Drivers wasting £1.9bn every year by ‘auto renewing’ car insurance

12th May 2014

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UK motorists are throwing away almost £2bn every year by staying loyal to their existing car insurer and not shopping around for a better deal.

According to research from comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com British drivers typically waste some £220 each or a collective £1.9bn as a result of apathy when it comes renewing their car insurance.

MoneySuperMarket.com has found that some 8.6m drivers automatically renew their car insurance with their existing provider and of these 13% do not think they could save money by shopping around. A further 7%, or 2.4m motorists ‘automatically renew’ because they simply cannot be bothered to look for a cheaper deal.

Many motorists assume shopping around for car insurance once is enough. One in five admits they have only looked for a better deal once, as they did not think they could make another saving the following year. London-based drivers are most likely to fall into this trap, with 31% admitting they thought that way.

Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket.com says: “It’s a shame to see so many drivers blindly accept their insurance provider’s renewal quote instead of taking action to save cash on their cover. Motorists don’t even need to ‘drive’ a hard bargain. Average premium quotations are up to £220 less for those who shop around. It really pays to not just accept the renewal price quoted by your existing car insurer.”

On average motorists remain faithful to the same insurer for two and a half years, with the over 55s being the most loyal age group, averaging 3.2 years with the same insurer, compared to 1.9 years for drivers aged 18-34 and 2.1 years for those aged 35-54. Female drivers are more likely to switch insurer, averaging two years with the same one, compared to three years for male drivers. Regionally, London drivers are most likely to automatically renew their car insurance policies, at 39%, and those living in the East Midlands are the savviest motorists, with only 15% staying loyal to their existing insurer.

Pratt adds: “No matter where you live or what age you are, it’s crucial to shop around at renewal time, as searching for a better deal doesn’t cost you anything and there is a whole lot to gain. Even if your renewal is less than last year’s price, in a market where the cost of insurance is falling there should be even cheaper deals to be so it’s really worth checking if there is a better value policy out there to suit your individual needs. With a potential saving in the region of £200 it’s surely worth five minutes of anybody’s time?”

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