Households face £435m bill shock

11th February 2015

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Over five million UK households are shocked by their bills, paying on average £84.50 per household more than they expected on their most recent demands from suppliers.

Consumers are most likely to be shocked by their energy bill with 30% underestimating the cost, followed by car insurance, which was costlier than expected for 22% of households, according to a new study by Comparethemarket.com, the comparison website.

Credit card bills are the most underestimated  in monetary terms, with people spending an average of £124.34 more than they expected. Meanwhile, tax bills were on average£115.48 more than people anticipated.

Households in the UK are collectively paying in excess of £435 million more than expected on their bills.

Julie Daniels, head of financial products at comparethemarket.com, said: “With bills making up such a significant cost to households, it is critical that people make the most of the deals that are on offer. A significant number of customers feel like they’re paying too much for their energy and motor insurance – and in many instances they could well be right.

“However, despite the high shock levels, there is still a lot of inertia. Only 43% of the people we surveyed said they had ever switched providers as a result of a shocking bill. In the case of energy, people stand to save on average £263 a year if they switch provider, which would immediately cancel out the £70 more-than-expected shock. Crucially, spring cleaning your finances can help take some stress and pressure off household finances.”

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