Over the last 5 years, comparison sites have gained more popularity across the UK, claiming to help thousands of people to save hundreds of pounds on the cost of car insurance. Many sites have run TV adverts and whether you love them or hate them, they’ve got people’s attention and are often the first port of call when insurance comes up for renewal or when we’re looking to buy a new car. We’ve reviewed the top 5 comparison sites to see who offers the best car insurance quote, as well as how easy it is to get the quote in the first place.
The car insurance quote details
We submitted the exact same details on each site, which were for a 30 year old male driver who was a homeowner and have no motoring convictions within the last 10 years. The car would be used for social and domestic purposes only and the annual mileage was set at 10,000 miles. Voluntary excess was capped at £250 and a 5 year no-claims bonus was added (which wasn’t protected within the quote as not all comparison sites allowed for it). The insurance would be paid for annually rather than in monthly installments and would be fully comprehensive cover.
The quote was for a 1.6 litre petrol Ford Fiesta Zetec-S, with a manual gearbox and a 2012 registration plate. The car value was set at £10,000 and would be kept on the driveway overnight. No modifications or Thatcham approved alarm systems were added within the quote process.
Compare the Market
The quote process
The first step is to provide information on the car itself. The reg plate finder is a great tool and saves a lot of time if you knowing the registration number, if not then there’s a few more details to fill in to ensure you get a quote for the correct car. It’s a nice simple process but there are some unnecessary sliders and information (such as the number of seats) which should already be known based on the car make and model selected. Next to each question is a ‘helpful hint’, which is a useful tool if you need some guidance. However, these don’t provide information on why certain questions are being asked like others such as Confused.com
You’re then required to fill in information about yourself and address – again a simple process but some parts aren’t as good as others and are quite clunky, such as the occupation drop down boxes. There are also quite a few more questions than Confused.com which is frustrating, but may be useful in producing a more accurate quote if we did go on to take out the car insurance policy.
After completing all cover details there’s no requirement to create an account, but you are asked how you’d like to be contacted, which means you have to provide further details before being able to actually see the quotes.
The best quote at CompareTheMarket.com
The cheapest car insurance quote from Compare the Market
was £255.79 from eSure (the highest was £1,787.15). Interestingly, the quote that was cheapest on the Confused.com test was £280.53 from the same provider on Compare The Market, which is an additional cost of £5)
The quote process
It’s a fairly simple 4 step process which we love, starting with the registration number or vehicle specifics. You’re then required to submit for information on the car, together with personal information such as your relationship status and occupation. What’s helpful is there’s a green information button which explains the significance of certain questions, such as that such insurers may offer reduced premiums to homeowners.
You’re then required to provide information on the level of cover required, start dates and annual mileage, which was all very straight forward. Before you can see the quote though you’re required to set up an account which is irritating. An email address had already been requested during the quote process and so this could have been used for contact reasons to request an account to be created, rather than the additional form just before the quotes are displayed.
The best quote at Confused.com
The cheapest car insurance quote from Confused.com
was £275.30 from Autonet Car (the highest was £1,960.67)
The quote process
Unlike the other car insurance comparison sites tested, GoGompare
is the only one which requires you to set up an account at the first stage. This could be an instant-turn off as on the other sites you’ve already submitted information so are more likely to continue (based on the time spent doing so). With registration at the first step, some people may decide to go elsewhere straight away as no time has been invested at this point in getting a quote.
After this initial annoyance, the process for selecting the right car is very straightforward and is one of the simplest across all 5 sites, which is a great start. You then move on to providing details about the car use, however there are a couple of strange questions such as whether you use the car during peak hours. It may be useful for accuracy of quote but not many insurers ask this question and it feels rather unnecessary.
We then move on to details about the driver, again fairly straightforward but not quite as slick as the other sites and with no helpful information boxes on the details being requested. You’re then required to add a password to your account, which should have been included in the first step if registration information for the account is required at this point. Again, another frustration before being able to view the quotes and it elongates the whole process further.
The best quote at GoCompare.com
The cheapest car insurance quote from GoCompare was £255.79 from eSure (the highest was £1,959.67)
The quote process
has one of the simplest processes for finding the correct car if you don’t know the registration number. You’re then just required to check a few more details before moving on to a stage requiring information about how you plan to use the car. Like other sites there are useful hints, tips and information on how particular information will be used.
The next stage is to complete information about yourself – again a very simple process and takes just a couple of minutes. Like the other sites you’re then prompted to create an account in order to be able to login in the future and view quotes. If you don’t wish to be contacted by insurance providers make sure you uncheck tick boxes displayed during this part of the process.
The best quote at MoneySupermarket.com
The cheapest car insurance quote from MoneySupermarket.com was £214.59 from eSure (the highest was £1,274.33)
The quote process
has quite a few drop downs to pick the correct car if you’re not sure what the reg plate is – this process could be simpler as every time you select an option, results are displayed to the right hand side and you can’t move on further. After this initial frustration, the process was more straightforward, but unlike the other sites less information was available on why certain questions were asked. This feature has now become quite common and it would be great to see Tesco Compare also incorporate it as the process is nice and clean aside from this.
After completing information boxes on the car and it’s use, you then move on to driver details, before having to create an account like the other sites in order to be able to access the quote. This is done at a very early stage and may be off putting to some. Some steps aren’t quite as simple as other comparison sites, such as having to input the date you got your licence, rather than the number of years you’ve held it for.
The best quote at TescoCompare.com
The cheapest car insurance quote from Tesco Compare was £255.79 from eSure (the highest was £1,201.56)
The best car insurance comparison site
eSure often came out as the cheapest provider, but interesting quotes varied significantly across the comparison sites, with the highest eSure quote being £302.07 at Confused.com and the lowest at £214.59 on MoneySupermarket.com. This shows it really matters to try all comparison sites as insurance providers often have specific deals set up so you could save yourself even more.
The lowest quote was on MoneySupermarket.com at £214.59 and so this was our winner for value for money.
eSure quotes from all sites (in order of cheapest)
£214.59 - MoneySupermarket.com
£255.79 – CompareTheMarket.com
£255.79 – TescoCompare.com
£255.79 – GoCompare.com
£302.07 – Confused.com
MoneySupermarket.com also has the simplest set up and took less time than the other sites to get a quote – perfect if you’re in a hurry and just want to get an idea of how much you may be paying for a renewal or to get a quote on a new car. It’s our overall winner and the process appears to have really been thought out, with customers in mind.
GoCompare scored lowest, as the process was almost as frustrating as the TV ads and the forms appeared to be endless, although the information requested was fairly similar to other sites which made use of progress bars (things always appear to be longer if you have no expectation on the wait or process time!)
Before moving on to finalizing the quote at the insurance provider’s website, make sure you check details on each quote as most comparison sites won’t include legal cover as standard within it, which will set you back a further £30 per annum.