THE PERPETUALLY-INEBRIATED characters of Withnail and I famously drove a Jaguar Mk2, but it’s classic Morris Minors that are most likely to be driven by people who’ve “only had a few ales”, according to a recent study.
After examining 6m insurance quotes, the comparison website MoneySupermarket found owners of the cult British car, built in huge volumes between 1948 and 1972, were proportionally the most likely to have had a drink or drug driving conviction in the last 12 months.
On average, four out of every 1,000 Morris Minor owners in the UK were found guilty of committing one of those offences in the last year. That ratio was found to be in line with drivers of other Morrises, as 3.9 out of every 1,000 owners were booked for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
However, Morris wasn’t at the top of the chart for car brands; owners of Panther cars, the ultra-low volume British car maker that only ever produced 1,500 vehicles, were way out in front; MoneySupermarket calculated an average of 33.3 out of every 1,000 drivers were caught under the influence in 2017/18.
Owners of Mahindra or Datsun models were also quite likely to have been caught drink- or drug-driving, with respective conviction ratios of 12.9 and 6.8 for every 1,000 owners.
Contrasting with those results, Lotus, Daimler, Delorean and Hummer drivers had completely clean records over the same time period.
Emma Garland, data scientist at MoneySupermarket, said: “Never judge a book by its cover. Owners of classic Morris and MG motors are within the top ten of the highest drink and drug driving convictions, whereas flashier makes come in far lower on the list.
“As well as putting others at risk, drink or drug driving puts you at risk of a ban, a big fine and higher [insurance] premiums, no matter what car you drive.”
Top 10 car makes for drink or drug driving
The manufacturers with the most drink or drug driving convictions in 2017/18, as a proportion of every 1,000 drivers.
1 Panther 33.3
2 Mahindra 12.9
3 Datsun 6.8
4 Morris 3.9
5 MG 2.2
6 Austin 2.1
7 Isuzu 2.1
8 Caterham 1.9
9 Rolls Royce 1.6
10 Vauxhall 1.4
The cars least likely to be driven under the influence
The manufacturers that made the bottom of the MoneySupermarket list suggest supercar owners are among those more likely to drive sober.
1 Ferrari 0.3
2 Porsche 0.5
3 Kia 0.5
4 Aston Martin 0.5
5 Dacia 0.6
6 Toyota 0.6
7 Daihatsu 0.6
8 Nissan 0.6
9 Lamborghini 0.6
10 Skoda 0.6