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Are you driving an accident-prone car?

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We’ve found out which makes and models are most and least likely to be involved in collisions.

Dented car

Does the type of car you drive affect your chances of being involved in an accident?

Clearly if you have a high-performance motor capable of super-fast acceleration and incredible speeds, the risk of losing control or crashing is likely to be greater – and this increased risk is inevitably going to be reflected in higher car insurance premiums.

But we’ve taken a look at Confused.com’s motor insurance database to find out which makes and models or car are most – and least – likely to be involved in claims related to collisions and prangs.

What these figures mean

The statistics that we discuss below offer just a snapshot of the number of accident-related claims made by owners of a particular make and model of vehicle.

So it is worth stressing that if one particular car appears to have a relatively high rate of claims, it does not follow that this vehicle is inherently more dangerous than others.

(Car accidents are rarely a result of mechanical failures: they are almost always caused by human error or just bad fortune.)

It could be that drivers of this model happen to be more careless or reckless than other motorists. Or it could simply be that this group of road users has been particularly unlucky in the period when the data was collected.

Bear in mind also that this research reflects only the experience of Confused.com customers: other companies’ figures could show different trends.

But if you do spot one of the makes of car with the highest accident rates while you’re out on the road, it could make sense to take a bit of extra care.

Highest car accident claim rates

Driver on the phone after a car accident

So which models had the highest proportion of claims linked to accidents?

We looked at figures from Confused.com’s database over the past 12 months, based on all types of accident claims: this means those where the driver of a particular vehicle was at fault as well as cases where the other party took responsibility, and claims where no blame could be apportioned.

Top of the list was Honda’s FR-V six-seater: between them, 2,529 owners of these vehicles made 466 accident claims in the past year. That’s a claim rate of 18.4% or almost one in five.

Next came Volvo’s XC90: of the 3,886 drivers of this model who bought cover through Confused.com, 619 made claims for accidents – a rate of 15.9%.

The Lexus RX had a claim rate of 15.5% (574 claims out of 3,701 drivers), followed by the Mazda 5 (15.3%, or 373 out of 2,431).

Also in the top 10 vehicles for claims were Honda’s Jazz and CR-V models, Volkswagen’s Touran, the Hyundai Santa, the Toyota Rav and the Mazda 3. Each had a rate of about one accident claim for every seven vehicles insured through insurers on the Confused.com panel.

Lowest claim rates

Which cars were least likely to be involved in accident claims?

Apparently the safest of all was the Mazda 2 TS TD – out of a total of 1,076 owners, only nine accident claims were recorded in the last 12 months. That makes a claims rate of less than one in 100.

Also hovering around the 1% claims-rate mark were Nissan’s Skyline, the Ford Focus RS and the Fiat Cinquecento. 

Figures are based on quotes from Confused.com, between 11 may 2010 and 11 may 2011.

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