My wife drives a little Fiat Cinquecento which is insured TPF&T through Direct Line. The policy was due for renewal last week and I was quoted an annual premium of £118 which I accepted. I normally pay the premium in one sum but this time I said I would take the monthly payments as we are changing her car later this week to something more expensive, in a much higher insurance group and would be increasing the cover from TPF&T to Comprehensive. I was interested to see what the new premium was likely to be so went to Direct Line's online site, input the details for the new car and cover and was quoted an annual premium of £180 which I thought was very good. As we are collecting the car in a couple of days I telephoned Direct Line today to give them the change of car details and I was quoted an additional £180 on top of the £118 that I was paying for the current car and was told that the monthly premium would rise to £29 I queried this and the girl gave me some flannel about rates changing on a daily basis but the total figure of £308 was the correct one. I went back to Direct Line's website and re-input the details and the annual premium came out at £190 in total so I accepted that, took out a brand new policy then telephoned Direct line to cancel my existing policy on Thursday thus saving myself £108. They admitted that it is cheaper to buy new policies online than to upgrade over the telephone and I assume that they rely on people just telephoning without checking that the new premium is competitive. It would seem that Direct Line isn't quite as direct as it once was but I wonder if they got up to tricks like this before they were acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland.