Shoppers with a keen eye for a bargain know the best place to go to is a comparison site, but are they getting the full picture?
An investigation by Channel 4 consumer show Supershoppers, which airs on Monday evening at 8.30pm, has found that some comparison websites are charging over £300 more for the same car insurance policy than other providers.
The show highlights that some insurance companies own or have big investments in certain sites. For example, Aviva is the second largest shareholder in MoneySuperMarket, while Confused.com is owned by Admiral.
Research done by the programme found that Admiral charges almost £1,400 for annual car insurance when booking through confused.com. However, the exact same policy through MoneySuperMarket costs just over £1,700 – a difference of over £300.
Because every car insurance company has a different deal with a comparison site, consumer journalist James Daley advises consumers to go to all of them in order to get the best price.
Mr Daley said: “The comparison sites are going to be taking a commission for every time they sell a policy.
“Every car insurance company is negotiating a different deal with each of the comparison sites, which is annoying for us consumers because we need to end up going to all the comparison sites to work out whether or not we’ve got the best deal.”
Out of the nearly 50 comparison sites to choose from, Mr Daley recommends looking at the top four at the very least.
Using one of the production team’s details to see just how different car insurance quotes might be, the programme found that after an hour of searching the site, the cheapest policy was Compare the Market with an Admiral policy at £353 per year.
The runner up was Go Compare – also with Admiral – at £355, while in third place was an Endsleigh policy on Confused.com at £391.
Bringing up the rear was Moneysupermarket, with a First policy at £400.
“As a consumer the only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal is to go to all of them and of course don’t forget the ones that aren’t on comparison sites like Aviva and Direct Line,” said Mr Daley.