Drivers who are excited about their new car and want to drive it off the forecourt that day are an easy target for car manufacturers who charge an average of 26 per cent more than other providers.
Research from uSwitch.com has found that consumers could get the same cover from the underwriter of the car insurance
policy for 10 per cent less – an average saving of £30 – and if they didn't let their new-car enthusiasm get the better of them and shopped around for the most competitive deals they could save 26 per cent, or £92 – a total of £48 million.
More than one million new cars were sold in 2007, and similar sales are expected for 2008; buyers of new cars are boosting car manufacturers' profits by £15 million a year by giving into the temptation of driving their new car away there and then and opting for their cleverly marketed insurance without comparing a number of car insurance quotes
uSwitch.com found that insuring a new Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CDTi with the manufacturer's insurance costs an average of £316.05, but if the same driver went directly to RBS which underwrites Vauxhall's insurance policies, they could pay £287.70. However, they could save even more if they shopped around the market, and cover their car for just £246.55, saving £69.50 a year on the manufacturer's price.
"Motorists tempted to opt for 'on the spot' manufacturer insurance must be warned that unless they are getting a full year for free they will be paying more than they need to for their cover." said Ashton Berkhauer, insurance expert at uSwitch.com.
"This is good news for the manufacturer's profits, but bad news for motorists' pockets."
However, he continues, this is one extra cost that's very easy to avoid – if motorists simply shop around they can ensure that they pay the lowest price for the level of cover they need. "Insurance through the manufacturer rarely comes with any extra benefits, just an extra cost unless it's completely free." he added.
"In some cases, manufacturer insurance is given away free with a new car. If a manufacturer does offer free insurance, motorists should seriously consider taking it. However, they should make sure they fully understand the policy before signing on the dotted line.
"Consumers need to check that the voluntary excess is not unreasonable so they won't be stung if they come to make a claim. Most importantly, they should make a note of their renewal date so they don't get stuck with the same insurer after the free cover expires."
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