The UK’s most loathed fees and charges revealed

Unreasonable parking charges, ATM cash withdrawal fees and credit or debit card surcharges are the nation’s most hated fees and charges according to new research from Direct Line Car Insurance.

Charges for using public toilets, compulsory tipping and booking fees on tickets were also frequently cited in a study commissioned by the insurer to highlight the removal of amendment fees on its insurance policies.

Top 10 most loathed fees and charges

  1. Unreasonable parking charges
  2. ATM cash withdrawal fee
  3. Debit/credit card surcharge fee e.g. when booking air travel or concert tickets
  4. Charge to use a public toilet
  5. Compulsory tipping / automatically added service charge
  6. Booking fees on tickets e.g. music concert
  7. Bank overdraft fees
  8. Passport renew/replace/update charge
  9. Mobile phone roaming charges
  10. Charge for amending/updating insurance policy details e.g. new car or address

When asked why they felt so frustrated by these fees and charges, almost half (48 per cent) of respondents said it was because the item the fee or charge covered should be free. Almost a third (31 per cent) were angered because they felt these charges are disproportionately high and 29 per cent were frustrated because the product or service it’s attached to is already expensive.

Direct Line has recently removed the charge for amending its motor insurance policies – a fee that was voted as the nation’s tenth most loathed fee or charge. More than a third (37 per cent) of Brits who have car insurance update their details at some point during the policy every year, with the average number of amendments being three2.

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line said:These types of fees and charges can be very frustrating because they tend to cover things that we either feel entitled to or think we have already paid for as part of another product or service. At Direct Line, we used to charge for making amendments to insurance policies but we’ve dropped these charges to make our insurance as hassle free as possible.

Most loathed parking charges by age group:

18 – 34 35 – 54 55+
1 ATM cash withdrawal fee Unreasonable parking charges Unreasonable parking charges
2 Charge to use a public toilet ATM cash withdrawal fee Debit / credit card surcharge
3 Debit / credit card surcharge Charge to use a public toilet Compulsory tipping
4 Booking fees on tickets Debit / credit card surcharge Charge to use a public toilet
5 Unreasonable parking charges Booking fees on tickets ATM cash withdrawal fee
6 Compulsory tipping Bank overdraft fees Booking fees on tickets
7 Bank overdraft fees Compulsory tipping Passport renew/replace
8 Hotel charges for using Wi-Fi Passport renew/replace Amend insurance policy details
9 Passport renew/replace Driving licence renew/replace Mobile phone roaming charges
10 Mobile phone roaming charges Mobile phone roaming charges Bank overdraft fees

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