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Car insurance renewal: advice and tips

Don’t let your insurance auto-renew again before considering your other options. Here are our tips for renewal time.

A model car on car insurance renewal documents

Your car insurance is up for renewal. You’ve got a couple of options: stay with your current provider or switch.

Most insurers will auto-renew your insurance so you’re not driving without cover.

But you can often make a saving by shopping around.

So how do you stop auto-renewal? And when is the best time to shop around?

To help you get the best cover for the best price, we’ve answered some common questions.


Is my car insurance renewal automatic? 

Usually, unless you tell your car insurance provider otherwise, your policy will automatically renew.

This should be around 12 months after you take out the policy.

Some insurers don’t auto-renew, though, so don’t assume that you’ll automatically be insured.

Always check your policy documents.


I don’t want my car insurance to automatically renew

Remember, you’re under no obligation to stay with your current insurer, and you’re free to cancel your policy with them when it comes to renewal time.

You can opt out of the auto-renewal service.

Simply call your insurer and ask them not to auto-renew, and your cover will expire at the end of its term.

If you plan on switching insurers, do it sooner rather than later.

If you let your current policy auto-renew and then decide to switch, you might have to pay a fee.

Typically, a renewal notice will be sent out between 21 and 30 days before your policy expires.

This gives you ample time to shop around and get a better deal.

If you’re not sure when your renewal date is, you can either ring your insurer or check your insurance documentation.

And make sure that if you don’t auto-renew, you get cover in place in time with another insurer.

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance.


When is the best time to renew my car insurance?

Most policies last for 12 months.

But it’s better to look for car insurance between 21 and 30 days before your policy expires. This is when premiums are usually cheapest.

And it's worth shopping around.

By comparing car insurance quotes you could save yourself £254*.

Compare car insurance quotes


What should I expect at renewal time?

You should get a letter or email through with your new premium cost, and what you paid last year.

If you don’t, it’s worth giving your insurer a call. It could be an administration error at their end.

You don’t have to accept their offer. When you know your renewal price you can shop around to find the best deal.

If you’ve found a quote and accepted, make sure you tell your previous provider so it doesn’t renew that policy.


Why is my car insurance renewal price more expensive?

There could be a number of reasons why your renewal price has gone up, with many factors affecting how car insurance is calculated, such as:

  • You’ve increased your mileage.
  • You have been in an accident in the past year.
  • You’ve moved to a new house.
  • You’ve changed where you park.

Again, if your renewal price is high due to any of these reasons, it’s worth shopping around.


I’ve changed my mind – can I cancel my car insurance policy?

You’ve usually got 14 days after you start the policy to cancel, but you may have to pay a small fee to cover the cost.

Regardless of when you cancel a car insurance policy, follow the instructions on how to do it which should be included with your policy documents.


Will I save money by staying with the same insurer?

Generally, there's no real benefit to being loyal to your insurer. It’s one of the myths surrounding car insurance.

You can save yourself some money by switching to a different provider that offers the same level of cover.

You can transfer your no-claims bonus, too.

It’s worth knowing some of the top tips for cheaper car insurance.


*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (June 2021). 51% of car insurance customers could save £254.66.