Household bills soared in 2017
Household bills increased by £280 in 2017 with the costs for energy, motor and home insurance rising by 13% over the past year from £2,216 to £2,502.
Research from comparethemarket.com found this leaves consumers £286 out of pocket. However home insurance was the least affected by price hikes, rising by a barely noticeable 85 pence in 2017.
Simon McCulloch, director of comparethemarket.com, said: “It’s been a torrid three years for household finances. The combination of soaring bills and squeezed wages is causing a lot of pain for millions.
“The ongoing trend of ‘billflation’ is most apparent within the car and energy markets; in the latter case consumers can expect to pay around £200 more than they did in 2016.
“UK motorists are paying a heavy price for the changes to IPT in 2016 and 2017 and the Ogden Rate, brought about in March this year, which have significantly increased the costs of insuring a vehicle.
“Despite recent announcements from big-six energy firms who plan to scrap Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs), millions are still languishing on expensive default tariffs, which may account for the fact that energy costs are at a record high.”
Energy bills have seen the most dramatic price hike, as customers have paid on average over £200 more than the previous year.
The average bill is now £1,625 – an increase of almost a fifth (17%) on the 2016 figure of £1,383.
Wales experienced the highest price increases in the UK over the course of 2017. Household bills soared by £500, with energy bills increasing by a huge £458.
Similarly Scotland saw large bill increases, with costs rising by 15% to £2,317.87.
McCulloch added: “However, it is not all doom and gloom. Significant savings that can be made by switching suppliers.
“Consumers can expect to save, on average, over £500 on all their household bills simply by shopping around for the best deal.
As steep, annual price hikes have rather depressingly become the norm, it is vital that people engage with finances and find the best deals in the market.
“Only then can they offset the impact of soaring bills.”