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Drivers hit by ‘hidden’ charges in car insurance small print

A new survey shows that Brits are coughing up a third of their car insurance premiums on ‘hidden fees’

car insurance

A survey of 1,500 drivers by insurance firm Cuvva suggests UK drivers are forking out an average of £123.40 on what it calls ‘hidden’ insurance fees each year. Younger drivers are hardest hit, with 18-24-year olds paying out £334.40 annually on top of their premium. 

The unexpected costs and charges are typically hidden away in insurance policy terms and conditions, which many drivers fail to read when signing up for cover.

Cuvva says the top four hidden fees are policy adjustment fees which catch out 36 percent of affected drivers, cancellation fees catching out 20 to 30 percent, policy add-ons (28 percent) and APRs (24 percent). 

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The figures indicate that a total of almost a fifth of UK motorists have been caught out by one or another such charge, says Cuvva, adding the majority of fees are ‘hidden’ because they are buried in the small print in lengthy policy documents and are neither highlighted nor obvious to customers from the outset. The survey determined 12 percent of drivers don’t read terms and conditions on their insurance policies at all, while nearly a third (30 percent) of 18-34 year-olds don't read them in full.

“Average car insurance policies don’t suit modern-day consumers,” says Freddy Macnamara, CEO at Cuvva. “Drivers want the flexibility to cancel a policy or make adjustments but in most cases, flexibility comes at a cost in the form of hidden fees.”

The company - which claims to be on a mission to simplify insurance cover - advises drivers to always read the small print, and ask insurers for a full breakdown of fees before accepting a quote or renewing a policy.

Check out the cheapest cars to insure right now...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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