INSURANCE giants charge drivers up to £30 extra to buy, renew or update policies by phone rather than online.

Household names are imposing the fees despite the average cost of car cover rocketing from £744 in 2021 to £877 earlier this year.

The over-60s who may prefer to use the phone are hardest hit, Sun on Sunday investigators discovered.

We found 1st Central Insurance charged £30 extra to change a policy over the blower.

Admiral and Tesco ask for £25. The fees are £9.50 and £5 respectively if the updates are made online instead.

Hastings Direct asks £12.50 for arranging cover through a call centre.

Marc Gander, of the Consumer Action Group, said: “These changes should be carried out free of charge. 

“These insurers have their snouts in the trough.”

Dennis Reed, of senior citizens’ group Silver Voices, said: “These insurance giants are engaging in a blatant piece of profiteering at the expense of older people.

“We now have to pay for the privilege of hanging on the phone for ages to give them our custom.

“The finance industry is trying to force all their customers to go online and to hell with those who can’t cope with the internet.”

“1st Central said it offered products to suit different customer needs. Tesco Bank said its fees were “clear”.

Admiral echoed Tesco while Hastings Direct insisted: “We are open and transparent about the fees we charge.”