Tesco's new financial price comparison site was launched by the supermarket giant last week as it moves into a market dominated by confused.com and moneysupermarket.com.
TescoCompare.com is a joint venture between the supermarket and The Royal Bank of Scotland and offers financial services from RBS companies, Tesco itself and other providers. It is currently only offering car insurance quotes.
So how does it compare with other financial comparison sites? To find out, I got a car insurance quote from TescoCompare and the two major players in the UK market, confused.com and moneysupermarket.com.
This is the most painful and time consuming part of the process, and the key here is to make it as easy as possible for the customer. All three sites have managed to do this part of the job well, though Tesco seemed to have difficulty recognising my car registration.
Some recommendations covered in our recent Online Retail Checkout Special report have been applied here, such as the ability to navigate back and forth through the form without losing data, providing links to further information and so on.
Range of quotes on offer
On this score, TescoCompare trails behind its two rivals, though it's early days yet, and it did at least have 15 quotes for me to choose from and another 15 were unable to quote.
Confused.com could display 25 quotes, while Moneysupermarket gave me quotes from 43 different insurers.
Which site has the best deals?
This will of course vary depending on type of car, age, no claims etc, but moneysupermarket and confused.com both managed to beat Tesco's lowest quote by at least £40, though it's not always easy to compare when you have to take into account the amount of excess, whether a courtesy car comes with the policy, and so on.
One useful feature of the Tesco site was the facility to select and compare up to four quotes side by side and look into all aspects of the policy, something which would have been useful on its rivals' sites.
Tesco doesn't have the same range of insurers on offer as its rivals, and the fact that many are from the RBS group may concern some. It currently offers access to just 25% of the UK insurance market, and visitors can compare financial products from 25 brands on the site.
Some of these RBS brands, including Churchill and Privilege, have not appeared on comparison sites before. Research by confused.com, quoted in The Times, claims that only one of the RBS brands made it into the top five quotes in more than 30 searches.
However, it is still a good site to use, and it also claims to compare more features than its rivals, which typically compare around six aspects of policies. If Tesco can bring more insurers on board, it may be able to challenge its rivals.
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