Drivers are wasting £333 a year each - a combined total of over £2.4 billion - by sticking with their car insurance provider and not shopping around for a better deal at renewal time.
This is particularly pertinent at a time of soaring car insurance premiums, which have been pushed up by a rise in bodily injury claims and "ambulance chasing". Insurer Admiral said today that premiums had leapt by 50% over the last 18 months, with an even bigger increase for young drivers.
With peak car insurance renewals season in full swing and new '61' plate car registrations out on 1 September, research from moneysupermarket.com reveals 7.3 million drivers - one in five - automatically stay with their existing car insurance provider rather than shop around to find a better deal.
Of these, nearly one in ten don't think they can find a better deal, and a further 7%, or 2.56 million motorists, say they automatically renew their insurance because they can't be bothered to shop around.
A further 4% of drivers will automatically renew to comply with recent legislation on Continuous Insurance Enforcement. This is despite research showing motorists can save £333, on average, by looking for a better deal - an increase of £100 on the average saving last year.
"With the cost of living continuing to spiral, consumers are really feeling the pinch, so it is shocking many motorists are not using this opportunity to protect their hard earned cash by finding the best car insurance deal for their needs. The cost of motoring is continuing to increase with car insurance prices up on this time last year and fuel prices up to near record highs but drivers can help mitigate these costs by getting online and comparing policies to see where savings can be made."
Loyalty won't be rewarded
The research found drivers stay loyal to their provider for an average of two and half years, with the over 55s remaining the most faithful - sticking with their provider for an average of three years. Those aged between 18 and 34 are the least loyal, sticking to the same company for only two years.
Likewise, motorists in the east of England (2.8 years) and London (2.9 years) take the top spots for being the most loyal regions, compared with drivers in the south west who only stay with their provider for 2.3 years on average.
Harrison added: "Providers rely on driver apathy at renewal time; loyalty isn't rewarded with a cheaper premium and drivers should do their homework to check whether they can find a better deal elsewhere. Even if you don't think your quote can be beaten, it only takes a few minutes to make sure you really do have the best policy to suit your needs - and if not, switch!"