Four steps to save hundreds on bills

When it comes to your finances, loyalty doesn’t pay. Banks, insurers, mobile providers – none of them offer the best deals to existing customers. Take action and hunt for the top deals in every aspect of your life and you could save yourself around £3,000 a year, according to comparison site GoCompare.com. Here are the four switches that are likely to make the biggest impact on your finances.

First, take a look at your energy bills – a move endorsed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who told the Conservative Party Conference that “it’s not right that two-thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs”. Switching energy provider is simple. Take a recent bill, visit a comparison website such as uSwitch.com or EnergyHelpline.com and tap in your usage data.

In under five minutes you’ll have a list of the cheapest deals and how much you would save – it is usually at least £100 and may well be more if you haven’t switched in a long time. Then contact the provider you want to switch to and they will do the rest. All you’ll have to do is provide a couple of meter readings.

Next, check your mortgage rate. Are you on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR)? If so, you could save thousands by switching onto a table-topping deal. Mortgage rates are at record lows of below 1%, but the average SVR is 4.6%, according to MoneyFacts.co.uk. Switch and you could save tens of thousands of pounds over the life of your mortgage.

How about your mobile phone? Around 75% of us are paying for minutes and data we don’t use each month, according to a survey by uSwitch. So shop around to see if you could get a cheaper deal with a different provider. You’ll be able to keep your mobile number and could save up to £186 over 12 months, according to MoneySavingExpert.com.

Finally, check your car insurance. If you auto-renew you are probably overpaying, as insurers tend to push up the premiums. Consumers waste £1.3bn each year on expensive auto-renewals, says comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com. Check several comparison sites – others include Confused.com and CompareTheMarket.com – to find a cheaper deal quickly.