One third of UK drivers don't shop around for car insurance, despite the opportunity to cut their premium by half, an Abbey National survey has shown.

The survey revealed that men are less keen to bargain, with almost 40% sticking with the same insurance company, regardless of cheaper options.

Women tend to obtain more quotes but almost 30% of them still fail to seek a better deal on their insurance.

Young people are more thrifty than old people, with 33% of 17 to 24-year-olds obtaining at least five quotes before picking the best cover.

Of those drivers aged 65 or over, 44% do not make the effort to get more than one quote.

The survey also showed that the reason most drivers do not shop around is because they had too little time of time.

Some 80% of the people interviewed said getting a quote took too long.

Abbey National launched its 24-hour online motor insurance service to combat this perception. It offers a one-minute quotation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Abbey ecommerce director Ambrose McGinn said the online service gave customers more flexibility.

"Seventy-five per cent of existing insurance customers use the telephone to acquire their motor insurance," he said.

"But with the new online service they can receive the same high level of service on competitively priced insurance at the click of a button."

McGinn said the new service would offer cover from £15 a month, with all customer information handled online encrypted to ensure it is secure. "Theft and write-off claims should be settled within seven days," he said.