The best car insurance comparison sites - rated | Bobatoo

What are the best car insurance comparison sites?

We have reviewed the top five comparison websites in the UK so you know where to go for the best car insurance deals and the cheapest quotes

LAST UPDATED: 25 SEPTEMBER, 2019

Results - the best car insurance comparison sites in the UK

The best way to find a car insurance policy that suits you is to compare car insurance quotes online.

We reviewed the top five car insurance comparison sites to see which is the best - not just in terms of price but other factors too, such as how long it takes to get a quote, how many quotes they compare and how they rank in terms of independent customer reviews.

As a result of our study, here is how we rank the best comparison sites...

RankComparison siteScore (out of 45)Quote
1MoneySupermarket32 Get a quote
2GoCompare31 Get a quote
3Confused.com30 Get a quote
4Compare The Market22 Get a quote
5Quote Zone20 Get a quote

MoneySupermarket came out on top in our study - scoring an impressive 32 out of 45 in our scoring system (details below).

The second best car insurance comparison site was GoCompare (scoring 31 out of 45), followed by Confused.com (30).

Compare The Market came out as the fourth best car insurance comparison site in our study (22) - although their Meerkat Movies and Meerkat Meals promotions still make them a potentially cost-effective option - while Quote Zone were ranked 5th (20).

See also: The best car insurance companies not on comparison sites

Method - how we carried out the study

To help determine which comparison site is best for getting car insurance quotes, we also wanted to know which of the major comparison websites was the best to use overall.

To do this, we requested three car insurance quotes from each comparison site using the exact same personal information. The quotes we requested were designed for three different types of driver: a young driver, a 'typical' driver, and a driver over 50.

All of the quotes were requested on the same day in September 2019, using the exact same personal details as follows:

Young driver

Gender: Female

Age: 18

Marital status: Single

Car: Ford Fiesta Zetec (2014, 3 door, petrol, manual, 1.2)

Occupation: Full-time student

Policy: Comprehensive

Mileage: 10,000 per year

Voluntary Excess: £250

No Claims: 0

New driver (Age 25)

Gender: Male

Age: 25

Marital status: Single

Car: Volkswagen Golf (2017, 3 door, petrol, manual, 1.2)

Occupation: Sales Assistant (Retail)

Policy: Comprehensive

Mileage: 10,000 per year

Voluntary Excess: £250

No Claims: 0

Over 50s driver

Gender: Male

Age: 58

Marital status: Married

Car: Volvo XC60 SE Nav (2017, 2.04)

Occupation: Accountant

Policy: Comprehensive

Mileage: 15,000 per year

Voluntary Excess: £250

No Claims: 20 years

Typical driver

Gender: Female

Age: 38

Marital status: Married

Car: BMW 330i Series (2017, 5-door, manual, petrol, 2.0)

Occupation: Teacher

Policy: Comprehensive

Mileage: 15,000 per year

Voluntary Excess: £250

No Claims: 10 years

We used these three profiles to test the car insurance comparison sites on a range of different quotes with different requirements, e.g. the age of the driver, where the vehicle is kept overnight, different mileage, different car values, different jobs, different levels of No Claims Bonus and so on.

This meant that we wouldn't be judging each comparison site on just one type of car insurance policy (e.g. young driver).

We scored each of the comparison sites on the below factors when requesting car insurance quotes for each of the above personas:

  • Coverage - how many insurance companies do they compare?
  • How many questions do they ask during the quoting process?
  • How long does the quoting process take (from starting to viewing available quotes)?
  • Which site had the cheapest quote for each individual search? Who really has the best deals and the cheapest car insurance?
  • Customer reviews - what is the best price comparison site for car insurance according to users?
  • Range of policies - how many different types of car insurance policies do they offer? (Young driver, Black Box, temporary, learner insurance, etc.)

We gave each comparison site a score out of five for each of the above factors (score out of 20 for the cheapest car insurance quote as there were four different quotes) - so the total score was out of 45.

Although not mentioned in the table above, we also compared quotes from the uSwitch car insurance comparison site, whose price comparison engine is powered by Confused.com. As a result, their scores were almost identical.

See the 2019 car comparison results table

Last year's results:

The table below shows our car insurance comparison site findings from last year - September 20th 2018.

RankComparison siteScore (out of 40)Quote
1MoneySupermarket36 Get a quote
2GoCompare32 Get a quote
3Confused.com25 Get a quote
4uSwitch22 Get a quote
5Compare The Market21 Get a quote

Breakdown of data*

In terms of how many different car insurance companies each comparison site compare, GoCompare came out on top with 125. Confused.com and uSwitch were second with 119, followed by MoneySupermarket (112), Quote Zone (91), and Compare The Market (82).

So if you want a comparison website that looks at a wide range of car insurance policies then the GoCompare, Confused.com and uSwitch car insurance comparison sites are the ones for you.

If a quick quoting process is important to you, then MoneySupermarket is the best, asking just 49 questions and providing the quickest overall search time (4 minutes 10 seconds).

QuoteZone ask 61 questions, but the overall process took around 4 minutes 20 seconds, while Confused.com and uSwitch ask 50 questions (which takes around 4 minutes 30 seconds).

Compare The Market ask the most questions during the quoting process (66), while GoCompare were the slowest to take us from entering the first details to getting a quote (around 5 minutes 34 seconds).

With all price comparison websites, the process is slowed down if you don't already have an account with them, as you'll be forced to sign up with an email address and password first.

For the customer reviews, we looked up each of the comparison sites on TrustPilot and Reviews.co.uk, giving each company a combined score out of 5 for their two average ratings on each of those websites. This meant we could factor in metrics such as customer service into our ratings.

In terms of car insurance reviews, all of the companies were fairly well ranked. Confused.com, uSwitch and GoCompare all came out on top in terms of customer reviews, scoring 5 out of 5. They were followed by QuoteZone and MoneySupermarket (4/5) and then Compare The Market (3/5).

The best comparison site for young drivers

If you are a young driver (aged 17-24), you're unlikely to find yourself a very cheap car insurance policy - in fact, it can be difficult to find car insurance for young drivers under £1000. This is because insurance companies see new and young drivers as a higher risk and more likely to make a claim on their car insurance policy.

High car insurance premiums are unavoidable for young drivers, but there are some ways you can get the cost down. One of the best ways to find the cheapest insurance for young drivers is to compare lots of different policies to make sure you get the cheapest premiums available, but which is the best car insurance comparison site to use if you are a young driver?

For the young driver in our study, the cheapest quotes were from uSwitch and Confused.com (£1,021.51) - these were both black box car insurance policies. The next cheapest quote came from GoCompare (£1,130.92).

Compare The Market offered quotes starting at £1,264 and QuoteZone's cheapest available young driver car insurance quote came in at £1,295.12. The most expensive 'cheapest' quote for young drivers came from MoneySupermarket.com, charging a minimum of £1,418.

Our example was based on an 18-year-old driver with no proof of No Claims, but cheap car insurance for new drivers under 25 can be just as hard to find - make sure you shop around to find the best deal.

The best comparison site for new drivers under 25

Even drivers who take a little longer to start driving are hit with an increase to their car insurance premiums. Similarly to the thought process behind insurance for young drivers, new drivers are inexperienced no matter how old they are, automatically increasing the likelihood of them making a claim.

The cheapest car insurance quote for new drivers aged 25 came from MoneySupermarket (£1,190), closely followed by GoCompare who quoted us £1,263 for an annual car insurance policy.

Compare The Market and QuoteZone both provided a quote of £1,288.40, while the most expensive car insurance quotes were priced at £1,390.87 from Confused.com and uSwitch.

Best comparison site for drivers over 50

With all insurers keen to offer quotes to experienced drivers with a lot of years of No Claims under their belt, it's perhaps no surprise that all of the comparison websites offer similar quotes for over 50s car insurance.

MoneySupermarket  offered the cheapest quote of £341.24, while Confused.com and uSwitch car insurane was the second cheapest with quotes for £362.14. GoCompare offered over 50s car insurance for £375.56, closely followed by Compare The Market who offered a quote of £387.99.

QuoteZone was by far the most expensive option for over 50s car insurance, with their cheapest priced policy costing almost £200 more than the one offered by MoneySupermarket (£530.00).

With very little difference between most of the policies on offer, those looking to take out car insurance for over 50s may want to look at some of the other factors when deciding which site to use to compare car inurance quotes, e.g. customer reviews, range of policies available, etc.

Best comparison site for 'typical' drivers

Interestingly, the biggest spread of the cheapest car insurance quotes was for our 'typical' driver - one who has been driving for a reasonable amount of time, with proof of No Claims. 

MoneySupermarket offered the cheapest car insurance quote for this driver (£570.30), followed by GoCompare (£594.80) and Compare The Market (£610.74). Confused.com and uSwitch both offered quotes of £615.50, while QuoteZone was the most expensive car insurance comparison website for typical drivers (£618.78).

See the results table

Conclusion - Where can I get cheap quotes, and how do I get the best deal on car insurance?

As we’ve outlined in our study, MoneySupermarket and GoCompare provide some of the cheapest car insurance policy quotes for new drivers under 25 and ‘typical drivers’ in the UK, while MoneySupermarket also has a quick quoting process and a wide variety of car insurance companies to choose from (112). Similarly, uSwitch and Confused.com also have a quick application process, cheap quotes for young drivers and excellent customer reviews.

MoneySupermarket’s car insurance provides the cheapest quotes for over 50s policies, but has the most expensive quotes for young drivers.

Out of the five comparison sites for car insurance, GoCompare has the longest application process, and QuoteZone is the most expensive comparison site for over 50s car insurance.

Ultimately, when choosing the best and cheapest car insurance policy, it depends on a number of factors and you really need to do some digging to find the best one that’s suited to you.

Don’t forget, there are car insurance companies that are not on comparison sites, so be sure to check those out for the best deals too. Take a look at our guide here: The best car insurance companies not on comparison sites.

 

*All information correct as of 25 September 2019

How to get cheap car insurance

Below is our top 10 tips on how to save money on your car insurance

1. Shop around

This is perhaps the best way to get cheap car insurance. Regardless of your circumstances, by shopping around on comparison sites and comparing as many policies as possible, you can save yourself hundreds of pounds when you renew your car insurance policy.

You need to be careful when comparing, as it is important to make sure you compare like-for-like cover. Some policies may look cheaper, but when you factor in the lower level of cover you are getting - or significantly higher excess you may have to pay - then it may not be such a great deal.

2. Protect your no claims bonus

One of the biggest factors affecting the price of car insurance is the length of the no claims history you have. That's why, on average, older and more experienced drivers can expect to pay much less than new and young drivers.

Paying to protect your No Claims bonus may make your insurance premium a little bit more expensive, but if it means avoiding a massive hike in cost if you have to make a claim, it is more than worth it.

Look out for policies that offer no claims bonus protection, and make sure you read the terms and conditions closely so you don't get caught out on a technicality if you make a claim.

3. Increase your voluntary excess

Your policy excess is the amount of money you have to pay towards any claim you make on your car insurance policy. Most car insurance policies will include an excess - such as £250 - as standard.

However, many insurers also allow you to set an extra 'voluntary' excess - so you can commit to paying even more towards a claim.

As it will mean the insurance company pays less for your claim, the higher the voluntary excess you choose, the lower your premiums will be - although you should only set the amount at a level you can actually afford in the event of a claim.

4. Limit your annual mileage

It stands to reason that the less you drive, the less risk there is of you having an accident and making a claim. All insurers ask you to input your annual mileage when you get a quote - so try and be accurate with it and make sure you're not paying for mileage you don't need.

You should also be truthful when setting a yearly mileage, as you could end up invalidating your car insurance policy and jeopardising a claim if not.

5. Keep your car secure

Having anti-theft devices such as immobilisers, alarms and tracking devices shows your insurance company that you are serious about keeping your car safe. The more unlikely your car is to be stolen or damaged by thieves, the cheaper your car insurance premium will be.

This also applies to where you park your car. If you park it overnight on the road outside your house, you will likely pay more for your car insurance than if you lock it away in a garage or park it on a driveway.

6. Avoid big, expensive, powerful cars

Some cars cost more to insure than others, so it's worth checking what insurance group a car is in when deciding whether to buy it or not.

Big and powerful cars, and cars that are expensive to repair, tend to attract the highest premiums because they are either more likely to be involved in an accident, be targets for car thieves or require more expensive repair work.

7. Add an experienced named driver

Young drivers can bag themselves cheaper car insurance by adding a more experienced driver on their policy as a 'named driver'. This is because the insurance company will know that the car will sometimes be driven by a more experienced driver, and the premium you pay will reflect that.

It's very important, however, to not be tempted to buy the policy in the name of an experienced driver e.g. a parent, and add the young driver as a named driver if the young driver will actually be the primary driver. This practice is known as 'fronting' and, as well as risking invalidating your policy, is also illegal.

8. Consider a black box policy

More popular with young and new drivers, black box or 'telematics' car insurance can be a great way to keep the cost of cover down while you build up your experience and no claims bonus.

It works by fitting a 'black box' to your car which tracks everything you do - how fast you drive, where you drive, what times you drive, how fast you take corners, any instances of hard braking and so on. All of this data is sent to your insurance company who then decide the premium price each month based on your driving habits.

Drivers therefore have some control over how much they pay for their car insurance - drive carefully and avoid busy roads and driving at night etc. and you will get a cheaper premium.

9. Pay for your policy on an annual basis

Although not everyone has the money available to pay for the full 12 months of cover up front, if you can afford it, you can make considerable savings compared with paying monthly.

If you can't afford to pay a lump sum, then you could also consider using a 0% interest-free credit card to pay for it - just make sure you can pay the credit card off before the interest-free period is over.

10. Choose your policy and add-ons carefully

Do you really need comprehensive car insurance cover? If the car you are insuring isn't worth a lot, then you may be better off getting a Third Party, Fire and Theft policy - or even just a Third Party Only policy. Just make sure you fully understand what your policy covers you for.

Similarly, be careful with any policy add-ons the insurer tries to sell you. Things like breakdown cover, legal assistance, windscreen cover, personal accident cover etc. can be useful if you need them and don't mind paying for them, but you may be paying for similar cover elsewhere i.e. via a packaged bank account.