New research by Gocompare.com has revealed that although 64 per cent of Brits are expecting 2013 to be a very difficult year for them financially, over 9.5 million UK consumers have not switched any of the 10 most common financial products including car insurance, home insurance, energy provider, credit card or mortgage lender.
– 9% of drivers have not switched their car insurer
– 13% of consumers have not switched their home insurance
– 16% have not switched energy provider
– 24% have not switched their mortgage lender
– 40% have not switched their current account
– 25% have not switched their ISA or Savings accounts
– 24% have not switched their mobile phone network
– 20% have not switched their land line provider
– 20% have not switched credit cards
– 26% have not switched broadband provider
However, those consumers who are already hooked on switching are saving a packet on the things we need to have but hate paying for. Gocompare.com’s latest ‘Switched on to Switching’ research has found that:
40 per cent of drivers have switched their car insurer in the last 12 months to get a better deal. That’s nearly double the number who switched their insurance in 2009 (23%) so the message that comparing your insurance at every renewal is really getting through to consumers. However, it does mean that at their last renewal around 18 million2 drivers potentially missed out on reducing the cost of their car insurance. In 2012, customers using Gocompare.com saved an average of £391.51 on their car insurance.
33 per cent of householders with home insurance switched their home insurer in the last 12 months, up from 19 per cent in 2009. However, that still leaves nearly 17.5m3 households who didn’t switch their home insurer at their last renewal. The average saving made by Gocompare.com customers by switching their home insurance in 2012 was £125.66.
Just over 23 per cent of households have switched their energy provider in the last 12 months, which means that nearly 20 million haven’t. Energy companies have been under greater scrutiny from the Government who are encouraging consumers to shop around for the best tariffs for their circumstances. However, with thousands of fixed and variable tariffs available depending on your usage and location, finding the right one on your own is extremely difficult. But by using a reputable comparison site to find the most suitable tariff for your household takes just a few minutes. By switching their gas and electricity tariff in 2012, Gocompare.com customers saved up to £350.95.
Just 16 per cent of people with credit cards have switched to new cards in the last 12 months. That’s up from 10 per cent in 2009. Although the days of balance transfer offers piling up on the doormat may be over, there are still considerable savings to be made by transferring balances to cards with long 0% interest free periods if you can get them. UK consumers owe around £54.4 billion on credit cards with approximately two thirds of that being interest bearing. The average credit card APR is now 19.1%, so UK consumers are racking up around £6.85bn in interest each year, or £18.7m per day.
Barclaycard currently have several cards which may help consumers to pay down their debt more quickly. The first is a card offering a fixed 4.9% interest rate for 36 months for balance transfers and has a reduced balance transfer fee of 1.9%. The representative APR which you would revert to after 36 months is 18.9% variable.
Another card offers 0% interest for 24 months with a 3.2% balance transfer fee. The representative APR which you would revert to after 24 months is 17.9% variable.
Just 8 per cent of UK adults with life cover switched their life insurer in the last 12 months. Unlike car insurance which you generally have to renew each year, life insurance isn’t something you tend to think about once you’ve set it up. However, in light of the recent EU Gender Directive, which means that males and females should be offered the same insurance premiums if all other factors are equal, men who’ve bought life cover in the last few months may find that they can now get cheaper premiums.
– 15% of broadband customers switched their provider in the last 12 months
– 18% of mobile phone users switched their network provider in the last 12 months
– 17% of consumers with a land telephone line switched their provider in the last 12 months
– 18% of savers switched their ISA or deposit account in the last 12 months
– Only 10% of people with mortgages switched their mortgage provider in the last 12 months
John Miles, business development director at Gocompare.com, said: “The majority of Brits are expecting 2013 to be a very difficult year financially, but our research shows that millions of consumers could be missing out on hundreds of pounds worth of savings by not reviewing their outgoings and switching to better deals.
“Some consumers have never switched any of the most common financial products and they are often the people who could save most because they’ve stuck with the same provider year in and year out, never questioning what they’re paying. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to sort out your finances, you could start by looking at the most obvious financial products you have and using a comparison site to quickly unearth savings. That way your 2013 finances may not be quite as strained as you had thought.”