By Lucy Buglass
Car insurance can be stressful for drivers across the UK, but Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has revealed the cheapest time to buy.
A recent investigation by Money Saving Expert analysed over 50 million car insurance quotes between October 2018 and September 2019, to find out average prices.
They looked at the three biggest price comparison sites; Compare the Market, Confused.com and MoneySupermarket. They discovered that buying your car insurance 24 days ahead of the start day could save you £100s.
Based on an average price, they realised that the cheapest time to buy your policy is between 20 to 26 days before the start date, but 24 days is the 'absolute cheapest'. They posted their full price investigation here.
A policy costs an average of £1,218 a year on renewal day, but 24 days earlier the average drops to just £672 a year. That’s a difference of £546.
They also asked fans, aka ‘MoneySavers’ to share some success stories after buying insurance around this time period.
Cara said, ‘Just did mine (24 days early) – saved over £690 over my renewal price.’
And Hayley added, ‘Renewed 3wks early after your tip. It's gone from a renewal price of £108/mth to £51/mth [saving £684/yr]. Checked the comparisons later and it went back to £100. Happy.’
They also listed other ways you keep your car insurance cheaper, like not auto-renewing, as loyalty to insurers can be ‘expensive’ according to the website. Instead, they recommend looking at comparison websites quotes and calling your insurer to see if they can beat it.
Martin Lewis addressed this, saying, "We've analysed 50 million quotes to find the new sweet week for car insurance is 20 to 26 days before your renewal is due – this can cut your costs by nearly 40%. This is a shift from before, when 21 days came out top on its own. This isn't about sticking with your existing provider though, which often results in paying more in its own right, it's about finding a new one.
"It works like this because the biggest factor in insurance pricing is 'actuarial risk', which means price is dictated by the likelihood of claims, based on data of millions of drivers' claims history. Some of these, including car type, address and occupation, are well known. Yet the regulator, the FCA, recently reported there are 50 to 400 different factors, many of which are hidden."
Another more surprising method is ensuring you’re on the electoral roll. Money Saving Expert explains this is because insurers check it as part of the ID-checking process.
Not being on the electoral roll makes it harder for insurers to identify you, and as a result they might give you a higher quote or not offer cover at all.
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