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Running and maintaining a vehicle can be a chore at the best of times. Setting calendar reminders to notify of an expiring MOT, filing for a new tax disc and the annual kerfuffle surrounding insurance renewal.

It is understandable that many motorists save time and effort by allowing their insurance providers to automatically renew insurance policies on their behalf but it could be costing them a considerable amount of money.

New research by price comparison website Gocompare.com has found that 8.8 million motorists fail to shop around and as a result miss out on an average annual saving of £238.

Lee Griffin, chief operating officer at Gocompare.com, commented: "The first thing customers want to know when they get their car insurance renewal is how much their premium has changed compared to the previous year.

"Sadly, it is the one piece of information they are unlikely to find on the renewal letter itself. As a result, only 52% of drivers go to the effort of checking last year's premium, and it is likely to be one of the reasons why nearly a third of drivers simply renew with the same insurer without shopping around."

The truth is, the 18 per cent of motorist who feel the whole renewal process is too much hassle and the 26 per cent who believe their insurance provider has 'always looked after them' will likely save money by shopping around.

Lee Griffin added: "Insurers rely on a certain degree of apathy from their customers and, worse still, around one in 10 drivers say they actually feel under pressure to renew with their existing insurer.

"It is important to remind consumers that they have a range of options at renewal but it all begins with understanding how your premium has changed, how the cover offered may have varied and how your own needs may have altered.

"You can then use a comparison site to see what over 100 different insurance brands are prepared to offer you for the year ahead."