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Car insurance customers who don't compare are overpaying by £1billion

10 March 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Five million UK motorists do not compare car insurance before they buy, and are consequently wasting as much as £1billion a year, new research has found.

To mark one of the busiest times for car insurance

renewals, comparison website

has carried out a survey which reveals a significant number of drivers are wasting money by not bothering to compare quotes.

It found that 19 per cent of car owners simply renew with their current insurance provider without so much as getting one quote from a competitor, which could be leading them to spend a total £1billion more then necessary each year.

Even though almost 50 per cent of drivers say they worry about receiving their renewal quote in case it has increased, and nearly 70 per cent agree that car insurance companies offer the best deals to new customers rather than existing ones, many still do not compare car insurance before the renew.

While they realise that car insurance quotes can vary from one provider to another, 27 per cent of respondents said that they do not compare their renewal quote with other providers because theirs was the cheapest quote last year so they assume it will be the same story this year.

But if they were guaranteed a saving on their car insurance, then 27 per cent said that they would switch to another insurer, regardless of how much, while 81 per cent said that they would switch if they would save at least £75 on their premium. has calculated that the average driver could save £207 on their car insurance, demonstrating the extent to which drivers are unaware of the savings which are available.

Hayley Parsons, CEO of said: "Our experience shows that insurers almost always offer more attractive quotes to new customers than they do to their existing clients and it is encouraging to see this message is gradually getting through.

"However, hundreds of thousands of motorists still mistakenly believe that because their insurer gave them a great deal in the past they are bound to still be competitive now. The idea that one insurer will remain the most competitive from one year to the next or that customers will be rewarded for their loyalty couldn't be further from the truth."

In fact, Gocompare found that British consumers could save more money in 10 minutes by comparing quotes to find a better car insurance deal than they would by investing in a Cash ISA for 18 months.

Ms Parsons also commented on the fact that some drivers are concerned that their insurers do not make it clear whether or not their renewal quote has increased on the previous year's.

"Very few renewal notices show what you paid for your insurance last year because your new premium may have gone up," she said.

"Insurers don't want to spell this out for you in black and white in case the increase prompts you to compare your renewal quote against their competitors. However, this is exactly what you should do because expensive renewal quotes have no place to hide on a comparison site. At the very least, shopping around will enable you to see how your renewal quote compares with a much wider range of policies."

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