Data Hub: How the clocks changing could cost you money

In the UK, every year the clocks go forward 1 hour on the last Sunday in March, and then back 1 hour on the last Sunday in October, which is known as daylight saving time. Clocks changing can impact Brits in many ways and could even end up costing you money. Throughout this article, we will be investigating the key statistics surrounding the changing clocks.

To investigate the statistics around clocks changing, at Little Loans we have conducted our own research as well as gathered information from other trusted sources which will be included and referenced throughout this collection of statistics.

Clocks going forward causes missed appointments

Every year the clocks go forward in March and research shows that this can cause Brits to miss appointments.

We conducted a survey of 2,000 nationally representative Brits, which showed that almost one in three (29%) of Brits have missed appointments due to the clocks going forward. Of those who have missed appointments:

  • 50% have missed social appointments such as parties or days out
  • 48% have missed work related appointments such as meeting or interviews
  • 47% have missed healthcare appointments such as dentist appointments, eye tests or doctors check ups
  • 38% have missed beauty appointments such as haircuts and nail appointments
  • 35% have missed childcare appointments such as school drop offs and babysitting commitments

On average, the amount of money that Brits have lost by missing the above kind of appointments is £30.60. This means that £17,950.84 has been lost from missed appointments from the survey participants alone.

In the UK, there are approximately 53,369,083 people over the age of 18. From our survey data, we can assume that 15,477,034 have missed appointments as a result of the clocks going forward, therefore costing a total of £473,597,242 in the UK.

In relation to age, 78% of 18-24 year olds have admitted to missing an appointment due to the clocks going forward, in comparison to the national average of 29%. The data shows that as Brits get older, the less likely they are to miss appointments due to the clocks going forward, with only 12% of over 65s saying they have missed an appointment, this age group has the lowest number of missed appointments due to the clocks changing.

Research carried out by the University of York and Lancaster University also shows that the number of missed hospital appointments increases following the clocks going forward. The research revealed that patients are 5% more likely to miss a hospital appointment the week after the clocks go forward compared to the previous week. This also costs the NHS money as each hospital outpatient appointment costs the NHS approximately £120, so missed appointments can have a significant financial impact on the NHS as well.

Clocks going forward causes missed public transport

Our survey data also found that the clocks going forward has caused 15% of Brits to miss a form of public transport in the past. Out of those who have missed public transport:

  • 60% have missed a bus
  • 60% have missed a train
  • 34% have missed a flight
  • 34% have missed a taxi
  • 24% have missed the London Underground
  • 18% have missed a tram
  • 15% have missed a ferry

Of those who have missed a form of public transport due to the clocks going forward, they estimate that it has cost them £41.20 on average. Out of the total survey participants, that is a total of £12,331.64 lost from missing public transport due to the clocks going forward.

Again, the age group with the highest rate of missing public transport due to the clocks going forward is 18-24 year olds, with almost half (49%) admitting to missing a form of public transport in the past. 15% of 18-34 year olds said that they have lost over £151 as a result of missing public transport because of the clocks going forward.

Clocks going back increases electricity bills

Every year in the UK the clocks go back in October and according to Professor Foley from Queen’s University in Belfast, this increases electricity bills. According to Professor Foley, who specialises in clean energy research, households could save £1.20 a day and over £400 a year on electricity bills if the clocks were not put back at the end of October.

Professor Foley’s comment; “By simply foregoing the winter Daylight Savings Time (DST) in October, we save energy because it is brighter in the evening during winter, so we reduce commercial and residential electrical demand as people leave work earlier, and go home earlier, meaning less lighting and heating is needed.”

Professor Foley calculated that foregoing the winter Daylight Savings Time, it would flatten the evening peak curves on energy demand by up to 10% if commercial demand is included.

Clocks changing cause more road traffic accidents

Reports have shown that clocks changing can cause more traffic accidents in the two fortnights that follow the clock changes. A study found that on average, there are 204 more personal injury collisions each year in the two fortnights following the clock changes than in the fortnights before the clock changes. This is an increase of 2%.

There is an increase of 278 collisions the fortnight after the clocks go backwards in October which is an increase of 5.1%.

An increase in the amount of traffic injuries can cost a lot of money, with a fatal accident in Great Britain resulting in, on average, almost £2 million of prevention costs. And the cost of slight accidents is substantially lower but is still significant, reaching almost £16,700.


From the research that has been carried out, it is clear to see that there are many ways in which daylight-saving time can cost you money. From missed appointments to an increase in traffic collisions, changing the clocks can have a severe impact on your bank account.

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