MILLIONS of UK drivers are being stung by massive increases in stealth charges by car insurers.

Administration fees which are often hidden in many polices have jumped twice the rate of inflation since 2012.

 Cancellation fees have risen by almost 50 per cent since 2012

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Cancellation fees have risen by almost 50 per cent since 2012Credit: Alamy

A recent study by GoCompare revealed cancellation fees for motor insurance have jumped by almost 50 per cent since 2012.

Brits now have to fork out £60.85 on average when cancelling their policy, compared to just £40.95 seven years ago.

The cost of adjusting your policy has also increased, with drivers forking out £28.25 when making changes to their cover.

Set up fees – which aren’t charged by many insurers – saw the biggest jump for British motorists.

The average costs of stealth charges charged by car insurers

Adjustment fees 

  • 2012 – £20.51
  • 2019 – £28.25

Cancellation charges

  • 2012 – £40.95
  • 2019 – £60.85

Set-up fees

  • 2012 – £20.66
  • 2019 – £37.63

Duplicate documents fees

  • 2012 – £18.58
  • 2019 – £13.85

 

 

The cost of adjusting your policy has increased by 82 per cent since 2012, with the average cost rising from £20.66 to £37.63.

Shockingly, the only additional fees which are cheaper for Brits is the price of duplicating documents, which is now only £13.85.

Drivers who feel they’ve been charged an over the top fee can challenge it with their insurer.

Some providers may reduce or waive the fees all together, particularly if it means keeping you as a customer.

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If the fees weren’t declared to you before taking out the policy, you may have grounds for a further  review from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The cost of your policy is based on how likely your motor is to be damaged or stolen.

Insurers use a range of factors, including age, previous crash history and even your occupation, to calculate how much it will cost for cover.

But by shopping around for a suitable quote, drivers can save hundreds each year.

While the price of a policy is important, Brits shouldn’t settle on the cheapest option when looking for cover.

It’s also important to thoroughly read over the term and conditions to check what is exactly included in the policy.

Lee Griffin, founder and chief executive at GoCompare, said: “The car insurance market is highly competitive, so rather than incorporating the costs of certain admin tasks into the basic premium, some insurers make other charges.

“This helps keep premiums down by ensuring that only the policyholders who change or cancel their policy, for example, pay for the additional work required to administer their policy.

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“Our analysis shows that since 2012, the cost of some admin jobs has soared. And, the enormous range in costs between policies for the same tasks is inexplicable.

“Take adjustment fees, for example, depending on the policy you could either pay £7.50 or £70.50 to make an amendment to a policy.

“Insurers should be upfront about any admin fees they charge. These should be clearly set-out in their terms and conditions, so drivers are aware of the full costs before signing-up to a policy.”





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