Car insurance renewal due? Here’s how to save!

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The new September vehicle registrations are on the horizon, and the annual surge in car sales brings with it an increase in car insurance renewals. If you’re one of the millions who’ll be renewing in the coming weeks, you should start shopping around now to find the cheapest deal.

A recent study from MoneySuperMarket found that motorists could save as much as 7% on the cost of their car insurance simply by running quotes two weeks before their renewal due date.

And although motor insurance premium prices hit a three-year low in April this year, when the average price of an annual policy was just £408, prices have started to creep back up slightly, so you should still try to get in early to lock in the best price. And you’re highly unlikely to see the benefit of recent price falls if you renew with your current insurer. The best prices are saved for new customers – so you should make yourself ‘new’ by shopping around using our comparison service.

Why it pays to be quick off the mark

Ideally, you should start shopping around for cover around a month before your renewal date, so if you’re getting a new car delivered in September, or your policy expires next month, you should start getting quotes now. And here’s why…

The MoneySuperMarket research found drivers who ran quotes with more than two weeks’ worth of cover left on their current policy saved as much as £33 on the cost of renewal compared to those who didn’t start shopping around until the day their policy expired.

The figures found that the average price of a quote run a couple of weeks before the renewal date was £434, but this increased by £18 to £452 with a week left to run an existing policy and then jumped again by a further £15 to £467 for quotes run on renewal day. Chances are your insurer will offer you the chance to ‘auto-renew’. This is when your policy is renewed – without you have to lift a finger, if you pay by direct debit. It can seem like the easy option – but it’s likely to be an expensive one.

The importance of shopping around

All car owners are subject to law on Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE), which requires all vehicles to be insured unless they have been declared off-road via a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

Insurers use this law to make auto-renewal sound more attractive because auto-renewing takes away any fear that you will transgress. But while automatically renewing your policy means you’ll never fall foul of CIE, it could actually leave you massively out of pocket.

The latest MoneySuperMarket figures show 40% of customers could save as much £311 on the cost of their renewal simply by shopping around. Remember, if your policy does come with automatic renewal then it’s up to you to get in touch with your insurer and opt-out. If you don’t, the insurer will carry on its merry way and renew your policy, most likely at a higher price than last year and almost certainly more than you would get elsewhere.

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, explains: “September is peak period for motor renewals and it’s vital you don’t let insurers profit from your apathy. Shop around for cover instead of accepting their offer of renewal as searching the market for the best deal creates greater competition and keeps prices as low as possible. And make sure you run quotes well before your renewal date to make sure you get the best price possible on your new policy.” We believe 99% of customers can save on the cost of their car insurance on our site, so if you’re one of the many whose policy ends when the new registrations begin, you should start shopping around right now.

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