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Compare the Market review – how good is the UK’s biggest price comparison site?

Verified by Molly Dyson

Our experts have taken an in-depth look at Compare the Market, spending over 90 hours analysing, reviewing, and comparing similar sites to help you make an informed purchase.

What is Compare the Market?

Since its launch in 2006, Compare the Market has grown to become the UK’s largest comparison website offering impartial, independent comparisons of a broad range of financial products and services. These include car and home insurance, money products (such as credit cards or mortgages) and household utilities. 

Once a consumer inputs their details on the website, Compare the Market and other comparison sites present a wide choice of product quotes. This allows the consumer to compare and select the quote that best suits their needs.

By using Compare the Market to purchase financial products, consumers have the added peace of mind that they are able to compare a large number of providers without having to check each provider separately themselves, saving time and effort.  

Our expert review has extensively tested Compare the Market to determine how good the price comparison website is and how it stacks up against the competition.

How we cover home insurance

2
insurance products tested
4
competitors compared
100+
hours of research
500+
customer reviews read
3
experts consulted

Our researchers and writers are dedicated to bringing you accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to comparing and buying home insurance.

We will only endorse home insurance products and comparison websites after hundreds of hours of research, policy comparisons, and mystery shopping, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews, and the opinions of industry experts.

To write our articles we’ve compared (and continue to compare) hundreds of insurance policies from dozens of the UK’s insurers – big and small, as well as the performance of and prices on price comparison websites. We focus our research on:

  • Price/value for money
  • The level of coverage offered (and what’s not covered as standard)
  • Customer service

All of our articles are verified by industry experts including regulatory compliance specialists, and the policy data verified by the insurance providers themselves, so you can be assured that our content is as accurate and up to date as possible.

Even after all that, we would still recommend that you don’t just take our word for it, and you should compare insurance policies to get the best deal for you and your home. To find out more, read our article on how we cover home insurance companies.

What types of products are on Compare the Market?

Compare the Market compares products across a range of financial providers, with the most popular searches being for car and home insurance.

compare the market website homepage
The Compare the Market website is well-presented, and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for (Compare the Market)

Car insurance

You are legally required to have car insurance if you own or drive a car, with heavy penalties if you’re found to be driving an uninsured car. The only exemption is if you declare your car off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

According to Compare the Market, switching your car insurance provider through its website could save up to £374 per year. It compares 150 products from 56 car insurance companies, including Admiral, Aviva, and esure.

Home insurance

Home insurance is broken down into three types of cover – buildings, contents, and a combination of the two. Although home insurance is not a legal requirement, it provides financial protection for your property and possessions should something unexpected happen. It should be noted that most mortgage providers make buildings insurance a prerequisite of your mortgage.

Compare the Market compares 73 products from 41 of the best home insurance companies, including Admiral, Aviva, and More Than. It claims consumers could save up to £159 by changing their home insurance provider through its website.

Compare the Market also features comparisons for other types of insurance, such as travel and pet, energy providers, mortgages and car finance.

Why use a comparison website?

Consumers frequently turn to comparison sites rather than going directly to the insurance provider, as it generally simplifies the process of researching, comparing, and purchasing the product. When comparing financial products, there will often be a “soft credit search” carried out on the consumer. This happens during the quote process and is used to help the comparison site decide your eligibility. It doesn’t affect your credit score. 

Although Compare the Market searches a large number of providers and compares over 870 products, there are some that don’t appear on comparison sites. 

Certain insurers claim that by remaining off comparison websites, they can provide better deals for their customers, and it is harder to be undercut by competitors if their prices are only visible on their own websites.

Our experts would still recommend using comparison websites as the quickest way to compare quotes from the maximum number of insurers. You might also want to run a quote with one of the insurance companies not on Compare the Market, such as: 

What rewards come with Compare the Market?

compare the market rewards homepage
Compare the Market offers some excellent rewards: Meerkat Meals, Meerkat Movies, and a 25 per cent discount at Caffè Nero (Compare the Market)

Take out a qualifying financial product with Compare the Market, and several rewards are available. There’s no minimum purchase value, but the rewards are only accessible through the Meerkat mobile app, which can be downloaded free of charge from the website. 

Once you’ve purchased the product, sign into your online account to claim your rewards, and download the app for either Android or iOS. You can also find the Meerkat app on Google Play or the App Store.

The qualifying products include: 

  • Car insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Car finance
  • Switching broadband, TV or phone 
  • Credit cards

Meerkat Meals

Purchase a qualifying product, and Compare the Market will give you a 50 per cent discount on pizzas ordered through the Meerkat app. You need to spend a minimum of £30 at Domino’s, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut Delivery to receive your discount. The offer is available seven days a week, with pizzas either collected or delivered. Open the Meerkat app on your device, and tap the ‘pizza delivery’ button on the Meals screen to order.

In addition to half-price pizzas, there are also two-for-one offers on selected meals from Sunday to Thursday via the Meerkat app or 25 per cent off your total bill, at the following restaurants:

  • Ember Inns
  • Harvester
  • Kaspa’s Desserts
  • Pizza Hut Restaurants
  • Prezzo
  • Sizzling
  • Stonehouse
  • Toby Carvery

Meerkat Movies

Meerkat Movies gives you two-for-one cinema tickets every Tuesday or Wednesday for a whole year. The offer is available for standard seats at participating cinemas, which are listed on the app. 

Once you’ve purchased your qualifying product, sign into your account to claim your two-for-one tickets. Reveal your unique code in your Meerkat app, and present it at the box office or enter it online to receive your rewards. 

The codes are refreshed every Thursday for the following week. 

Caffè Nero

Compare the Market has teamed up with Caffè Nero, giving you a 25 per cent discount on barista-made drinks and pastries twice daily, seven days a week. There’s no limit to the number of people in your party, allowing you to treat yourself, your friends, and even your colleagues. 

To enjoy your barista coffee and pastries, click the Caffè Nero icon in your Meerkat app and generate your QR code. Show this code to your barista when you order for your 25 per cent discount.

How does Compare the Market compare?

We looked at Compare the Market alongside three well-known comparison sites to establish which came out on top for car and home insurance. The number of providers, time taken, and clarity of the quote process have all been considered, as have the available perks and the quote itself.

Home insurance comparison

Ranking Comparison site Our score Details
1st MoneySuperMarket 4.1/5 Trustpilot rating: 3.1 out of 5, ranked average Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 6 minutes 6 seconds Number of questions before quote: 49 (lots of questions pre-populated with correct answers) Cheapest quote: £23.99 for first month then £7.44 (or £95.94 annually, saving £9.89) Clarity: Have to create a password and sign up for an account before you can see quotes; first listing is sponsored, not cheapest so confusing; have to toggle back a screen to see annual savings. Perks: Find the same deal for less and they will price match and give you a choice of a £20 gift card
2nd Comparethemarket 4.0/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.8 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 9 minutes 18 seconds Number of questions before quote: 59 Cheapest quote: £21.25 a month (or £234.66 if paid yearly, saving £20.32) Clarity: Features of 44 available policies very clearly labelled, though not side by side – you have to scroll down to compare beyond price (cheapest first). Perks: 2 for 1 cinema tickets with Meerkat Movies and savings at restaurants when you dine out or order pizza in with Meerkat Meals, 25% off coffee and pastries at Caffè Nero every day of the week through the Meerkat app
3rd Confused.com 3.5/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.4 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 7 minutes 41 seconds Number of questions before quote: 51 (lots of questions pre-populated with answers, so ‘correct’ answer could be missed) Cheapest quote: £23.48 for first month then £7.25 per month (or £93.59 if paid annually, saving £9.64) Clarity: Have to create password and sign up for an account before you can see quotes; 53 quotes shown; first screen showed annual premium despite request for monthly; have to toggle back a screen to see annual savings Perks: Choice between £20 to spend at Lidl, 12 free car washes at IMO, £20 to spend at Halfords, or a HelloFresh recipe box
4th Go.Compare 3.1/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.8 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 8 minutes 59 seconds Number of questions before quote: 70 Cheapest quote: £23.47 a month (no annual saving) Clarity: Site deletes answers if you change earlier questions; you have to create a password and sign up for an account before you can see quotes; clear policy features but not easy to see annual savings. Perks: Free £250 excess cover

Quotes obtained on 09/02/2023; based on combined buildings and contents insurance for an owner-occupied, two-bedroom house, with a £250 excess

Car insurance comparison

Ranking Comparison site Our score Details
1st Comparethemarket 4.1/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.8 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 4 minutes 27 seconds Number of questions before quote: 27 (many pre-filled) Cheapest quote: £571 annual (monthly premiums unavailable with this quote) Clarity: Features of 67 available policies very clearly labelled – scroll down to compare (cheapest first) Perks: 2 for 1 cinema tickets with Meerkat Movies and savings at restaurants when you dine out or order pizza in with Meerkat Meals, 25% off coffee and pastries at Caffè Nero every day of the week through the Meerkat app
2nd MoneySuperMarket 4.0/5 Trustpilot rating: 3.1 out of 5, ranked average Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 7 minutes 10 seconds Number of questions before quote: 31 questions (several pre-filled) Cheapest quote: £638 annually (monthly premiums unavailable with this quote) or £603 with a Black Box fitted Clarity: Have to create an account before you can see 37 quotes; first listing is sponsored not cheapest so confusing Perks: Find the same deal for less and they will price match and give you a choice of a £20 gift card
3rd Confused.com 3.7/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.4 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 8 minutes 10 seconds Number of questions before quote: 31 (many questions pre-filled) Cheapest quote: £599 annually (monthly payments unavailable with this quote) Clarity: Have to create password and sign up for an account before you can see quotes; 30 quotes shown Perks: Choice between £20 to spend at Lidl, 12 free car washes at IMO, £20 to spend at Halfords, or a HelloFresh recipe box
4th Go.Compare 3.1/5 Trustpilot rating: 4.8 out of 5, ranked excellent Time taken to complete quote questionnaire: 8 minutes Number of questions before quote: 40 Cheapest quote: £686 annually (monthly premiums unavailable with this quote) Clarity: Site deletes answers if you change earlier questions; you have to create a password and sign up for an account before you can see quotes Perks: Free £250 excess cover

Quotes obtained on 09/02/2023; based on a 2018 Nissan Juke, comprehensive insurance with a £250 excess

How does Compare the Market perform?

Our team has extensively tested the car and home insurance quote processes to give you a clear overview of what to expect.

compare the market car insurance form
The car insurance form took our researchers around four minutes to complete (Compare the Market)

Car insurance

Applying for a car insurance quote is generally much less complex than for home insurance. Compare the Market’s process takes around four minutes to complete, with many of the questions pre-filled according to your car’s make and model. However, some questions require clarifying. 

Estimate your car’s value

The approximate value of your vehicle can be easily found online. Several websites designed specifically for this purpose can be found through Google. 

Vehicle modifications

Any change to a vehicle since it was first manufactured is considered a modification. This includes cosmetic alterations and changes to the exhaust, brakes, or suspension system. 

Annual mileage

Your annual mileage should include travelling for domestic or social use and work purposes. Underestimating the number of miles driven in a year can impact your cover, so it’s important to be as accurate as possible. 

Driving licence number

This is the 16-digit number found in section five of your driving licence. It starts with part, or all, of your surname. 

Cover level 

The cover level refers to the level of protection you require. There are three levels: 

  • Third Party Only (TPO): This is the minimum legally required cover. It protects against claims made by a third party as a result of an accident caused by you or any named driver whilst using your car
  • Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT): This covers everything TPO does, plus protects your vehicle from accidental fire damage, damage as a result of theft, or if your car is stolen
  • Comprehensive (Comp): This includes everything TPO and TPFT cover, plus any damage to your vehicle as a result of an accident

No claims discount (NCD)

Every year you drive without making an insurance claim gives you an extra year of no claims discount. The discount is accumulative and can significantly reduce the cost of your car insurance. You may need to provide proof of any NCD when you take out a policy with a new provider. 

Your NCD should be detailed on your insurance renewal letter, but check with your current provider if you are unsure. 

Home insurance

The quote process is clear and easy to follow, taking around seven minutes to answer 59 questions. In testing the quote journey, there were some questions that used specialist language, so to help you understand the trickiest questions, we’ve provided some guidance.

Underpinning

Compare the Market needs to know about the structure of your home in order to provide accurate building insurance quotes. Underpinning is a construction process designed to strengthen and stabilise the foundations of a property. It’s frequently used when the ground moves beneath the building. It can also be used to improve foundations ready for a conversion or extension. 

If your house was underpinned before you purchased, it should be noted on the Building or Structural Survey.

Subsidence

Subsidence is the term used when the ground beneath your house shifts and shrinks, which is often due to a lack of moisture in the soil. The shifting earth can cause the property to move, causing sudden cracks to appear around your doors and windows or across ceilings. 

Lock types

Home insurance providers are interested in the security of your property and Compare the Market asks you to confirm the type of locks on your exterior doors. Fortunately, the question includes interactive diagrams to help you identify the lock type. 

Modern doors are frequently made from uPVC and typically have a multi-point lock. Upon lifting the handle, the door bolts into the frame at multiple points simultaneously, and turning the key locks them in place. 

Another popular type of lock, commonly seen in timber doors, is a mortice deadlock. To identify if you have this lock, check for a hole, or mortice, cut into the wall or door frame for the lock to slide into. The more locks and matching mortices, the more secure your door is, and five-lever mortice deadlocks are widely recognised as one of the best locks for residential properties. 

Content value

Compare the Market suggests imagining turning your home upside down and seeing what would fall out when considering contents insurance. This includes carpets, curtains and free-standing furniture, but not fitted cupboards, for example. Don’t forget to include the contents of your cellar or attic space. Any bicycles or items worth more than £1,500 individually are entered in a different section.

Valuable items worth over £1,500 each, also known as high-risk items, could be easily stolen and are expensive to replace, such as jewellery, antiques, electric goods, or mobile devices. Any such items are listed separately from your other contents.

Is Compare the Market cheaper than going directly to the insurance provider?

Our researchers received quotes from Compare the Market before applying directly to the providers that came top of its list. This was carried out on the same day, using exactly the same criteria.  

Compare the Market suggested that Policy Expert would be the best option for home insurance and gave our researchers a quote for an annual premium of £234. Going directly to Policy Expert, our researchers used the same criteria and received a quote for an annual premium of £251 – £17 a year higher than Compare the Market’s home insurance quote. 

The quote process from the insurer, while relatively simple, was not as easy to follow as Compare the Market’s and didn’t provide as many definitions for terms. 

We should add that since receiving the quote from Policy Expert, our researchers have received several follow-up emails requesting reviews of Policy Expert’s products and services. 

Compare the Market’s annual car insurance quote was £585. Going directly through Hastings Direct, the suggested provider, the annual premiums would be £626 – an increase of £41 on Compare the Market’s quote. 

Hastings Direct’s procedure for getting a car insurance quote was straightforward and very similar to Compare the Market’s.

Our researchers concluded that Compare the Market provided cheaper car and home insurance quotes, with the added bonus of its rewards scheme.

What do customers say?

Compare the Market has a Trustpilot rating of 4.8 stars, putting it in the ‘excellent’ category, with 96 per cent of customers giving it a four or five-star review. A large number of reviews mention that the website is straightforward to navigate, which echoes our researchers’ findings. 

Compare the Market’s customer support team responds to the majority of Trustpilot reviews, with the favourable ones receiving thank yous, and the few negative reviews being asked to send an email, enabling the team to resolve any issues. This suggests that Compare the Market values the experience of its customers and wants to provide a good service.  

Many reviews mention how much money has been saved on insurance products by going through Compare the Market. However, it’s unclear whether this is compared to other comparison sites or the provider itself. 

The rewards offered appear very popular, too, with many reviewers stating how much they enjoyed the meals and cinema tickets.

At the other end of the scale, the one-star reviews mainly regard how much insurance premiums have risen, with a small minority complaining about the insurance provider itself rather than Compare the Market. 

“[Home] insurance. In a very short space of time, I was able to save 40% on a year’s premium when compared to the renewal price from my current insurer. The new policy offered the same coverage which was also with a well known and respected insurer.”

“Very easy to use site which saved me approximately £50 on my current car insurance with a few more perks, and the added bonus of cinema and meal two for one rewards, what’s not to like? Spot on, thanks”

“Very good site to navigate. Clear and straightforward questions to answer on the forms. A huge range of quotes offered and I was delighted with the insurance provider I selected. I saved £200 too!”

Independent Advisor’s verdict

Compare the Market is the UK’s largest comparison website, and this is confirmed by the number of provider products it compares – 874 products across 12 categories. MoneySuperMarket lists around 40 products and 13 categories, while Confused.com and Go Compare’s websites don’t appear to publish the number of products but have fewer categories – nine and five, respectively. 

Online reviews of Compare the Market give it a Trustpilot rating of 4.8, with customers liking the user-friendly website and Meerkat rewards. Many reviews mention large savings being made on insurance products. While our researchers found that the quotes were similar between Compare the Market and going directly to the provider, using the comparison site saved money, plus it has a good rewards scheme. The quote process was more straightforward too, and with only one email confirming the insurance quotes, our researchers would choose to use Compare the Market over a provider website. 

Compare the Market offers over 870 products across a broad range of categories, allowing it to give customers a choice of quotes, many of which can save them money. It has a generous rewards programme and a customer service team that responds promptly to online reviews – both the numerous favourable reviews and the few that are less so. We feel this all makes Compare the Market a good choice when looking for competitive car and home insurance quotes.

★★★★

Scores breakdown

Price 4
Convenience 4.1
Perks 4.5
Customer service 5
Trustpilot rating 4.8

How we review price comparison websites

Our reviewers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to using price comparison websites to buy your car and home insurance. We will only endorse a website after hours of research, testing the quote process and customer service, comparing to its competitors, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our review scores are determined by the following categories, and are weighted to reflect each category’s importance.

  • Price (40 per cent)
  • Convenience (35 per cent)
  • Perks (10 per cent)
  • Customer service (10 per cent)
  • Trustpilot score (5 per cent)

All of our home insurance reviews are fact-checked and verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured that our content is accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.