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Car insurance renewal: advice and tips

So your car insurance is up for renewal. You’ve got a couple of options: stay with your current provider or switch. Most insurers auto-renew your insurance policy 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.

A model car on car insurance renewal documents


Is my car insurance renewal automatic? 

Usually, unless you tell your car insurance provider otherwise, your policy automatically renews. 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. You're also free to cancel your policy with them when it comes to renewal time.

Simply call your insurer and ask them not to auto-renew, and your cover should 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 cancellation fee.

Typically, your insurer should send you a renewal notice 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. Remember that It’s illegal to drive without car insurance.


The best time to renew car insurance

The best time to renew your car insurance is between 21 and 30 days before your policy expires. Better yet, shop around and compare car insurance quotes around that time, as that's when prices tend to be cheapest.

By comparing car insurance quotes you could save yourself £388*.

By default, most car insurance policies last 12 months, so you can set yourself a reminder for 12 months down the line. Some car insurance companies also offer accelerated policies that last 10 months rather than 12.

Compare car insurance quotes


What should I expect at renewal time?

You should get a letter or email through with your new insurance policy 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 better 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 your car overnight

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 could save yourself some money by switching to a different provider that offers the same level of cover. And  you can transfer your no-claims bonus, too.

If you're looking to save more money, it’s worth knowing some of the top tips for cheaper car insurance including:

 *Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (December 22). 51% of car insurance customers could save £388.64