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This is When to Buy Car Insurance to Save up to 50%

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 99 UK insurance providers.

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You may be surprised to hear, but when you buy car insurance has a massive impact on the price you'll pay. We've run some sample quotes to determine when is the best time to buy car insurance and to discover how much you can save by purchasing at the right time.

When is the Best Time to Buy Car Insurance?

The data shows that buying car insurance 3 weeks before your renewal date will generally secure you the best deal. This doesn't mean that you double up on car insurance for those three weeks. Instead, you purchase your new policy with a forward-dated start date. This means that you'll need to commit to your policy a few weeks in advance, so it's important to think ahead while in the process of buying a new vehicle or reinsuring your existing one. When getting a quote, you will be asked when you want cover to start—if you're prepared ahead of time, you should be able to line this up with the end of your existing cover.

How Much You Can Save Buying Car Insurance at the Right Time?

Our analysis showed that you can save anywhere from 18% to a whopping 56% just by purchasing car insurance with a start date 3 weeks away (when compared to an immediate start date). We analysed over 200 Ford Fiesta car insurance quotes for a sample 45-year-old driver with a range of start dates from today to 3 weeks from now, taking the average of the cheapest 10 policies for each time window. We found that our sample driver could save between £330 and £1,246 per year on cheap car insurance by purchasing their policy 3 weeks in advance of the coverage start date.

What's more, you could save over 17% just by buying your policy one day in advance—insurers are cautious of drivers who want to leave these things to the last minute, so the more prepared you are the more you'll save.

Policy Start DateAnnual Premium
Today£902
Tomorrow£747
1 Week Away£682
2 Weeks Away£652
3 Weeks Away£640
chart showing how car insurance prices decrease the further ahead you buy your policy

More Selection When You Buy Early

In addition to paying a lower price, you have more selection when looking for a car insurance policy well in advance. In our analysis, we gathered 46 quotes for a start date 3 weeks away. But only half of these companies were willing to even offer a quote for an immediate start date. If you buy with at least one week to go, you'll basically get access to the full range of policies available to you—yet another reason to buy insurance ahead of time. It's also something to keep in mind when you're in the process of buying a car, whether new from a dealer or used from a private seller.

Policy Start DateNumber of Quotes
Today23
Tomorrow33
1 Week Away45
2 Weeks Away46
3 Weeks Away46
chart showing availability of car insurance depending on when you buy

Which Car Insurance Companies Might Not Insure You if You Buy Last Minute

In our study, a number of reputable car insurance companies that offered cover for a plan bought three weeks in advance did not offer coverage for the same sample driver if coverage was to start the same day. That's not to say these companies won't ever offer last-minute coverage—they might—but we want to illustrate how you have fewer potential choices if you buy last minute.

  • AXA
  • Aviva
  • Churchill Insurance
  • Dial Direct
  • Halifax
  • Hastings Direct
  • LV
  • M&S Car Insurance
  • More Than
  • Post Office
  • RAC
  • Sainsbury's Bank
  • Sterling Insurance

Why is car insurance cheaper if you buy it in advance?

It's hard to say exactly why car insurance companies price their policies the way they do. Typically, a car insurance policy is priced based an insurance company's past claims experience for a certain profile of driver. Perhaps those who buy car insurance at the last minute (e.g., with a "today" or "tomorrow" start date) tend to submit claims more often. Maybe car insurance companies prefer a more organised client who doesn't leave decisions until the last minute. Or it could be that drivers needing insurance immediately take less time to shop around, and are therefore more likely to take a higher price—in this case, car insurance companies can get away with pricing plans a bit higher.

Cheap Car Insurance for Young Drivers in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 99 UK insurance providers.

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