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Nine price hikes that kick in today

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

A whole host of price increases come into force today (1 April). Here’s how you can beat them.

Council tax

The average council tax bill in England has gone up by 4.7% or £78, taking the typical Band D council tax bill from £1,672 to £1,750 a year.

You won’t be able to beat this price rise, but it’s worth checking you’re not paying too much. Click here for tips to see if you’re overpaying.

Energy bills

The government’s energy price cap has gone up from £1,137 to £1,254 per year. The price cap was introduced to give people on ‘pricey’ default tariffs a better deal. The cap is reviewed twice a year to take into account changes to wholesale costs.

The hike means 11 million energy customers on standard variable tariffs face an average bill hike of £117 a year.

You can beat the price hike by switching to cheaper tariff. Use a comparison site such as Energy Helpline, Uswitch or Moneysupermarket.

If you don’t want the hassle of doing the switch yourself, you could sign up to an automatic switching firm such as Flipper, Switchd, Look After My Bills or Labrador. These firms search the market for the best deal and take care of the switch for you.


The cost of a single NHS prescription has gone up from £8.80 to £9, while the cost of prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) has been frozen for another year. The 3-month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104.

Again, you won’t be able to beat this price increase, but check you are not entitled to free prescriptions.

Dental appointments

In England, the cost of a routine NHS dental check-up (Band 1) has gone up from £21.60 to £22.70. This covers examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish, and planning for further treatment.

The cost of Band 2, which covers everything in Band 1 plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth, has gone up from £59.10 to £62.10.

And the cost of Band 3, which covers all treatment included in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, has gone up from £256.50 to £269.30.

Click here to find out if you are entitled to free NHS treatment.

Water bills

The average water bill in England and Wales has risen by 2% taking the typical bill to £415 a year, an £8 increase.

To save money on your water bill consider installing a water meter. The general rules is that if there are more bedrooms than people in your house, a meter can save you money.

Click here for more ways to cut your water bill.

Car tax

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates on most new and used cars have increased. Most drivers will see the cost of their car tax go up by £5, however some new car drivers could pay an extra £65 on car tax in the first year. Existing owners of older, high emission cars, may have to fork out an extra £15.

TV licence

The cost of a new colour licence has gone up by £4 to £154.50, while a black and white licence now costs £52, an increase of £1.50.

You’ll need a licence if you watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service.

You’ll also need one if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

Anyone 75 and over is entitled to a free licence and if you are 74, you can get a short-term licence to last you until you’re 75.

Sky TV and broadband

The average Sky TV and broadband bill has gone up by £42 a year or £3.50 a month. The main changes include Sky Cinema going up from £10 to £11 and Sky Broadband increasing by £1 across all packages.

For a full breakdown of the price changes and to find out about switching provider, click here.

Mobile phones

Some of the UK’s biggest phone networks – EE, Virgin Mobile, Three, O2 and Vodafone – have increased prices today on their pay monthly contracts.

EE customers will be hit hardest with a 2.7% increase.