to pay extra to upgrade to a better model."

Churchill Car Insurance customers are able to choose whether they would like a cash settlement or for us to source a replacement if their car is written-off after an accident or accidental damage2.

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For more information and any media enquiries please contact the Churchill team at Frank PR; / 020 7693 6999

Notes to Editor

  • 1 Churchill survey was conducted by Opinium amongst 2,004 UK adults aged 18+ between 1st – 4th September 2017.
  • 2 Comprehensive policies only. A minimum car purchase price of £3,500 applies and is subject to availability. Excludes theft claims. If your car is written off due to an accident, vandalism, fire or flood you will be given the option of receiving a cheque to the value of replacing the car.


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting