1 in 3 motorists switches car insurer after making a claim

More than 1 in 4 motorists switch car insurer after a claim

1 in 3 motorists switches car insurer after making a claimYou only realise how much you need car insurance when it comes to making a claim. But for more than a quarter of drivers, a below-par claims process shows that they don’t need their current insurer: 29 percent of those who’ve made a claim admit switching insurer when their policy comes up for renewal.

This seems bizarre. Surely car insurers should come into their own when their services are actually required? Use it as an opportunity to build customer loyalty? Not so, according to a survey by comparethemarket, which found that 3 in 4 motorists find the claims process “frustrating and slow”.

Other complaints include “rude and abrupt claims handlers”, generally poor customer service and final pay-outs that didn’t fully measure up to overall costs.

Just 1 in 10 policyholders received a pay-out of more than £5,000.

And just to add salt to the wound, 44 percent of motorists said they noticed a “significant increase” to their renewal premium following the claim. That’s why 64 percent of people who did switch said the main reason was finding better value elsewhere.

“It is disappointing to see that so many drivers who made a claim, but weren’t at fault, are seeing their premiums rise at renewal”, said comparethemarket’s director of insurance Simon McCulloch.

“Most claimants do not feel properly trusted or supported by their insurer when making a claim. For drivers, making a claim is the ‘moment of truth’, and the potentially traumatic circumstances can make the claims process all the more difficult and stressful.”

The best antidote to this? Do as so many already are doing, and “vote with your feet”. Arguably, the boss of comparethemarket would say this. But the fact nearly 30 percent of people do actually switch insurer following a claim still suggests too many people are experiencing poor car insurance service when they need it most.   

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

The cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

You’re young, you’ve just passed your driving test, and you’ve got the keys to independence. It’s time to buy a car. Only it’s not that simple, because the shortlist of four-wheeled delights you’ve lined up for your first taste of the open road soon becomes even shorter. The problem: car insurance.

Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that one-tenth of a young driver’s salary is spent on car insurance, and that’s before you’ve factored in the cost of fuel, servicing and the monthly repayments on your new motor. Comparethemarket.com has released details of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure for 17-24 year-olds, based on the average price returned for vehicles with more than 1,000 enquiries for a particular model. Opt for one of these motors and you stand a better chance of not paying over the odds.

10. Citroen C1: £1,267.24

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

A car’s insurance group rating will play a big part in the price you pay for your annual premium, with groups ranging from one to 50. The lower the group, the less you’ll pay, but other factors will influence the price, such as your postcode, employment status, how many miles you drive in a year and the value of the car.

According to Comparethemarket.com, the new Citroen C1 costs an average of £1,267.24 to insure, which is actually more than the £973 average quoted by ABI in its young driver analysis. A couple of things play a part here: this average is based on 18-21 year-olds and it also includes cheaper, used vehicles.

9. Ford Ka+ Zetec: £1,267.06

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

“More than any other drivers, young motorists need relief from rising motor insurance premiums. While telematics technology is helping many young drivers manage their insurance bills, cost pressures keep mounting. The Government has a key role in helping keep motor insurance costs under control, and this latest analysis highlights why they need to implement their proposals to reform personal injury compensation and lower value whiplash-style claims as soon as possible,” says James Dalton of the ABI.

The Ford Ka+ won’t top many lists of dream cars, but at least the insurance premium is unlikely to result in too many nightmares. The basic Ka+ Studio slots into the lowest insurance group, although Comparethemarket.com says the Ka+ Zetec 1.2 Ti-VCT 70PS is the one to have.

8. Kia Rio 3: £1,265.39

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

The only Kia to be referenced in an Arctic Monkeys song – sort of – but the Rio won’t cut the mustard on the dancefloor. But, do you wanna know how much it will cost to insure Kia’s supermini? Around £1,265, if Comparethemarket.com is correct.

Prices start from £11,995, but you’ll have to dig deep to secure a Rio 3, for which the lowest price is £16,785. As first cars go, a well-specced Kia Rio 3 would be quite a start. Sure beats a rusty Mk3 Ford Fiesta or an Austin Metro with a hole in the floor. Or does it?

7. Vauxhall Viva: £1,259.76

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

It is said that young drivers are falling out of love with the car, but when faced with the prospect of the Vauxhall Viva, is it any wonder? Sure, the Viva is a thoroughly decent car, but since when was ‘thoroughly decent’ good enough for a young person? The Max Power generation wouldn’t have stood for it.

In fairness to the Vauxhall Viva, it does exactly what it says on the website: “Just think of the Vauxhall VIVA as insanely rational. It has everything you need, including five doors, five seats, class-leading comfort, ride and handling, together with class-defining assistance technology.” If you’re insanely rational, this is the car for you. Probably.

6. Fiat 500: £1,258.32

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

The Fiat 500 could be the automotive case of having your cake and eating it. It offers character and style by the bucket load and won’t break the bank when it comes to lacing your insurance broker’s palm with silver.

Much will depend on which engine size and trim level you opt for as insurance groups range from seven to 15. The 1.2-litre is likely to be cheaper to insure than the fizzy 0.9-litre TwinAir.

5. Skoda Citigo: £1,212.87

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

The Skoda Citigo might be the cheapest of the Up/Mii/Citigo trio, but it’s likely to be the most expensive to insure. But before you go running to your local Volkswagen or Seat dealer, it’s worth remembering that some models fall into the lowest insurance group.

Even the top trim levels with GreenTech engines slot into group four, so drive a Citigo for a year, build up some no-claims discount and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Or all the way to your banking app.

4. Volkswagen Up: £1,210.58

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

You’re young and enlightened, so you’re probably not bothered about the old Skoda jokes (ask your parents), but if you’re swayed by the VW roundel, the ‘Up exclamation mark’ is a wise choice.

According to Comparethemarket.com, it should be cheaper to insure, although you’ll want to avoid the turbocharged versions if you’re hoping to run a car on a strict budget. No GTI frolics for you. Well, not yet, anyway.

3. Seat Mii: £1,191.77

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

This lady has just been shopping. Why? Because she’s just saved a packet on her car insurance. Lower premiums mean more money to spend in Mango. Or something.

Seat is gunning for the female market with the Mii, which is why its website is filled with images of international bright young ladies. Jogging with dogs, chatting with friends, connecting a smartphone – it’s all there.

2. Vauxhall Adam: £1,189.14

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

The Vauxhall Adam is the very antithesis of the Viva, offering more personalisation options than you could shake a stick at. There are three trim levels to choose from – Jam, Glam and Slam – along with the crossover-styled Rocks and sporty S.

You will, of course, need to avoid the S to ensure your insurance quote stays the right side of a price comparable to the national debt, but many Adam models slot into groups two and three.

1. Fiat 500X: £1,040.39

Cheapest new cars for young drivers to insure

This is a surprise: the Fiat 500X might be the cheapest car to insure for young drivers. The groups range from five to 16, but this isn’t reflected in the prices returned by Comparethemarket.com. But ask yourself this: do you really want to drive a crossover at your age?

The Comparethemarket.com data would suggest otherwise, as the most popular car to insure for 17-24 year-olds is the Vauxhall Corsa. Other modes in the top 10 include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Seat Ibiza and Fiat Punto. The Audi A3 also gets a mention, which is proof that badges matter.

Read more:

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insureLooking to save money on your car insurance? Comparethemarket.com has released details of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure, based on the average price returned for cars with more than 1,000 enquiries for a particular model. By choosing one of these cars, you stand a better chance of not paying through the nose.

10. Dacia Duster: £541.72

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

According to Comparethemarket.com, where you live and where you store the car can have a big effect on the price of car insurance. The premium is affected by the risk of the vehicle being stolen and being bumped into when parked. Having access to a garage might lower the premium, but some insurers increase the price based on drivers misjudging the width of their car.

9. Mazda CX-5: £535.95

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Your employment status will have also affect the premium. For example, you’ll pay more if you drive regularly as part of your job or if you carry expensive tools or equipment in your vehicle. Racing drivers pay more, as do journalists and window cleaners

8. Hyundai ix20: £531.21

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Well-mannered and law-abiding citizens drive cars like the Hyundai ix20, which is why it’s a cheap car to drive. Having three points on your licence for a minor speeding offence will have a small impact, whereas a previous ban for drink-driving will make it hard to find a cheap policy. Some insurers will refuse to insure a previously convicted drink-driver.

7. Skoda Kodiaq: £515.48

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

The Skoda Kodiaq is one of the best crossovers on the market, but it’s not going to appeal to a young driver. For 17 to 25-year-olds, the cost of insurance can be as expensive as the vehicle itself, but the premiums will start to decrease from the age of 26.

6. Renault Kadjar: £507.89

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Comparethemarket.com is very specific here, referencing the Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 as one of the cheapest cars to insure.

5. Kia Venga 3: £499.26

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

Look, it’s the Kia Venga…

Comparethemarket.com loves the Kia Venga, boys.

4. SsangYong Korando: £495.92

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

The SsangYong Korando offers exceptional value for money, with prices starting from as little as £16,295. It should be cheap to insure, with Comparethemarket.com quoting an average of £495.92 for the SUV.

3. Citroen C3 Picasso: £488.22

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

The Citroen C3 Picasso has been replaced by the new C3 Aircross, but the old model is the one to have if you’re hoping to save money on your car insurance.

2. Skoda Roomster: £481.44

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

The Roomster disappeared from the Skoda range in 2015, but its practicality and clever packaging means that it’s a popular used car. It’s good to know it’ll be cheap to insure.

1. Skoda Yeti: £456.49

Revealed: the cheapest cars to insure

But it’s not the cheapest, because that accolade belongs to the now-departed Skoda Yeti. Another good reason to buy the quirky and brilliant Yeti, as if you needed an excuse.

Read more:

changes to road tax 2017

New 2017 road tax rules: a five-minute guide

changes to road tax 2017

From 1 April 2017, Vehicle Excise Duty – commonly known as road tax – is set for some major changes. If you’re looking to buy a new car in 2017, you really need to know about these and how they might affect you.

First things first – if you own a car registered before 1 April 2017, the changes don’t affect you. But if you’re in the market for something new, you have until the end of March 2017 if you don’t want to be stung by the reforms.

And that’s because, while there’s good news for some, the majority of drivers could be left out of pocket. Read on to find out more.

Why is the system changing?

Cast your mind back to the budget of summer 2015, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an overhaul of the current system. According to then Chancellor, George Osborne, the changes are required to fill a hole in the Treasury’s coffers.

In simple terms, you’re buying too many super-efficient petrol and diesel cars, and with a taxation system based on CO2 emissions, the government has been left out of pocket. Indeed, Osborne claimed that, under the current system, 75% of new cars would be eligible for free road tax by 2017.

Something had to give.

What are the changes to road tax?

The rate of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) will still be split into 13 bands and calculated on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. Only cars with 0g/km CO2 emissions will be eligible for free road tax. This is a big deal.

Since March 2001, new cars emitting less than 130g/km CO2 have been tax exempt in the first year, and subject to a sliding scale of taxation for each year thereafter. For example, buy a car in band B (101-110g/km) and you’ll pay nothing in the first year and just £20 from year two.

From April 2017, the cost will rise considerably. Not only will you pay £140 in the first year, you’ll also pay £140 in the second year and each year thereafter. So at the end of year three you’ll have spent £420 on tax – £380 more than if you bought the same car a month earlier.

The first-year rate of tax is based on a sliding scale, ranging from free road tax for electric and hybrid vehicles, to £2,000 for cars with CO2 emissions in excess of 255g/km. From the second year, all but the zero emissions cars move to flat rate of £140.

This is potentially good news for buyers of the least efficient cars on sale. Take the Bentley Flying Spur with a V12 engine. With CO2 emissions of 335g/km, under the current system you’ll pay £1,120 in the first year and then a hefty £515 from the second year.

Using the new system you’ll have to find £2,000 for the first year, but the second year rate drops to the standard £140. Keep the car for a few years and you’ll be quids in. But there is a catch…

From April, all vehicles with a list price of over £40,000 – including zero emission cars – will attract an additional rate of £310, payable each year for five years from the end of the first vehicle licence. At this point it drops to the standard rate.

Which means a Tesla Model S will cost £310 a year – a big shock for those who might be expecting free road tax.

Is it worth buying a car before April?

If you’re in the market for an efficient petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicle, it’s almost certainly worth registering it before the end of March. Indeed, industry experts are expecting one of the busiest months on record, as buyers also rush to grab a car with a new 17-plate.

Say, for example, you buy a new Suzuki Celerio with a 1.0-litre engine emitting 99g/km CO2. Register the car before the end of March and you’ll pay no road tax whatsoever. From April, you’ll pay £120 in year one and then £140 from year two. Three years on and you’re £400 out of pocket.

The case isn’t quite as clear cut when it comes to the least efficient vehicles, and much will depend on how long you intend to keep the car. There’s also the penalty for £40,000 cars to take into consideration.

Oh, and don’t think you’ll be able to escape the £310 fee by negotiating the price down below £40,000. The government will use the published list price. Go easy on the options, too, as these could push your car beyond the £40k mark.

Do the changes affect my current car?

Tax rates for vehicles registered on or before 31 March 2017 will not be affected by the changes.

VED bands and rates for cars first registered on or after 1 April 2017

CO2 emissions (g/km)First year rateStandard rate*
0£0£0
1 – 50£10£140
51 – 75£25£140
76 – 90£100£140
91 – 100£120£140
101 – 110£140£140
111 – 130£160£140
131 – 150£200£140
151 – 170£500£140
171 – 190£800£140
191 – 225£1200£140
226 – 255£1700£140
Over 255£2000£140

*Cars with a list price of over £40,000 when new pay an additional rate of £310 per year on top of the standard rate, for five years.

Van insurance costs rise in 2016

Van insurance costs rocket 11.7% in a year

Van insurance costs rise in 2016The cost of insuring a van has vastly outstripped inflation, rising by 11.7% in the 12 months to October 2016.

That’s according to Consumer Intelligence, which reveals the average van insurance policy is now priced at £1,591 – double the typical ‘best-buy premium’ for insuring a car.

Unsurprisingly, under-25s pay the most to insure their vans: a whopping £4,770 a year. However, costs for this age-group have risen by a relatively modest 3.6% – still above inflation, but lower than for van drivers overall.

Rising costs haven’t harmed van sales in the UK, though. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that 318,664 new vans have left showrooms so far this year – an all-time high. 

Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “Van drivers are paying double the average car insurance premium of £788, and with more people using their vans for work that adds to the costs of doing business.”

Consumer Intelligence suggests that drivers opt for ‘carriage of own goods’ cover to save money. This is suitable for ‘workers such as builders, plumbers, carpenters and shopkeepers who commute to work’ and has an average premium of £1,364.

By contrast, drivers who choose ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ insurance are stumping up £2,529, with premiums up by 15% in the past year.

Clarifying the difference between the two types of cover, Mr Hughes said: “Carriage of own goods cover can also include social, domestic and personal use. Drivers opting for social domestic and pleasure use generally have pastimes or hobbies that suit having a van as either their sole vehicle or as a second vehicle.”

Buy a used Nissan Leaf for £175 a month - with a tiny deposit

Buy a used Nissan Leaf for £175 a month – with a tiny deposit

Buy a used Nissan Leaf for £175 a month - with a tiny deposit

More than 15,000 Nissan Leafs have been registered in the UK this year – meaning it holds onto its crown as the country’s most popular electric car.

But the firm says, after four years on sale, the number of used examples on the market are increasing – making it more accessible than previously.

As such, Nissan is launching a £1,000 dealer deposit contribution towards a PCP deal on used examples of the Leaf – meaning you could drive one for £175 a month, following a deposit of just £175.

Available on the 24kWh Acenta model, buyers get a 12 month warranty and free home charge unit, while interest works out at 3.9% APR.

You’ll own the battery outright – although new examples are available with the battery leased from £70 a month – and Nissan will replace any part of the battery causing capacity loss below nine bars (out of 12), within the three-year battery warranty period.

A search on Auto Trader, meanwhile, reveals you can buy a three-year-old Leaf with 61,000 miles on the clock for £5,599 – and the dealer selling it is offering 0% finance.

If you’d prefer a new one, you can buy a new Acenta 24kWh for £249 a month over three years. This follows a deposit of around £2,500, while interest works out at 5.99% APR.

Should 'black box' insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

Should ‘black box’ insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

Should 'black box' insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

A black box manufacturer is calling on the Government to make telematics-based insurance a legal requirement for all drivers under the age of 21.

The increasingly popular telematics insurance policies are aimed at young drivers who are traditionally seen as higher risk, and pay more for their insurance as a result.

These policies fit a black box to the driver’s car, monitoring things like how often they speed, and where and when they drive. They can even report how aggressive they are during braking and cornering.

Careful drivers who avoid risky times and places are rewarded with lower premiums, while high-risk drivers are penalised with pricier insurance – and even face having their policy cancelled.

Black box provider Wunelli says the Government should be doing more to encourage the use of black boxes to monitor young peoples’ driving, claiming that drivers with telematics insurance are 20% less likely to be involved in a crash.

It says new drivers are now paying close to £2,000 a year in insurance on average, and this could go up as the Government increases insurance premium tax for the third time in five years.

The company says young drivers should be encouraged to use telematics insurance by cutting tax on black box policies, or going one step further and making it mandatory for under-21s.

It claims that, with 1,732 road deaths last year (and 14% of the drivers killed aged under 24), the UK Government could save millions by making telematics a legal requirement for young motorists. This would replace the income generated from the tax imposed on young driver policies.

“As the UK currently has no graduated licensing in place, it is crazy to think that young drivers can pass their test one day and the next day be driving a car full of people, on the motorway late at night,” said Wunelli’s founding director, Paul Stacy.

“Even if they have traditional motor insurance, there is no way to monitor their driving behaviour in those crucial first few years.”

According to the latest travel trends survey, the average 17-20 year old drives 1,307 miles per year – meaning they pay more than 12 times more per mile compared to older drivers.

Should 'black box' insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

Should 'black box' insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

Should 'black box' insurance become mandatory for young drivers?

A black box manufacturer is calling on the Government to make telematics-based insurance a legal requirement for all drivers under the age of 21.

The increasingly popular telematics insurance policies are aimed at young drivers who are traditionally seen as higher risk, and pay more for their insurance as a result.

These policies fit a black box to the driver’s car, monitoring things like how often they speed, and where and when they drive. They can even report how aggressive they are during braking and cornering.

Careful drivers who avoid risky times and places are rewarded with lower premiums, while high-risk drivers are penalised with pricier insurance – and even face having their policy cancelled.

Black box provider Wunelli says the Government should be doing more to encourage the use of black boxes to monitor young peoples’ driving, claiming that drivers with telematics insurance are 20% less likely to be involved in a crash.

It says new drivers are now paying close to £2,000 a year in insurance on average, and this could go up as the Government increases insurance premium tax for the third time in five years.

The company says young drivers should be encouraged to use telematics insurance by cutting tax on black box policies, or going one step further and making it mandatory for under-21s.

It claims that, with 1,732 road deaths last year (and 14% of the drivers killed aged under 24), the UK Government could save millions by making telematics a legal requirement for young motorists. This would replace the income generated from the tax imposed on young driver policies.

“As the UK currently has no graduated licensing in place, it is crazy to think that young drivers can pass their test one day and the next day be driving a car full of people, on the motorway late at night,” said Wunelli’s founding director, Paul Stacy.

“Even if they have traditional motor insurance, there is no way to monitor their driving behaviour in those crucial first few years.”

According to the latest travel trends survey, the average 17-20 year old drives 1,307 miles per year – meaning they pay more than 12 times more per mile compared to older drivers.

You can now get PCP deals on caravans and motorhomes

You can now get PCP deals on caravans and motorhomes

You can now get PCP deals on caravans and motorhomes

A new wave of stay-at-home holidaymakers could be hitting UK campsites as companies offer tempting PCP finance deals on new caravans and campers.

Vehicle data expert Glass’s says PCP – which is an increasingly popular way of financing new cars – could revolutionise the leisure vehicle market.

The firm’s director of valuations, Rupert Pontin, said: “Touring caravans and motorhomes are not cheap vehicles and you can easily spend £40,000 on the latter. However, the use of finance products in the market has tended to be quite limited, meaning that the typical buyer is an older person with savings.

“That has changed in recent months, with the arrival of a handful of finance companies entering the market. Now, the situation could change quite quickly. The touring caravan and motorhome market has been quite buoyant in recent years but we believe that this development could provide a further boost.”

As an example of a caravan PCP deal through Black Horse Finance, you could buy a high-spec two-berth Coachman Pastiche 260 caravan, with a cash price of £20,440, for slightly less than £300 a month. That’s over three years, following a deposit of £3,100.

Interest works out at 7.9% APR, meaning the total amount payable works out as £23,595.85.

“The key advantages of PCPs are that they make vehicles much more affordable and accessible,” Pontin added. “Crucially, they will allow younger buyers with families who would like a caravan or motorhome for stay-at-home holidays to seriously consider taking out a PCP, typically over 5-7 years.”

Haggling

Want to save money on your car insurance? Get haggling

Haggling

Haggling: you’re either good at it, or you’re not. But when it comes to car insurance, a little negotiation could go a long way. That’s according to market research agency Consumer Intelligence.

It found that while the average cost of an insurance premium rose by 13.5% over the past year, haggling with your existing provider at renewal time could result in a lower price. Indeed, one in five motorists are offered lower premiums by their existing insurer, who will match the best prices quoted elsewhere.

It’s never been easier to search for insurance cover. Gone are the days when you’d need to spend an entire morning on the telephone, armed with a copy of Yellow Pages, frantically searching for cover. Today, the price comparison websites do the majority of the legwork, leaving you to select the most appropriate deal.

All too often, we’re contacted by our existing provider with an offer substantially more than the price secured a year earlier. The rise in Insurance Premium Tax to 10% from October 1st doesn’t help, but it would appear there’s no reward for sticking with the same company. It’s particularly galling to see the provider on a price comparison site, with a lower price exclusively for new customers.

Be prepared to haggle

However, if Consumer Intelligence is to be believed, it pays to contact your insurer to see if they’ll match the prices offered elsewhere. With the average premium rising to £788, every penny counts. Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “Haggling with insurers clearly pays, as drivers who make the effort to negotiate are finding.

“Insurers are generally receptive to renewal premiums being queried and will offer reductions to try and keep customers. It’s always cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.

“When premiums are rising and other people are haggling successfully there really is no excuse for not haggling or shopping around.”

Data from Consumer Intelligence’s Car Insurance Index shows it’s younger drivers who are paying the highest bills, with under 25s paying an average of £1,831. The only ray of light is that the prices are rising slightly less than average. Young drivers can achieve a more affordable price by taking out a telematics-based policy.

The message is clear: learn some haggling tips from Bargain Hunt and you could save money on your car insurance. Release your inner David Dickinson for the real deal.