When’s the best time to renew your car insurance

January 3, 2024 by Zoe Hicks – 5 mins read

Renewing car insurance, an annual task many dread, becomes seamless with Motorscan’s newest guide. We simplify the process, helping you discover the ideal time to renew, exploring options to sidestep expensive renewals and uncover the factors shaping premiums. Plus, read on to discover our helpful tips for reducing premiums!

Embarking on the quest for the ideal car insurance renewal is like trying to parallel park in a snowstorm – slippery, unpredictable, and full of obstacles. How far ahead should you plan? What sorcery goes into calculating those renewal quotes? Motorscan has been trudging through the complexities, making it super easy to navigate the intricacies of when and how to renew your car insurance, shedding light on the often mundane and perplexing yearly chore. So, join us as we explore and unveil helpful tips for lowering your insurance costs to the strategic moment to renew!

How far ahead should I renew my car insurance?

For optimal results when renewing your car insurance, starting the process a few weeks before your current policy expires is generally recommended, ideally between 20 and 26 days ahead. However, be cautious not to check for quotes too early, as some insurers may not provide them that far in advance, potentially causing you to miss out on cheaper deals.

Many insurance providers also allow renewal up to 30 days before expiration, so take the opportunity to start researching and comparing quotes from various insurers. Taking this proactive approach allows you time to explore the different options and helps you avoid more expensive premiums the closer you get to the renewal date. Similarly, leaving insurance matters to the last minute or having policy lapses may also categorise you as a higher risk, negatively impacting renewal premiums. So, don’t put the task off; start your renewal process early to get the best price!

How is a renewal price calculated?

Car insurance renewal prices are calculated based on various factors that assess the risk associated with insuring a particular driver and vehicle. Specific formulas and risk factors vary among insurance providers, but the most common variables influencing renewal prices include:

Driving History: A clean driving record typically lowers premiums, while accidents, claims, and driving convictions are likely to result in higher costs.

Insurance Claims History: A history of making claims can lead to higher renewal prices as it can indicate increased risk for the insurance provider.

No Claims Discount (NCD): Accumulating a no claims discount can significantly reduce renewal prices. These discounts accrue by not making a claim over each year. Each year you don’t claim, the higher the discount.

Vehicle: The make, model, age, engine size, and value of the car impact insurance costs. The more expensive or high-performance vehicle it is often puts it in a higher insurance group, meaning higher premiums.

Policy Coverage: The level of coverage chosen affects the renewal price. The traditional insurance methods typically include third party only, which means a lower premium but provides minimal protection; third party, fire, and theft is a medium option, with comprehensive insurance providing the most protection coming at a higher cost.

Mileage: The annual mileage estimate is also a key factor. Higher mileage often correlates with a higher risk of accidents, affecting the renewal price.

Location: The area where the car is primarily parked and driven influences the renewal cost. Urban areas or regions with higher crime rates may have higher premiums. When you’re home, if you keep the vehicle in a garage or driveway, tell the provider, as this may also lead to a lower premium.

Driver’s Age and Experience: Younger and less experienced drivers typically face higher premiums due to a perceived higher risk.

Occupation: Some occupations are considered lower risk and may result in lower premiums.

Additional Drivers: Adding extra drivers, especially younger or less experienced ones, may affect renewal prices.

Voluntary Excess: Opting for a higher voluntary excess can lower premiums, as the policyholder agrees to pay a higher amount in case of a claim.

Tips to lower your car insurance

If you’re looking to lower your car insurance premium, there are some ways to help achieve this. Here are Motorscan’s tips to help reduce your car insurance costs:

  • Choose a vehicle that is in a lower insurance group.
  • Consider increasing the voluntary excess amount, which is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a claim.
  • Improve security by installing anti-theft devices or parking your car in a secure location (e.g., a garage). Even being able to park on a driveway may lower your premium.
  • Installing a dashcam in your vehicle may reduce your car insurance premiums. While some insurance providers offer discounts for drivers with dashcams, the extent of the discount and the specific policies can vary between insurers.
  • Reducing your yearly mileage may qualify for a lower premium. Be accurate when estimating your mileage to avoid potential issues.
  • Ensure you choose the appropriate type of cover for social/commuting or business, and always be honest. If you’re not using the vehicle for business purposes, then make sure you’re not paying for it.
  • Building a good credit score may lead to lower premiums, with insurance providers seeing you as a responsible person and indicative of being lower risk.
  • Maintaining a good driving record by avoiding accidents and traffic violations can help you qualify for a no claims discount, lowering premiums.
  • Consider a telematics device that monitors your driving habits, as some insurers offer discounts.
  • Finally, always shop around when renewing. Don’t automatically renew, as you may find a better deal elsewhere.

How to get the best price?

The most effective way to get the best price for car insurance is to shop around. Don’t automatically renew with your existing insurer without comparing other policies and insurance providers. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use comparison websites like MoneySupermarket and GoCompare, but don’t forget that some insurers don’t appear on these sites, such as Direct Line and Aviva. And if you have other insurance needs like home contents or tenant’s insurance, consider bundling them with your car insurance, as many providers offer discounts for multiple policies.


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