Martin Lewis urges drivers to ‘fight back’ as car insurance soars

Martin Lewis has urged drivers to “fight back” against rising car insurance as car owners claim they are being “held to ransom” with astronomical quotes.

The founder of MoneySavingExpert said car insurance is about “the risk books of millions of drivers” who are “in different scenarios”.

It comes after the Independent Exclusively disclosed average premiums rose by an average of 48 per cent in the 12 months to June 2023, according to data from analyst Consumer Intelligence, which looks at prices from, Go Compare, Compare the Market and MoneySuperMarket.

According to Consumer Intelligence, people aged 25 to 39 and 65 and over have been hit hardest by car insurance increases, with average premiums rising by more than 50%.

Drivers in Scotland and London have seen their premiums rise the most.

“This is ransom”

Andrea Klein, 60, said drivers were being “held to ransom” after seeing her insurance premiums rise by more than 90%.

“I'm a very savvy consumer and I know how to compare like for like,” said the part-time carer from London The independent. “But there's no rhyme or reason to what the insurance companies are doing.”

Mrs. Klein had a no-claims bonus for over a decade on her 13-year-old Toyota Prius. However, it has seen its price double from £368.58 to £722 with 1st Central.

Some offers were as high as £2,000 on comparison sites, he said.

While the 60-year-old has considered whether she can afford to keep her car on the road, her job as a part-time carer means she relies heavily on her car.

“We pay taxes, fuel taxes and we have no choice but to insure the car. We should at least be allowed to insure ourselves at the market rate.”

Andrea Klein said drivers are being “held to ransom” for owning a car

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As a recent divorcee, Ms. Klein said the premium increase has hit her hard.

“Trying to make ends meet has become more difficult now. At a time when I'm counting my pennies, I don't have room for that in my budget,” he said.

“A massive kick in the teeth”

Scott Young, from Welling, said his insurance renewal rose by 69 per cent from £587 to £993.78 with Hastings Direct.

The 34-year-old drives a 2018 Toyota RAV4 and his wife is an additional driver.

“We both work full-time and have six children between us,” she said. “This is a huge kick in the teeth for working people in society.

“It's really ridiculous that insurance companies can charge this when insurance is literally a necessity if you own a car.”

John Williams reiterated his frustration as he said his premiums for a 1.2 Micra (2009) rose from £150 to £420 with the Saga, despite having had “no accidents or claims”.

“I don't understand how car insurance companies can justify these huge increases,” he said, adding: “There's nowhere to turn for help.”

What does Martin Lewis say?

Speaking on the BBC Sounds podcast, Mr Lewis said: “It's all art, not science. It's all trial and error,” as he encouraged car owners to try different combinations, provided they stay within the law.

The money tycoon also said, “Timing is everything.”

“When you get your insurance quotes matters. How many days before your renewal expires has an impact on the price we will offer you.”

Mr Lewis said the best time to get a quote is 21 days before your renewal date, while the most expensive time is on the day of your renewal.

He explained: “What the insurer's risk tables show is that the type of people who leave it until the last minute to get quotes on their insurance are at higher risk than the type of people who don't.”

The MSE team give nine tips on how to get cheaper deals, from paying annually to checking if you can add a responsible driver to your policy.

You can listen to Mr Lewis' BBC Sounds podcast here where he gives more tips on how to save money on car insurance quotes.

Toby van der Meer, CEO of Hastings Direct, said: “Unfortunately, car insurance prices are rising across the country as more people drive and the average claim cost is rising rapidly.

“We would urge everyone to check their renewal details, including mileage and levels of cover, and make sure they are happy with them and therefore not overpaying.”

Saga said: “In line with other insurers, we are experiencing high levels of claims inflation which, in turn, means premium and renewal prices have unfortunately also had to rise. This became particularly evident in the car insurance market.

“To use auto insurance as an example, material shortages have caused certain parts to become more expensive due to demand. Not only that, but they also take longer to arrive, which lengthens the time that cars are out of action after a claim, and then extends the time (and therefore increases the cost) that claimants need a courtesy car.

“As reported by Trend-Tracker, industry data revealed that we are seeing turnkey times doubling from around 34 days to more than 65 days, with no current signs of abating in the near future.”

“Saga fully supports and complies with the market reforms introduced by the FCA last year. This means our existing customers don't pay more than new customers when they renew.”

Representative for 1St Central said:We work hard to keep the cost of car insurance as low as possible for our customers.

“There are many factors that determine the cost of insurance, including individual circumstances, repair costs, sourcing parts and buying used cars. The insurance industry has seen significant increases in these costs in recent months, which has led to higher average premiums across the industry.”