A new report out today from GoCompare Car Insurance has revealed that the cost of getting a young driver on the road has fallen to £6,071.00.

The combined cost of a new young motorist learning to drive, buying, taxing and then insuring their first car has fallen by £775.00 in the last year from £6,846.00 to £6,071.00.

The drop is attributed largely to young drivers spending less on buying their first car (£3,562.00 compared to £4,276.00 in 2018) and the average car insurance premium for a 17-year old driver falling from £1,852.00 in 2018 to £1,737.00 in 2019.

In fact, analysis of over 2.3m car insurance quotes generated by young drivers using GoCompare reveals that the average lowest car insurance premium for a 17-year old driver has fallen by nearly 50% from £3,392.00 in 2012 to £1,737.00 in 2019.

Lee Griffin, founder, and CEO of GoCompare said: “At around £6000 the cost of getting a new driver on the road is a substantial drain on teenagers’ and their family’s finances. Although buying the first car still accounts for the majority of the initial expense, the first car insurance premium can also cost into the thousands. Hence why so many parents are dipping into their own pockets to help their children out.

“However, the surprising good news is that the cost of insurance for new drivers has fallen substantially since 2012 as the average premium is nearly half what it was eight years ago. The introduction of telematics or ‘black box’ style insurance which utilises the latest technology to monitor drivers and reward safer driving has undoubtedly helped to lower costs.

New research from Charter Savings Bank shows shoppers are increasingly happy to pay more to cut back on plastic and boost sales of sustainable products.

Its nationwide study found customers are willing to pay 9% more on their weekly shop – equivalent to an extra £5.50 on the average household bill of £60.602 – to ensure more sustainable packaging is used.

Nearly half of all adults (46%) plan to buy more sustainable products this year with women (54%) more likely than men (38%) to place a greater focus on sustainability in their shopping in 2020. The research found just one in 20 adults (5%) saying they didn’t buy any sustainable products last year and won’t buy any this year.

The sustainability switch is supported by attitudes to reusable alternatives to everyday products such as coffee cups and water bottles with 48% of adults saying they are willing to pay more. That rises to 59% for people in their 20s.

However the commitment to sustainability is not total – research found shoppers are more likely to use reusable shopping bags, water bottles and coffee cups but are less interested in metal straws as the table below shows.

What do shoppers use the majority of the time?

Reusable/sustainable product vs Non sustainable alternative
Reusable shopping bag/bag for life: 83% vs Non reusable bag in shop: 7%
LED lightbulbs: 73% vs Non energy saving lightbulbs: 11%
Reusable grocery/vegetable bags: 55% vs Non reusable bag in shop (free): 18%
Reusable water bottle: 52% vs Bottled water: 20%
Local produce: 54% vs Cheaper imported fruit and veg: 30%
Face cloth (instead of wipes): 52% vs Face wipes (non-biodegradable): 15%
Rechargeable batteries: 49% vs Single use batteries: 33%
Biodegradable bin bags: 46% vs Non-biodegradable bin bags: 29%
Reusable coffee cup: 33% vs Single use cup: 17%
Metal straw: 17% vs Free one-use straw: 25%
Bamboo toothbrush: 12% vs Plastic toothbrush: 54%
Wooden razor: 9% vs Plastic razor: 48%
Biodegradable wipes: 33% vs Non-biodegradable wipes: 19%
Washable nappies: 8% vs Disposable nappies: 12%
Reusable sandwich wraps: 26% vs Cling film: 26%

 

Paul Whitlock, Group Managing Director, Savings said: “Sustainability is an important factor in purchasing considerations for all age groups – it’s not just millennials who care about the environment.

“Since we launched in 2015, we’ve taken steps to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to operate as sustainably as possible.

“Our new office is full of things to help us lower our impact on the environment. Removing single-use plastic cups and giving all our people reusable coffee cups is just one of the many positive changes we’ve made to be more sustainable.

“It’s vital that we all do our bit to become greener and help the environment and it’s encouraging to see that people are willing to spend more to see less plastic and packaging and aim to increase the number of sustainable products they buy this year. The good news is that it can also save money. Bags for life and reusable coffee cups and water bottles may cost a bit more than alternatives, but will save you money in the long-run.”

A third of undergraduates are using loans, overdrafts and credit cards to pay rent at university, the National Student Accommodation Survey 2020 has found. Some are even taking out payday loans to pay their landlords.

The annual research by money advice site Save the Student polled 2,168 students, and reveals widespread borrowing among undergrads. Although 36% turn to commercial lenders, the figure jumps to 60% when sources include family, friends and employers.

Naomi (not her real name) studies at the University of Leeds. She says: “I owe almost £3,000 on overdrafts, plus £800 on a credit card (at around 30% interest). All of this was to pay rent in shared houses.

“I took a Smart-Pig loan for £200 to pay rent in my 2nd year. In the 3rd year I got a credit card, and put about £400 on it. Then I had to open a second overdraft.”

According to the survey, students spend an average of £126.42 a week on rent (£547.82 a month). However, an FOI request by Save the Student puts the average Maintenance Loan award at just £540 a month for rent AND living costs.

As a result, most of this government funding goes straight to university or private landlords. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 students (11%) say rent is “a constant struggle”. A similar number (9.7%) have missed payments, while 2% have experienced eviction for not paying rent.

Lucy, a 3rd year student at UWE Bristol, juggles four overdrafts to keep up with rent. “When I lived in uni halls my rent was £8,000 a year (the cheapest I was offered) and my student loan was £8,500.

“I’ve got £950 in a paid Monzo overdraft, which costs £15 a month. There’s £1,800 on my Santander overdraft, but this is free while I’m studying. There’s also Nationwide (£250) and Halifax (£1,000) – I pay for both of these each month.”

The high cost of student accommodation (compared to the funding available) is creating a stark divide. On average, stay-at-home students pay just £53 per week for rent. Those in university halls pay £142, or an extra £4,628 over a year.

Where do students borrow money from to pay rent?

  • Parents (37%)
  • Bank overdraft or loan (28%)
  • Friends (13%)
  • The university (7%)
  • Credit card (6%)
  • Payday loan (2%)
  • Employer (1%)

Parents are the first port of call for loans – despite already contributing an average of £2,542 towards rent each year.

Students whose families can’t afford to help as much (or whose parents’ income reduces the Maintenance Loan award) may find consumer credit, such as loans and credit cards, to be a costly alternative.

Unlike the Student Loan, most forms of credit come with uncapped interest rates, plus serious consequences for late repayment, such as fees or credit score damage. Anything borrowed also has to be repaid regardless of income or employment status.

Lucy adds, “I’m careful with my spending and don’t live a lavish lifestyle, but I often have to feed myself on £10 a week, or prioritise rent over other bills. This has even led to me being chased by debt collectors.”

Just over half of undergrads (54%) told the survey that worrying about rent affects their health. Taking on the risks and demands of consumer debt, especially without a steady income, is only likely to add to their stress.

Jake Butler, money expert for Save the Student says the survey highlights an urgent problem with student funding. He adds: “This discovery that so many students are risking serious debt in order to just pay for student accommodation is worrying.

“It’s unfair that students are forced to borrow to keep a roof over their heads, and without being warned about the impact debt may have on their wellbeing and future finances. Students should be able to focus on studying, and not on trying to climb out of a debt spiral caused by shortsighted student funding and over-priced rents.

“The Maintenance Loan isn’t enough to live on and, evidently, most of it goes to landlords. The system is long overdue government reform.”

Sue Anderson, Head of Media at StepChange Debt Charity, comments: “Students are among the most financially stretched groups, so it’s no surprise university can be a time when debts build up. Tuition fees and maintenance loans often won’t cover the essentials for many students, who can find themselves turning to consumer credit like overdrafts or private loans to survive.

“These forms of credit can seem attractive as they often won’t require repayment until the end of your studies. However, many students face a cliff-edge upon finishing university when repayments kick in and they are likely to be financially vulnerable

“We’d encourage those lending to students to consider these pitfalls, and to ensure their products don’t end up causing financial difficulties. For any student struggling with debt, help with managing your finances can be found on our website: www.stepchange.org.

Adults aged 50 and over are aspiring to save £80,000 for their loved ones, yet a fifth (22%) don’t currently save and a further tenth (8%) don’t even have a savings account, according to a new Co-op Insurance study conducted among 2000 UK adults aged 50 and over.

Of those adults aged 50 and over who have saved, almost a tenth (9%) say they have less than £1,000 put aside, a fifth have less than £5,000 saved and a quarter have less than £10,000 saved.

For those who do save, it’s evident that despite wanting to leave savings for loved ones, the temptation of dipping into savings accounts is very common among adults aged 50 and over.

Over four fifths have dipped into their savings at some point and in the last month alone, over a quarter (27%) have accessed their savings.

Over a fifth of those who have used money from their savings did so to go on holiday, a fifth (20%) used the money for home refurbishments and over a tenth (13%) bought a car.

Furthermore, 40% of adults aged 50 and over who have a savings account said they had to stop saving for an extended period of time, rising to almost three fifths for adults aged 50-54.

When asked why this was, over two fifths of those who had to stop putting money into their savings account for an extended period of time (44%) said that other outgoings took priority, over a quarter (28%) had unexpected bills to pay and almost a fifth (19%) said someone in their family needed financial help, so they gave money to them instead.

Almost a fifth paid for a holiday, 15% said paying for Christmas took priority and over 14% paid to get their car fixed instead.

The research comes as Co-op Insurance launches it’s over 50s life insurance plan, which allows customers to leave a lump sum up to £10,000 for their loved ones when they pass away.

Charles Offord, Managing Director at Co-op Insurance said: “We know that so many people hope to leave lump sums to their loved ones when they’re gone, but in reality, that’s not always possible. The majority of people with savings do at times dip into them in order to cover other outgoings and life events.”

“We see our new Over 50’s plan as a means to which people can affordably and flexibly save nest eggs to leave to their loved ones when they pass away.”

Finance experts TotallyMoney have warned that 27 million UK households are potentially missing out on substantial £300 savings due to price hikes and widespread misconceptions. Research reveals:

  • £300 a year could be saved on average in UK households by switching energy tariff
  • This equates to customers overpaying by £3.8 billion due to not switching energy tariff or supplier
  • 82% of the British public failed to switch energy in 2018
  • Over half (58%) falsely believe they are already on the best tariff

TotallyMoney’s award-winning free credit report has always shown customers how much their money habits affect their credit score. Their brand-new energy switching service helps customers to improve their spending habits, and means they will now see their best money-saving options to ensure they never pay more than they need to.

The launch comes at a pivotal time for customers, many of whom resolve to take control of their finances at the beginning of the year but remain unaware of how significant an impact energy switching has on their financial welfare.

Shockingly, nearly three in five (58%) believe they are already on the best energy tariff. However, many don’t know that some energy suppliers automatically place customers on the most expensive plan once their introductory period ends, which is only capped due to restrictions and regulations mandated by the government.

The lightbulb moment

TotallyMoney customers now get a constantly up-to-date view on how much they can save on their energy bills and can complete a money-saving switch in as little as two minutes. This hassle-free experience will overcome significant barriers for customers, with one in four believing energy switching to be an inconvenience and are left out of pocket as a result.

Customers can also choose how they save based on what matters to them most, whether that’s price alone, well-established energy providers, contract flexibility, or green suppliers.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney, comments:

“We’re excited to launch energy switching for our customers and are keen to get the word out about how significant the potential savings are. 

“It’s alarming that £3.8 billion of people’s hard-earned money is being lost due to not switching.

“A £300 annual saving is a worthwhile return in exchange for just two minutes of someone’s time — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For larger households and families, the potential savings could be even greater.

Direct Line Car Insurance is warning consumers not to be scammed into buying worthless fake car insurance policies, after new analysis1 reveals it takes just ten seconds to find an insurance scammer, known as a ghost broker, on social media fraudulently claiming to sell fully comprehensive car insurance from companies such as Admiral, Hastings Direct, AVIVA and Churchill.

The insurer is leading the fight against these fraudsters, who specifically target vulnerable consumers, through major social media sites.  Direct Line reports that by working with these social media platforms to delete accounts that were fraudulently targeting consumers using its brand, it has now assisted in the closure of over 500.  Direct Line continues to work together with social media companies to proactively search and delete these insurance scams.

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, commented: “Social media platforms are being targeted by these scam artists, and it is important we continue to work together to protect consumers from being misled into buying a worthless car insurance policy. Fraud adds £50 to the insurance premiums of honest customers, so for every person who mistakenly thinks they save money using a ghost broker;  everyone else pays more.

“Consumers need to be beware when responding to adverts and profiles that appear ‘too good to be true’ on social media, as they could find themselves a victim of fraud, losing money and potentially facing criminal charges. Whilst insurers are doing all they can to spot these fake accounts to protect honest policyholders, drivers may only find out they have been scammed when they come to make a claim or if pulled over for a random police check.”

One ghost broker identified promises that they “100% use a client’s details” to secure fully comprehensive insurance yet are also offering the first five people to contact them a car insurance policy for just £200, which is impossible to guarantee.  Ghost brokers will sell fraudulent insurance policies that never exist, use false information to secure a policy in someone’s name, or even buy a legitimate policy only to then cancel it, pocketing the refund.  Many of these scam artists also promise “£50 to refer a friend” to attract even more victims to their scams.

To try and avoid detection and the tracing of payments ghost brokers are using messaging apps, where messages are encrypted to communicate with vulnerable consumers, and requesting payment in cryptocurrency.

Barrett continues: “We proactively engage with social media owners, identifying ghost brokers and petitioning for the removal of these pages to protect the public.  We also have stringent processes in place to identify potentially fraudulent insurance applications.  Anyone we suspect of operating as a ghost broker will be reported immediately to the authorities.”

It is illegal to drive without valid insurance and drivers caught by the police, whose policy is fraudulent or has been cancelled without their knowledge, risk a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on their licence2.  If the case goes to court a driver can face an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.

 

Advice for consumers:

  • The policy holder is responsible for the information provided in their application, if a the information given is not accurate,  their insurance will be invalid.
  • Only purchase motor insurance from reputable sources, Direct Line doesn’t sell through brokers. Policies can only be purchased direct via the website or telephone
  • Official social media accounts on major platforms have a blue tick, So avoid those accounts that don’t have one
  • Steer clear, if a ‘Broker’ only uses a mobile number or has no business premises or uses personal sounding email address (i.e. no company affiliation)
  • Contact the insurer directly if going through a broker to check if they are authorised to sell policies on the company’s behalf or check them out at biba.org.uk or register.fca.org.uk
  • Adverts promising insurance for a fixed price without having any details of your personal situation or the vehicle you are seeking to insure are likely to be fraudulent
  • Reviews – if these feature screengrabs of text messages, they are extremely likely to be fake
  • Check the language – if communications include text such as “you can’t believe how cheap it is bro” and “totally legit not a scam mate” – it probably is fraudulent
  • Intuition – ask yourself if the deal appears ‘too good to be true’, does the website or social media page appear reputable?

How to check you’re not a victim:

  • Check if the Broker is registered with FCA and/or BIBA
  • Check your details with the insurer you have been informed you are insured with
  • Check if your car is insured online via www.askMID.com

What a consumer should do if they think it’s a scam:

  • Report to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040
  • Contact Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline – 0800 422 0421

Aldermore’s new buy to let research, surveying 1,000 UK-based landlords, highlights the important contribution landlords make to their local economy with eight in ten turning to a local tradesperson when their property requires work or renovation. Landlords spent on average £1,443 in the last 12 months on services such as plumbers, builders, letting agents and other tradespeople, and all hired from the local community for most of their requirements.

Of the total amount paid to local service providers, landlords spent the most on letting agents coming to £879m in the past twelve months, followed by £442m on general handy-workers and £396m on plumbers. Also, landlords spent £375.4m on electricians, £377.3m on builders, and £243.2m on cleaners.

Using local provides peace of mind for landlords

Over a third say trust is the main reason why they turn to someone local, while one quarter (26%) say, due to not living close to their rental property, having local people do maintenance is reassuring to them. Furthermore, one in three (31%) want to support their local economy by using local tradespeople and one in four (24%) say they tend to be cheaper to alternatives which helps keep their business costs down.

The report found that landlords are happy with the services local tradespeople provide and 65%will continue to use them, with a further quarter intending to use them even more in the future. Only 7% of landlords say they haven’t used local services for their properties, mainly due to being able to do the jobs themselves or having a family member who can service the property.

Damian Thompson, Group Managing Director of Retail Finance at Aldermore, said: “Landlords are an integral part of local communities across the UK, providing investment and fulfilling the demand of the expanding Private Rented Sector. Around every landlord is an ecosystem, in which they pay local tradespeople, like plumbers, builders, decorators, for jobs and those companies in turn train up employees and pay their own local suppliers for services also. The contribution landlords make to local communities extends much wider than merely providing rental accommodation.

“Our findings show supporting local economies also brings benefits to landlords own businesses. Local workers bring a lot of value to landlords with respondents to our survey citing in particular the quality work, cost effectiveness and the understanding of local areas as key benefits.”

 

Table 1: landlord expenditure on local services the past 12 months

Service Percentage of landlords that used service in past 12 months Average amount spent annually on landlords that used service Total UK wide annual spend for service by landlords
Letting agent/ property management 31% £1,135.40 £879.9m
Handy-worker 40% £442.40 £442.4m
Plumbers 51% £310.70 £396.1m
Electricians 47% £319.50 £375.4m
Cleaners 19% £512.10 £243.2m
Builders 26% £580.50 £377.3m
Roofers 16% £537.60 £215.0m
Gardeners 12% £476.50 £143.0m
Carpenters 18% £481.80 £216.8m
Architects 4% £764.10 £76.4m
Structural Engineers 4% £877.20 £87.7m
Interior designers 5% £1,020.00 £127.5m
Other 3% £494.90 £37.1m

 

The reality of adult life is having to take more responsibility for the state of our finances. Long gone are the days of receiving a little pocket money from mum and dad for doing the chores; instead, we’re faced with the big bad world of credit scores, loans, mortgages, bills and much more.

Unfortunately, these concerns can take their toll and it was recently revealed that 55% of all adults have seen their mental health affected as a result of money issues, while 63% have been concerned about someone they know.

There are some events in life – planned or otherwise – which can necessitate a re-think of our financial strategy. So, what might these events be and how can we assess our monetary situation accordingly?

Having a child

Recent data suggests that the average cost for two parents raising a child until the age of 18, including childcare expenses, is £155,100. Such a staggering figure, as well as the obvious responsibility of bringing another human being into the world, means careful consideration is required before deciding to extend your family.

Dealing with a drop in income

Should you or your partner be unfortunate enough to suffer a reduction in salary – perhaps due to redundancy, illness or because of professional negligence that affects your ability to work – then you may have to cut your cloth accordingly and review how you spend your money.

Buying a house

If you’re seeking to get on the property ladder, it may take a significant financial commitment. As of November 2019, the average price of a house in the UK was £235,298, which means a standard 10% deposit would require a payment in excess of £23,500. Many people would not be in a position to readily come up with such a sum, which is why it could prove prudent to asses your finances and see where you can make savings.

How to evaluate your financial health

The above are just some examples of periods we go through in life where careful planning becomes paramount. The first step is to sit down and assess all your regular incomings and outgoings, perhaps recording them on a spreadsheet for ease of calculation.

By adding up the combined salary of your household, you’ll know how much money you have coming in every month and by totting up all your expenditures – such as rent or mortgage payments, bills, food and fuel, you’ll gain an idea of your living costs.

At that point, you should be able to work out how much expendable income you have and whether that is going to be enough to cover the initial costs of having a baby, saving for a deposit or dealing with a drop in salary.

If it’s not, then it’s time to see where you can make savings – perhaps by changing where you shop for food, altering your TV subscription or making plans to car share more often. If you start doing this, you’ll be taking the first steps towards improving your financial picture.

Research from credit experts TotallyMoney and MoneyComms reveals how just making minimum repayments on credit card balances costs customers thousands in interest and takes over two decades to clear.

  • Only making the minimum repayment each month will take over 26 years to clear a credit card balance
  • Customers expected to lose a staggering £3,775 due to interest
  • Fixing monthly repayments to the first minimum repayment amount will save £2,367 in interest
  • Just a mere 1 in 5 know about the dangers of the minimum repayment trap* 

The shocking figures are based on only making the minimum repayment on a credit card balance of £2,604†, with a fixed interest rate of 19.9%APR‡.

Worryingly, the anticipated interest costs will be even greater for those customers stuck with a higher annual percentage rate.

Furthermore, a staggering 80% of people are unaware of the dangerous trap they could fall into by only making minimum repayments, leaving them with debt that will take over a quarter of a century to clear.

Small change, big win

The credit experts advise that one way to avoid this pitfall is by paying a slightly larger, fixed amount each month.

For example, if the first minimum repayment on a £2,604 credit card balance is £66, setting the monthly repayments at this thereafter, while the outstanding balance continues to decrease, could avoid customers from paying an extra £2,367 in interest.

Moreover, this payment plan means it will take just over five years to pay off the balance — more than five times faster than the 26 years it will take to clear the same balance when only making minimum repayments.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of credit experts TotallyMoney, comments:

“While it’s alarming how much money people can save by making one small change to their repayment habits, especially as figures suggest there’s over £580 million lost in interest charged each month, it’s even more concerning how many people don’t know how making only the minimum repayment impacts them.

“It’s understandable that in certain months customers can only afford the minimum repayments, and sometimes it may be tempting to make a smaller repayment to keep as much cash in the bank as possible. However, the figures show this is an incredibly expensive option.

“And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many will pay even more interest on their credit card balance if they have a higher annual percentage rate.

“At TotallyMoney, we’re on a mission to improve the UK’s credit score and help people move on up to a better financial future. It’s important people are aware of the small change they could make to their repayment habits, as this will help them clear their debts and become debt-free quicker.

“To help people avoid being stung by interest costs, here are my top three tips.”

 

1)    Move your debts to a balance transfer card

If you’re currently paying interest on a credit card balance, you could transfer it to a balance transfer card. These cards let you pay off the balance over a certain amount of time, with no interest. There’s often a small transfer fee, which is worked out as a percentage of how much you transfer, but this is usually much less than what you’d pay in interest otherwise.

 

2)    Use a 0% interest purchase card 

These cards come with a period of interest-free spending. That means you can make a large or unexpected purchase, and clear the balance over a set number of months — without building interest.

 

3)    Consider getting a personal loan 

The next time you need to borrow money, you may find that a personal loan is a better option for you. With a personal loan, you’re told upfront the fixed amount you’ll have to repay each month, as well as its total cost over the length of the loan. You should avoid payday loans though, as they have very high interest rates, making the total cost of borrowing very expensive.

With any card or loan, it’s always best to check your eligibility on sites such as TotallyMoney before you apply. This lets you see how likely you are to be accepted for what you want, reduces your chances of rejection, and helps protect your credit rating.

Sources:

* TotallyMoney annual Financial Awareness Survey [conducted by OnePoll. 2,000 UK Adults December 2018]

† Average credit card debt per household: The Money Charity [October 2019]

‡ Average interest rate figure of 19.9%APR: Bank of England [December 2019]

Calculations made using the CardCosts calculator [January 2020]

Credit experts TotallyMoney have advised that those booking holidays could protect themselves under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act by using a credit card, meaning customers could get their money back should something go wrong. The advice comes at a pivotal time for holiday makers with Flybe at risk folding, following the devastating collapse of Thomas Cook and WOW Air last year that left hundreds of thousands massively out of pocket.

  • Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act protects all credit card transactions between £100 and £30,000
  • An estimated 5.2 million* Brits will book holidays this January, yet almost a third (29%) of consumers don’t realise Section 75 covers them at all
  • More than half (55%) aren’t aware they’re protected by Section 75 for the cost of a hotel when booking directly
  • A third (34%) falsely believe that Section 75 covers PayPal transactions over £100

With many people left in the dark last year about if and how they’ll get a refund, customers can live safe in the knowledge that they’ll be able to get a refund under Section 75, providing the Debtor-Creditor-Supplier (DCS) Link isn’t broken.

This means the exchange of money between the customer, the credit card company, and the service provider must be maintained. Section 75 therefore wouldn’t apply when the DCS link is broken, which happens when using third parties, such as a travel agent.

Alarmingly, booking a holiday through a travel agent doesn’t cover customers if the operator folds. Customers should therefore confirm their holiday is ATOL-protected if booking through an agent.

Choose credit, not debit

Those booking their holidays directly, however, should be aware of Section 75 and its benefits before they do, to avoid being left short in worst-case scenarios.

TotallyMoney CEO, Alastair Douglas, comments: “In a world where things can often go wrong, Section 75 is a safety net. The trouble is, many don’t realise it exists.

“With great deals in January and many suffering from post-Christmas blues, it’s easy to see why people are keen to book a holiday. However, having something go wrong while away — during what’s often the highlight of your year — is an awful situation to be in.

“If it so happens you can’t jet off, or worse yet, you’re stuck and can’t get home, you can be left feeling like there’s nothing you can do. Section 75 adds an extra level of security that can really help.

“It was disheartening last year to see so many families stranded and out of pocket when Thomas Cook collapsed. If something like this happens again, being covered by Section 75 means you can contact your credit card provider to claim a refund.

“At TotallyMoney, we’re on a mission to improve the UK’s credit score and help people move on up to a better future. Not only could responsibly using a credit card improve your credit score, but being covered by Section 75 could also improve a situation that might otherwise be financially very stressful.”

 

Section 75 Top Ten Tips

To make sure you’re never caught out, here are 10 things to know about how Section 75 can help you when booking your next getaway.

  1. Limits on claims

Individual items and purchases costing more than £100 and up to £30,000 are covered under Section 75. So whether it’s a cancelled flight or an all-inclusive family holiday and the company goes bust, as long as you paid on credit card, you could be reimbursed the full amount.

2. We’re talking credit, not debit

Section 75 doesn’t cover anything bought using a debit card. Chargeback protection is as good as you’ll get with debit.

3. They’re bust. You’re not broke

Buying from a company that goes bust before they deliver doesn’t mean your money’s lost. Section 75 requires credit card companies to get your money back.

4. Pay a deposit, get full value cover

When a deposit is needed for a holiday, use a credit card — even when the deposit is less than £100. Should anything prevent you from settling the balance (like the airline collapses), Section 75 lets you claim the full amount. Not just the paid deposit.

5. Pay part credit and part cheque, get full value cover

The same goes if you decide to pay part of the balance by credit card and the rest by cheque. Consumers can reclaim the full value of the qualifying goods and services even if the total balance wasn’t paid using a credit card.

6. Stay protected on closed cards

Say you buy a holiday, close the credit card you bought it with, but something goes wrong that’s not your fault, Section 75 means you can still make a claim.

7. Extra expense cover

If you book a holiday and the flight is cancelled, through Section 75 you could claim back additional accommodation and food expenses, providing those consequential losses were reasonable.

8. The Section 75 loopholes

Buying through a third party (like travel agents), additional cardholder purchases, or cash that’s withdrawn from your credit card won’t offer Section 75 protection. You need to have paid the company directly (so purchases made through PayPal, for example, aren’t covered).

9. Section 75 applies to all credit cards

When it comes to Section 75 there’s isn’t one rule for one credit card company and something different for another. All credit cards come with Section 75 benefits.

10. The claims process

First port of call: the service provider, for example the airline or hotel (depending on the situation). Failing that, go to the credit card company — this might be your bank or building society, not Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. They’ll get you to fill out a claim form and voila! Your money is back where it belongs.