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Annual personal finance switching report1 shows fall in shopping around

  • 43% of Brits didn’t switch any of the 10 most popular financial products in the last year.
  • 88% of Brits are looking to make savings on essential outgoings and bills in 2021.  
  • GoCompare warns blind loyalty to financial product providers and utility companies collectively costs Brits £billions in overpriced premiums.

The annual GoCompare Switching Report, released today, shows a fall in the Nation’s shopping around habits, with fewer people changing provider to get a better deal on the 10 most common personal financial products and services. 

The findings come at an extraordinary time, thanks to the pandemic, when many people are feeling insecure about their income.   GoCompare is warning that loyal consumers could be collectively missing out on billions of pounds of savings by sticking with the same financial services and household utility providers year after year. 

The research found that in 2020, 43% of UK consumers hadn’t switched any of the 10 most popular financial products, including car and home insurance, energy provider, bank account and broadband.  This compares with just 39% in 2019.   

Product/service switched in the last 12 months Year to Dec 2020 Year to Dec 2019 Year to Dec 2018 Year to Dec 2017 Year to Dec 2016
Car insurance 19% 28% 28% 27% 22%
Energy provider 18% 21% 20% 17% 19%
Mobile phone
17% 17% 17% 11% 14%
Home insurance 14% 21% 23% 23% 17%
Broadband provider 13% 14% 14% 11% 14%
Credit card 9% 10% 11% 8% 9%
Bank current
8% 10% 10% 8% 9%
ISA or savings
7% 9% 8% 8% 10%
Landline phone 6% 7% 9% 7% 9%
Mortgage provider 4% 5% 6% 4% 2%

Despite it being easier than ever to compare and change financial products and providers, many people have still never changed their arrangements.  A fifth of people surveyed said that they have NEVER switched any of the most common financial products and services.  Bank current accounts (38%) headed the list of products consumers have never changed provider for, followed by mortgages (25%), broadband (25%), mobile phone (24%), and landline telephone (23%).

The survey also asked those consumers who had recently switched financial products, whether they had found the experience easy.  This revealed that people had found home insurance (82%), energy provider (81%) and car insurance (78%) the easiest products to switch. 

2021 cutbacks on essential outgoings and bills

The pandemic continues to cause an economic crisis at both a worldwide and domestic household level.  Lockdowns to halt the spread of the virus have caused abrupt falls in employment, wages, and income, leaving many feeling financially insecure or needing to tighten their purse strings. 

The research found that in 2021, most (88%) Brits will try to cut back on essential outgoings.  The main areas earmarked for savings include grocery bills (40%), takeaway meals (35%), and TV, phone and internet contracts (26%).  A fifth will look to reign in their spending on household utility costs, 16% will try to cut their spending on petrol and other transport costs.  Only 12% of those surveyed thought to make savings on their car insurance and 10% on their home insurance.  

Commenting on the research findings, Lee Griffin, Founder and CEO of GoCompare, said, “Our Switching Report suggests that millions of households aren’t actively engaging with their personal financial or utility bills.  Providers still tend to price products to attract new customers rather than rewarding loyal ones – who effectively end-up paying a hefty ‘loyalty tax’.  So, particularly if you haven’t reviewed your arrangements for a few years it’s a good time to do so.

“According to the Association of British Insurer’s data, the amount motorists are paying for their car insurance is at a four-year low – thanks to fewer claims as a result of lockdowns significantly reducing the volume of traffic.   While, as a result, some drivers may see a premium reduction on their renewal letter this year, it’s probable that they could get an even better deal if they shop-around.

“For people whom the pandemic has caused extreme financial difficulty, there is help available.  If you think you’re going to struggle to pay essential bills make sure you talk to the company you owe money as soon as possible to see what arrangements can be made.  For example, insurers have put in place measures to support customers, including payment holidays.  In these circumstances, it could be in the insured’s interest to remain with their current provider.  But people who are still able to pay their premiums really need to shop around this year to see what other insurers are willing to offer them.” 

Customers comparing products and prices on GoCompare2 could save up to £277 on their car insurance, up to £107 on their home insurance and, up to £567 on dual fuel bills. 

GoCompare’s five-point plan for getting the best deal on financial products and household bills:

1.            Diary renewal and expiry dates to give you time to shop around. 

2.            NEVER accept an insurance renewal without checking if you could get a better deal.

3.            Use a comparison website – it’s the quickest way to get the best deals.

4.            Remember to compare product features as well as prices.

5.            And finally, don’t forget to check the small print.


For further information please contact:

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1On 7 December 2020, an online survey of 2,057 randomly selected Great British adults was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.1%. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Previous annual switching reports were online surveys of randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists, conducted by Bilendi.On all the surveys, the margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The Year to December 2019 survey was conducted among 2,00 respondents on 20 December 2019.

The Year to December 2018 survey was conducted among 2,001 respondents on 14 December 2018.  

The Year to December 2017 research was conducted on 29 December 2017 among 2,334 respondents.

The Year to December 2016 survey was conducted on 6 January 2017 among 2,001 respondents.

2GoCompare customer savings:

Car insurance: According to independent research from Consumer Intelligence conducted between 1 August to 31 August 2020, 51% could save up to £277 with GoCompare Car Insurance.

Home insurance: Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 01 August 2020 to 31 August 2020: 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £107 with Gocompare Home Insurance.

Energy Bills: Between 1 January to 31 March 2020 at least 10% of customers who provided their usage and received a price for switching both gas & electricity could save £567.16.


GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocogroup.com