As with almost everything else in life, it isn’t wise to leave buying your car insurance until the very last minute. In fact, it could actually end up costing you up to 28% more if you renew on the day it runs out, according to MoneySuperMarket’s latest data.
When is the best time to renew car insurance?
The best time to renew your car insurance is eight days or more before your policy ends. The average motorist will pay 13.8% less for a new quote with more than a week to go on their policy than if they renew on the last day.
The median cost of fully comprehensive car insurance in August 2019 was £469 – so the average consumer could be looking at savings of nearly £65 a year.
But for a quarter of the quotes we analysed, however, the average saving was 28.1% or more – representing a saving of £132 – for people looking to renew at least eight days before their insurance ran out.
How do you know when to renew your car insurance?
MoneySuperMarket discovered this car insurance sweet spot by comparing tens of thousands of pairs of enquiries made by our customers up to 29 days before they were due to renew and again on the last day of their policy. Every other detail was the same in each pair we looked at, including customers’ circumstances and the insurers who offered the quotes – the only thing that differed was the date.
The conclusions are clear: the quotes you receive rise sharply in price throughout the last week before your car insurance runs out.
And although our data is averaged across people of all types, ages and circumstances, and from the full range of our partner insurers – the inarguable fact is that you will save money by being just a little bit better organised.
Note that there’s no extra benefit to renewing your car insurance more than eight days before your policy is finished: any longer than that and the curve is flat. What’s more, the sharpest rises occur just three days before renewal is due, so don’t stress too much if you miss the window by a few days.
How does car insurance renewal work?
Car insurance auto-renewal costs British motorists an estimated £565m every year* because insurers have a habit of sneakily increasing your premiums if you let them – by an average of £40 per year. MoneySuperMarket usually recommends that you shop around for car insurance every year instead of letting your policy roll over, to ensure you aren’t paying more than you need to be.
However, if you like your insurer and you want to stick with them, these stats prove that being prepared will pay dividends.
*According to MoneySuperMarket data from February 2019