Aug 22, 2017

  • A survey by Hyundai Motor UK of 2800 people across 28 cities has found that UK citizens give an average of £28,881 to charity in their adult years – more than the average annual wage
  • Oxford is officially the UK’s most generous city* with the average resident donating £405.96 each year through direct debit and £55.14 in sponsorships of others
  • Birmingham residents donated the highest percentage of their disposable income to charity, estimating they give 10.12% of it to good causes each month
  • It was Londoners that give most of their time to charity, claiming 12.15% of their free time was spent volunteering
  • The research was commissioned by Hyundai Motor UK, who has built the world’s first contactless fundraising car for Stand Up To Cancer – an IONIQ electric vehicle
  • One in ten respondents said they would be more likely to contribute to charity if they were able to use contactless payments

New research has found that the average person in the UK will give nearly £30,000 to charity over the course of their adult lifetime. With the current average wage at £27,600, that means they will donate more than a year’s wages to good causes during their life. The average adult lifespan in the UK is 60.2 years, as stated by The Office for National Statistics.

The results revealed the incredible generosity of the UK, and its most generous city. Coming top is Oxford*, with residents donating £405.96 each year through direct debit, followed by residents of London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester who completed the top five.

Looking purely at the percentage of disposable income given to charity each month, it was Birmingham that came out on top, with 10.12%, while Londoners were most generous with their time, volunteering for good causes more than any other city.

The survey was carried out by Hyundai Motor UK, which has partnered with Stand Up To Cancer to raise funds for game-changing research - and polled a total of 2800 adults, with 100 respondents in 28 cities across the UK.

Lifetime donations - the key stats

Direct debits account for the majority of donations, with those surveyed giving away an average of £23.04 per month, totalling £16,671 over an average lifetime. 1.16% generously donate more than £300 per month in direct debits alone, which would see them giving over £210,000 during a typical lifetime.

Just behind direct debits, was the amount spent at charity shops, with the total spend being more than £8,000 during an average adult lifetime, most choosing to spend their money on clothing and books. There were, however, some more unusual charity shop buys among the respondents, including a bust of William Shakespeare, a Chinese footbath and a home-made ukulele.

Typically, a person in the UK will give £1,831 to collection boxes during their lifetime – around £30 per year – and £2,275 in sponsorship of friends and family for charitable causes.

On top of spending their own money, there’s the amount of money that those polled estimated they have raised for charity. Through marathons and other charitable activities, the respondents had raised an average of £1,263, with an incredible 3.87% of respondents claiming to have raised over £10,000.

Oxford: officially the UK’s most generous city

As well as giving more to charity through direct debits and sponsorship than any other city in the UK, the average Oxford resident will also spend £162.24 in charity shops per month, estimating that around 8% of their disposable income goes to charity.

When it comes to leaving money in their will, Oxfordians are the second most generous in the country, beaten to the top spot only by those in Brighton. They also finished eighth for the amount they had raised in sponsorship during their lifetime, with £1,462, but were beaten to the top spot by Cardiff. Residents of the Welsh capital city estimated they had raised an average of £2,122 each during their lives.

Cardiff’s impressive fundraising was enough to secure its position as the UK’s third most generous city, just behind Oxford and London but ahead of the fourth most generous, Birmingham and the fifth most generous, Manchester.

While Oxfordians are the most generous with money, Londoners give away more of their free time, estimating they spend about 12% per week volunteering for charity, with Manchester the next highest at 10%.

The research was commissioned by Hyundai Motor UK, which has launched a brand-new world-first ‘Contactless Car’ for Stand Up To Cancer, allowing people to tap their contactless device to donate to Stand Up To Cancer.

The Contactless Car – a Hyundai IONIQ all-electric vehicle – follows on from a successful trial carried out by Cancer Research UK as part of the 2016 Stand Up To Cancer campaign, which equipped cash bucket collectors with technology that allowed them to take contactless payments.

Supporter feedback from this trial was overwhelmingly positive, with 25% of income being generated from contactless donations. In fact, one in ten respondents stated that they would be more likely to contribute to charity if they could use contactless payments. Since May 2017, Hyundai Motor UK has so far raised over £40,000 through Contactless Car donations and employee fundraising.

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Here in the UK we’re an incredibly generous nation – to give away nearly £30,000 over a lifetime is something to be extremely proud of – and special respect must go to the residents of Oxford, officially the UK’s most generous city. We’re trying to do our bit here at Hyundai Motor UK, too, the only way we know how; with innovation and technology. Our ‘contactless’ IONIQ EV is a world-first and has been raising funds for important cancer research up and down the UK.”

Rachel Carr, head of Stand Up To Cancer, said: “Since Hyundai unveiled its world-first Contactless Car, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from the public. So many people have tapped the car to donate and, as Hyundai’s findings show, we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg of how much and how regularly people give.

“Stand Up To Cancer is all about driving forward game-changing science that saves lives. And we couldn’t do it without the support of the amazing people who are joining the rebellion against the disease by donating, fundraising and sponsoring our research.”

Jake Humphrey, TV presenter and Hyundai ambassador, said: “Throughout the UK millions of people every day are giving, sponsoring, and raising awareness of charitable causes, just like Hyundai is doing here with its Contactless Car.”

UK’s most generous cities: the top five

1. Oxford (per individual, average)
Direct debits/ month: £33.83
Collection boxes/ year: £29.24
Spent in charity shops/ month: £13.52
Sponsorship of others/ year: £55.14
Money raised so far: £1,462
Leave money to charity in will: 27.91% yes

2. London (per individual, average)
Direct debits/ month: £29.03
Collection boxes/ year: £32.88
Spent in charity shops/ month: £13.01
Sponsorship of others/ year: £54.35
Money raised so far: £1,172
Leave money to charity in will: 20% yes

3. Cardiff (per individual, average)
Direct debits/ month: £29.68
Collection boxes/ year: £31.42
Spent in charity shops/ month: £11.22
Sponsorship of others/ year: £45.76
Money raised so far: £2,122
Leave money to charity in will: 21% yes

4. Birmingham (per individual, average)
Direct debits/ month: £25.30
Collection boxes/ year: £26.71
Spent in charity shops/ month: £10.75
Sponsorship of others/ year: £32.42
Money raised so far: £1305
Leave money to charity in will: 20% yes

5. Manchester (per individual, average)
Direct debits/ month: £18.24
Collection boxes/ year: £28.11
Spent in charity shops/ month: £11.22
Sponsorship of others/ year: £40.67
Money raised so far: £876
Leave money to charity in will: 19% yes

*The most generous city was calculated using the average of:
Amount donated by direct debit per month
Amount given to charity collection boxes per year
Amount spent in charity shops per month
Amount spent sponsoring others per year
Money raised for charitable causes
Percentage that will leave money to charity in their will
Percentage of disposable income donated to charity per month

About Hyundai Motor

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centres worldwide and in 2015 sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With more than 110,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localised models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell and IONIQ, the world’s first model with three electrified powertrains in a single body type. 

About Hyundai Motor UK

Hyundai has sold vehicles in the UK since 1982. In 2005, Hyundai opened its own UK subsidiary, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd, based in High Wycombe. Since 2008, the company has risen from 21st to one of the top 10 car manufacturers in the UK and last year sold a record 92,510 vehicles. Hyundai Motor UK employs more than 3,000 people through its UK operations and dealer network. Hyundai offers a full range of vehicles from the award-winning New Generation i10 city car through to the capable Santa Fe SUV and iLoad LCV. All passenger cars come with Hyundai’s industry-leading 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty package. Further information about Hyundai and its products is available at

About Stand Up To Cancer (UK)

  • Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 
  • The campaign returns this autumn with a variety of fundraising activities and a series of special programming on Channel 4
  • Launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer funds game-changing research that accelerates new cancer treatments and tests to UK patients, and across the world, to ultimately save more lives 
  • More than £38 million has been raised in the UK to date and over 40 trials and projects have been funded, that will involve more than 10,000 cancer patients
  • Research projects include the development of the ‘chemo-package’ to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; testing arsenic as a weapon to make cancer self-cannibalise; using viruses to seek and destroy cancer cells while boosting the immune system, and much, much more!
  • Stars such as Naomi Campbell, Noel Gallagher, Nicole Scherzinger, Pharrell Williams, Tom Hardy, Gillian Anderson, Britney Spears, Idris Elba, Andy Murray, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Martin Freeman, Jamie Oliver, Kathy Burke, Miranda Hart, Paul O’Grady, Richard Ayoade, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jack O’Connell, Lily James, Rosamund Pike, Sophie Turner, Stephen Graham, Toby Jones and Will Poulter are just some of the talent who have supported Stand Up To Cancer

To find out more about fundraising activities visit or or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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For more information, please contact:

Natasha Waddington
Head of PR
01494 428646
07771 975692
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Laura King
Senior Manager, Brand PR
01494 428685
07817 264224
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Robin Hayles
Product PR Manager
01494 428655
07836 579628
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Yasmin Fletcher
Press Officer
01494 428721
07860 188073
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Sarah Saunders
PR Executive
01494 428617
07812 086167
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For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, please contact:

Issy Evans
Senior PR manager
0203 469 8302
[email protected]

Lois Wilson
Senior PR officer
0203 469 8427
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