I have been with Direct Line Car Insurance nearly 14 years. Part of this is due to the shear convenience of not having to fill out forms every year to renew my insurance as the company send me a letter about a month before my renewal is due telling me to "Do Nothing" and my insurance cover will automatically renew as it falls due. Now as a 48 year old with 5 years no claims I pay £246.75 fully comprehensive including Motor Legal Protection and No Claim Discount Protection.
Every year I co on-line and get comparison quotes and its always about the right amount. This year I tried "confused.com" and they couldn't even match the price, their best quote was £1 more expensive. So much for "guaranteed to save you money"
However, I did learn a couple of things this year. Despite 14 years with Direct Line I only have 5 years (Maximum) No Claims Discount. Other firms allow this to build up to 7, 8 or even 9 years but if I wanted to transfer to them they would only start me on 5 years since they take as their start point whatever your current company allows you. This imposes a financial penalty if you want to transfer from Direct Line to another insurer. You could say that was just good business or you could call it a bit sneaky!
The second thing I noticed, which was the real jolt, was that Direct Line offer a monthly payment option of £22.61, giving a total payable of £271.61, which equates to 23.6% APR. Now as were are currently experiencing the lowest rate of interest in living memory I find it very hard to stomach a 23% APR. This is going beyond good business practice and in my opinion is getting into the realm of seriously ripping off the customer! An offer I definitely have no trouble in refusing!