More consumers compare prices online Price comparison sites grow in popularity
12 December 2008
A new report released today by Mintel shows that more than 18 million British consumers have used a price comparison site to search for, compare or buy financial products from mortgages to pensions.
Comparing insurance most popular comparison
According to Mintel comparison sites are mostly used to find insurance products, with car insurance leading the most popular searches ahead of home insurance and travel insurance.
Earlier this year Which? Money checked the three largest price comparison websites, moneysupermarket.com, Gocompare.com, Confused.com. In a majority of cases the cheapest quote was different on each comparison website. The cheapest insurance that was offered did not provide as much cover as Which? Money Best Buys.
Compare the comparison market
Which? Money editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘With such an array of financial products to choose from, it can be tempting to turn to a price comparison site to do the legwork for you. But you might be very confused to find that different sites can give you vastly different quotes and often don't give enough information for you to make an informed choice.
‘You need to use two or three comparison sites and check directly with providers to get the best quote, and remember that cheapest isn't always best - it's a false economy if you don't get enough cover for your needs or have to pay a huge excess if you claim.’
Cheapest not always the best
Canny consumers are realising that the best price does not necessarily mean the best product. People are becoming more aware of the need to compare like for like and look at the benefits as well as the price.
People are also looking at a selection of sites rather than sticking with one favourite comparison website. Without a doubt, this will highlight the fact that different comparison sites recommend different products when searched for under the same criteria.
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