Defaqto rating: 3/5 stars (Roadside, Recovery & At Home) and 2/5 stars (Roadside & Recovery)
Independent rating provider Defaqto hands Santander’s Roadside, Recovery & At Home policy a 2020 three-star rating out of a possible five stars. Its Roadside & Recovery policy drew a Defaqto two-star rating (2020).
Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star rating have the same covers and terms.
Trustpilot rating: 1.5/5 stars
Trustpilot gives Santander Group an overall score of 1.5 stars out of five based on almost 2,500 reviews.
Santander did recive a 2020 Moneyfact's five-star rating, however.
Santander car insurance is backed by its parent banking group, which originated in the North Spanish port of Santander. Santander’s roots go back to 1857 and it has become the UK’s fifth biggest bank.
Car and motorbike insurer BISL Limited handles the car insurance arm’s administration while a panel of underwriters provide liability and financial heft.
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Santander car insurance has a reputation for efficient service and fair value premiums. Overall Santander claims it offers value for money with half of its customers paying less than £314 for a policy.
If you have one or more cars to cover
If you’re willing to apply directly to Santander there's a 10% discount
If you travel up to 60 days a year in Europe, its free cover has useful appeal
There’s a 24-hour hotline for claims and Santander says it honours a 10% cashback on car insurance if you go to them directly. Quotations are valid for 30 days. It’s possible to make adjustments online to your policy through Santander’s car insurance portal.
Santander has a clear Coronavirus policy for any customer impacted.
Santander is a broker. Support and advice depends on your insurer identified by Santander – so you would need to speak to your insurer directly. There is a 24-hour access to a claims line for motor legal protection, though this is an extra-cost option.
Santander says all customers have 24-hour access to its online self-service centre where you can access all your policy documents as long as you have an internet connection.
Santander has attracted UK media attention for snipping the interest on its evergreen 123 current account. From 3 August 2020 this drops to 0.6% from 1% on balances up to £20,000 across its 123, Select and Private current accounts.
Up to 4m Santander customers will be affected by more cashback changes from late October 2020. Phone, TV and broadband cashback drops from 3% to 1% but water bill cashback increases from 1% to 3%. The changes relate to those with 123 and 123 Lite accounts.
On home turf (Spain) Santander is getting into the car subscription service with WabiCar with up to 930 miles of driving per month available.
Like many other large financial companies Santander has been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. In April 2020 credit agency Fitch Ratings downgraded the Santander Group from Stable to Negative. This downgrade should not affect its consumer group operations.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received fewer than 10 complaints about Santander motor insurance in the first half of 2020 (that could be just as a single complaint). But Santander’s provider, BISL, received 76 complaints. To put that in context, 67 firms had 10 or more complaints each and those totalled 4,550 complaints. Nearly 200 firms had fewer than 10 each, sharing just 479 complaints between them.