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11 million drivers preparing to switch insurers

Drivers fight back over doubling renewal price increases

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Up to 11 million UK drivers are looking to switch insurers this year as renewal prices rise, according to independent research company Consumer Intelligence.

Shopping around

The research found that the number of drivers shopping around at renewal time has reached a three-year high.

Up to 83% of drivers now claim to search for a better deal when their insurance renewal is due, the highest level since 2013, while 40% of drivers are expected to make the switch to a different insurer this year.

Prices rising

Drivers are looking to get a better deal on their car insurance as renewal prices rise. Consumer Intelligence found renewal price increases have doubled year-on-year. The average premium at renewal has increased by £22 in 2016, compared to an £11 increase last year.

Older drivers have been suffering from sharper price rises, with average premiums for over-50s up by 15.3% this year, compared to a 9.3% increase for drivers under the age of 25.

The steep price hike can be partly blamed on an increase in insurance premium tax, which rose from 6% to 9.5% of premiums in November 2015. A further increase is expected later this year, taking the rate of insurance premium tax to 10% of the premium cost.

270,000 more switches

While Consumer Intelligence found that the majority of drivers are shopping around for a better deal, around half still decide to stay with their current insurer at renewal time. However, the number of people taking advantage of other insurers’ prices is on the rise.

This year 50.5% of drivers stayed with their existing insurer as opposed to 51.5% this time last year. This 1% change may seem small, but translates into an extra 270,000 consumers a year switching insurers.

Ian Hughes, Chief Executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “The message of rising car insurance premiums is really hitting home and drivers are making the sensible decision to look around for the best deal. We are seeing a real acceleration in shopping around and up to 11 million of the UK’s 27 million private car owners will move this year.”

Want to shop around for a better deal on your car insurance? Get started by comparing quotes with uSwitch below:

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  • Tellemhowitis

    My insurer the one with a name that would suggest that they are in my home city of Liverpool sent me a renewal notice – as they have done for the last several years. It was for my ‘Toy’ a 2000 (W) BMW Z3 2.0ltr Auto. They were expecting a renewal at an increase of £119.07p – I have 25+yrs of no accidents.
    Oh by the way,I am 70yrs young.
    After ringing them and getting absolutely nowhere other than a token reduction – I voted with my mouth and wallet.
    I had already been given a figure from another insurer that was actually that was £11.00 more than I paid last year.
    The new insurer turned out to be a company linked to my previous insurer. They incidentally lost my business in December 2015 because they attempted to jack up my insurance on a 2004 Volvo D5 SE Geartronic by some insane amount of money – they don’t learn and are not particularly bothered – there are many many more ‘Cash Cows’ that the one that has written this.
    RIP OF BRITAIN is alive and thriving in the offices of the insurance companies and or the underwriters – it needs some serious looking-at NOW.

    • Disgruntled Cockney

      Couldn’t agree with you more.
      I have had similar experiences although i am half your age and live in London renewal quote literally doubled despite no change in circumstances and no claims being made.
      I encountered the same couldn’t care less attitude.


  • Fluffy

    Do I have to wait until my car insurance is due for renewal before switching?

    • Tellemhowitis

      Generally speaking you will need to wait for your renewal notice because if you cease/cancel mid term you will almost certainly be penalised and besides – you need your proof of no claims bonus – that is something that you might have to ask for.

  • Deanna Lyons

    in April, my insurer, whom I had been with for a couple of years had increased my premium to £500, so after getting comparisons I found a quote for about £80 cheaper so I phoned my insurance company and said I wished to cancel because it was too expensive – I didn’t bother to ask them to match the cheaper quote as I normally would have, as I had made my mind up to change. I was told because I had been with them a few years they could do a deal and then quoted me £350- obviously I didn’t cancel and even more pleased i didn’t ask them to “price match” ! Result!!