Price Comparison Research

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Price comparison sites are everywhere we look. There are also a large number of insurance companies who can't be found on price comparison sites. They say that this is so they can pass the saving on to us, the consumer. Prudent Minds decided to check out the claims for you and give you their finding.

For this report, we used four of the major price comparison sites, Money Supermarket, Go Compare, and Compare the Market. We then used Direct Line insurance and Aviva, who do not advertise on price comparison sites.

We input exactly the same information into each search engine. Our quote was for a female driver with over 20 year’s full licence (no points). We added another driver (her partner). The excess was £250 and we had 3 years no claims bonus. The car was a 55plate Ford Mondeo, fully comprehensive, Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting. Insurance to start on 1st February, 2010 (research done on 20th Jan, 2010)**.

It didn’t come as any surprise that we could, indeed, save money on our cases current car insurance. Good start. But what we found next was a shock. For each comparison site, we got a difference in the cost of the insurance between the comparison sites. These were some of our findings :

Money Supermarket GoCompare Compare the Market Diff between dearest and cheapest
Swiftcover £344.91 £350.94 £332.95 £332.95 £17.99
LV £414.22 £426.09 £426.09 £426.09 £11.87
KwikFit £462.57 £477.79 £477.79 £497.40
Green £468.79 £468.79 £468.79 £500.11 £31.32
Swinton £480.80 480.80 £473.07 £462.40 £18.40
AutoDirect £491.41 £497.23 £507.95 £532.87 £41.46
*Cells highlighted yellow show the cheapest quote for that insurer

So not only was there a saving to made on our current car insurance, but there was a significant saving to be made dependent upon which price comparison site was used (as much as £41.46). This suprised us, as we assumed that the insurance would be the same price for each price comparison site. It was also interesting to find that there was no consistency in who was the cheapest price comparison site; i.e. GoCompare and Compare the Market were the cheapest providers of Swiftcover Insurance, yet Money Supermarket was the cheapest for LV Insurance.

We then compared these prices to those of the insurance providers who say that they don't advertise on price comparison sites, and pass the saving on to the insured?

For this part, we obtained quotes from Direct Line and Aviva, the two advertisers that prudent Minds knew were currently running media campaigns. The results for the same insurance:

Direct Line - £788.55
Aviva - £580.06

This represented a massive difference from the cheapest quote we got of £455.60 for Direct Line and £247.11 for Aviva.

Do price comparison sites save money?

There is no doubt that there is money to be saved by using price comparison sites, but that the amount saved depends upon the site used. It would also seem that the price comparison sites do offer far better value for money than those companies who say that they pass savings on to us, but in reality charge far more for their product than those on the price comparison sites.

In reality, the price comparison sites do for us what our insurance broker used to do for us years ago, and even back then we wouldn't have gone to several different insurance brokers, we would trust the one we were with. Now the information is available at our fingertips, and we can replace the middleman with the price comparison site. However, if we want to make the biggest saving, we have to compare the quotes from the different price comparison sites, so have we saved time? No, but we have saved money; which is what we at Prudent Minds are all about!

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**These findings may not be the same for all drivers or situations, and individuals should carry out their own price comparisons to find the correct insurance package for themselves.

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