We put eight websites to the test to see which comes out top for prices and usability.
Everyone who owns or drives a car needs insurance cover in the event of an accident, or if the car is damaged or stolen. And those rules don’t change during lockdown, either. Just because you’re only driving to a supermarket, it doesn’t mean you can go without a policy.
Handily, making sure you have the best deal on your motor insurance is something you can do from the comfort of your own sofa. Insurance comparison sites have been getting better and more in-depth over the past few years, with promises of saving hundreds of pounds.
Most take just 10 to 15 minutes to supply with your data before delivering a list of quotes, all with their individual pros and cons. Some of the largest insurers – such as Direct Line and Aviva – don’t appear on these sites so you’ll have to get a quote from them directly, but most major companies do feature.
And remember, insurance is not just about the cheapest policy but rather the cover that’s right for you.
How we tested them
Our test subject was a 40-year-old dad of two from Oxford, driving a 2015 Ford Focus 1.5-litre diesel with no convictions or penalty points. We tested eight sites and were looking for easy, quick but accurate form-filling, good consumer advice on the policy elements, the option to filter extras such as breakdown cover and a large number of reasonably priced quotes.
In truth there’s little to choose between the top players, with each returning near-identical quotes. But previous winner Compare the Market holds on to top spot thanks to its handy explainers – ahead of Confused and MoneySuperMarket.
- Compare the Market
Compare the Market
Little has changed on Compare the Market over the past few years, but that’s no bad thing. Our multiple test champion wins again thanks to its easy-to-use form, which includes some really helpful hints and tips on what each element means and how it could impact your premium – a real bonus for anyone not clued up on insurance. Icons and pictures help make the whole process even more user-friendly.
Results are impressive, recording the joint lowest premium, while quotes can be filtered by optional extras easily. There’s also the bonus of 2-for-1 cinema tickets or meals if you take out a policy.
Confused is an extremely close second to Compare the Market, and some will even prefer the design, which doesn’t feature the cluttered dark blue colour scheme of its rival.
The questions are well laid out and intuitive, and it’s one of the few comparison sites to offer a dash cam question in a bid to help drive down your premium. Results are on an equal footing with all the big players, plus filtering of quotes has been improved since we last tested the site. And, just like Compare the Market, there are sweeteners if you take out a policy: pizza delivery and TV subscriptions.
An overhaul of the interface and design has catapulted MoneySuperMarket up the standings and onto the podium here.
The outdated design and dropdown menus that we found tricky last time have been replaced by a clean-cut user experience that features a nice ‘tick’ system to denote completed entries. The question flow has also been notably improved, while its delivery of prices matches its rivals’. The results page is one of the best out there, with good filtering and a table to show which extras are included, and the option to find out more.
We like GoCompare for two neat tools that other rivals can’t match: an in-depth valuation device to accurately calculate the price of your car, and the option to add in your renewal price to allow insurers to match or better it. On the whole, though, GoCompare is a shade behind its rivals, with a less intuitive data entry process – although we are fans of the explainer notes for each section.
Results were equal with its rivals, and the insurer review rating was welcome. If you take out a policy through the site, there’s currently a free £250 excess offer.
uSwitch uses the Confused engine for its car insurance, so the results in terms of prices and filtering options are identical to the better-known site. However, uSwitch is more basic and less graphical, relying on lots of short pages to help you navigate the process. For some, the less polished nature will aid simplicity, and we like its option to say if you have a dash cam to help lower your premium.
During our test, although offers were available on switching phone contracts, there didn’t appear to be any reward scheme in place that matched Confused for motor insurance, so we’d question why you wouldn’t just use its sister site.
Quotezone is less intuitive than its rivals, with fewer handy hints for why the questions asked may impact your premium. The overall design is less pleasing, and there are dropdown menus that can feel a little heavy-handed when compared with other sites. Prices appear a little slower and when they do, they are generally higher, although extras and excess are clearly shown.
One of the stand-out features of this website is the ability to compare four policies at once on the results page. We’d love to see this on others.
The question order used here is not as straightforward as some of Money Expert’s rivals, and the use of dropdowns and few graphics make this slightly harder work to complete. It uses the same quote engine as Quotezone (QZ), so results and premiums are the same, which isn’t great news because these were some of the highest on test. Each policy offer comes with a brief sentence to explain and highlight the best bits of the deal and why you should consider it.
Unfortunately, though, QZ’s handy policy comparison feature is missing.
The only new entry to this year’s test is Mustard, and its performance is marred by its prices being the highest here.
The form-filling process lacks much design, but it is condensed so you feel like you complete it quickly, with very few screens. There is less flexibility because of using some dropdown menus rather than free entry, and this includes our voluntary excess options, which could explain the higher premiums. There is no filtering on the results page, but the nice colour-coded system for extras does make it really clear what you are getting.