Are car insurance comparison sites a con?

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My car insurance with Aviva will run out in a month’s time so it’s time to get all the quotes again.

Aviva renewal is about £210 less £20 if renewed online so £190 net. This is with £350 total excess.

Saga sent me a letter asking me to consider them again (I’d been with them the year before Aviva) with an estimated price of £209. On checking, their site quoted £215 with £350 total excess, (£213 with a £400 total excess). I’d get £30 cashback from TopCashBack with this making it £185 so not really worth bothering to change.

Following MSE suggestions I looked at the other direct sites:

Direct Line £208 less £20 cashback so hardly any benefit there.
Zurich was £456!!!

As for the comparison sites:

Moneysupermarket cheapest £251, Saga £300 with £400 excess.
Confused cheapest £228, Saga £281 with £400 excess.
GoCompare cheapest cheapest £210, Saga £229 with £400 total excess.
CompareTheMarket cheapest £211, no price for Saga.

So none of the sites gave anything better than my Aviva renewal but what surprised me was how much extra they were charging for Saga compared to the price on Saga’s site.

I know the comparison sites have to pay for all their adverts somehow but I thought this would have been through commission rather than ripping off the end user.

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