But, if you compare providers and don’t buy straight away, you could still end up paying more than necessary.
That’s because premiums are rising quickly – over the past 12 months alone the cost of car insurance has risen by 31% (that's 44p every single day!)- so every day you delay could end up costing you more.
Insurers usually send customers a renewal quote 30 days before their existing policy is due to end. Because of the rate at which premiums are shooting up, it’s well worth buying your new policy as soon as possible after the renewal notification lands. If you wait until the last minute, it’ll cost you £13.20 more on average.
Drivers who face more expensive premiums generally – think teenagers, motorists with convictions, anyone who’s had an at-fault accident in the last five years – risk the cost rising even more over that 30-day period.
So, the solution is simple. Compare policies as soon as you get your renewal notification and buy the right cover at the best price immediately.
You won’t find cover gets cheaper the longer you leave it, but it certainly could get more expensive.
Why is the cost of car insurance rising so quickly?
A combination of personal injury claims, fraud and uninsured drivers are causing premiums to rocket – and there’s no sign that they’ll stabilise any time soon.
In fact, a premium costing £500 in January last year would now be around £655.
This is the last thing drivers need at the moment, given that fuel costs are also at record highs. A recent poll by moneysupermarket.com found that more than six in 10 people have cut back on their driving because of expensive petrol.
However, there are ways to minimise the impact of soaring insurance and fuel costs. Despite rising prices, motorists using moneysupermarket.com to compare prices save an average of £279.93. Even better, 10% of visitors saved as much as £626.27.
Of course, with an insurance policy, it’s not just about finding the cheapest policy.
Most important is that you get the right level of cover for the best price, so don’t be tempted to ditch protections you need – whether that’s legal cover, a courtesy car, or whatever’s important to you.
If you need to make a claim it will prove a false economy to have cut down on cover in order to bring the price down.
Fight back against car insurance hikes
You might not be able to do much about the soaring personal injury claims, or numbers of uninsured motorists endangering our roads, but you can take steps to shield yourself from expensive premiums.
Here are our top tips:
Fit an alarm: Any security improvements to your vehicle will help lower car insurance costs, so fit an approved alarm and immobiliser, such as a Thatcham 1 or Thatcham 2.
Check your mileage: If you’ve cut back on the miles you drive, perhaps in response to fuel prices, you could ask for a cheaper premium. Be as accurate as possible though, or you risk invalidating your cover.
Minimise your optional extras: While it’s essential to keep any extras you really need, consider cutting back on any you don’t as they may increase your premium. The less expensive you’ll be in the event of an accident, the lower your costs.
Be careful where you park: Ideally, you want to keep your car in a locked garage overnight, but parking on a driveway is also considered a lower risk than parking on the road.
Take the Pass Plus: New drivers face incredibly high premiums, but taking the PassPlus training can save you cash. On top of that, it teaches new motorists to drive on motorways and in all weathers, so it makes you safer too.