Household bills set to surge by over £1,000 a year by April

  • Increases in utilities, telecoms, car insurance and rent are all coming
  • Price increases for telecoms services are expected to be over eight per cent
  • There is action consumers can take to avoid price hikes in some circumstances

Analysis conducted by mobile network spusu raises more concerns for UK consumers, revealing that household bills are set to increase significantly yet again over the next few months. The analysis indicates that the average Brit could face an additional financial burden of £1,000 annually, with utilities, telecoms, insurance and rent services all expected to experience price hikes before the end of April 2024.

The spike in household bills will first hit consumers following another surge in wholesale energy prices, which has prompted Ofgem to raise the utility price cap. This means prices will increase by five per cent for electricity and eight per cent for gas from 1 January 2024. If prices were to remain at this level for the remainder of 2024, for the average house of two to three people, this would equate to over £120 a year more than 2023.

Additionally, many major telecoms service providers — that’s both broadband and mobile — are also set to increase prices from April 2024 once operators trigger their mid-contract price hikes. While these aren’t new to consumers, and typically happen annually, the price hikes have been more significant in recent years and look to be heading that way for 2024 too.

Telecoms price increases differ by network, but in general, most major operators that impose an increase in line with inflation rates plus up to 3.9 per cent on top — even if consumers are within contract. In practice, spusu predicts that this could result in the following monthly increases:

  • An average SIM-only mobile contract will increase from £21 to £22.80
  • A phone-and-SIM mobile contract will increase from £35 to £38
  • Broadband contracts will increase from £39 to £42.40

Price increases aren’t expected to end there, as the rental market is also set to experience a hike in 2024, of up to five per cent. For the average rent fee, £1,279, this means an increase to £1,343 a month — an additional £768 a year. This is anticipated to be the final increase before price hikes have to stop though, before prices become unaffordable.

Those whose car insurance has been up for renewal recently will already be aware of its increase, up 58 per cent over the last twelve months. The average annual comprehensive car insurance policy, that’s around £549, is set to increase a further 14 per cent in 2024. Monthly, this means the average car insurance premium will be £52.

While energy bill increases are trickier to avoid, consumers can take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of rising telecoms costs. Here are some of spusu’s top tips to avoiding that mid-contract price hike.

  1. Did your telecoms provider make you aware of the potential for a mid-contract price hike at the start of the contract? Most providers do highlight it in their terms and conditions, but it’s worth checking it’s the case for you. If consumers weren’t aware right from the beginning they do have the right to leave their provider for free.
  2. Check your contact end date. Is it possible to move to a provider that has committed to never raising their prices mid contract? spusu is one of these providers, having frozen its mobile contract prices until the end of 2024.
  3. If you’re with a provider that does raise prices mid contract look at the policy in depth. A handful do actually allow customers to leave their contract for another deal free of charge, and in general most mobile providers do agree to waive early exit fees for customers who want to move to a cheaper tariff on the same network.

As Brits brace for the imminent price hikes in the new year, remaining proactive is key to seeking out cost-effective solutions. Unfortunately, it’s likely that we’ll see further price increases across water council tax and other utilities later in 2024. Keeping aware of what’s coming, how it’s going to affect you and what you can do to avoid price increases where possible helps to avoid any nasty surprises from April and beyond.

Featured Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash.

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