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How far in advance can you get car insurance quotes?

The truth is, leaving it to the last minute to obtain a quote for car insurance can lead to you being rushed into buying the wrong policy. The best way to make sure you get a good deal is to gather a few quotes then compare the levels of cover and premiums.

While you can get car insurance quotes up to a month in advance, research suggests that doing this approximately three weeks in advance of your existing policy running out can save an average of over £280 compared with leaving it until the day before or day of needing your cover to start.  

It pays to get the timing right

Drivers who procrastinate when taking out a policy have less room for negotiation. It’s illegal to have a car on the road without insurance cover, so even if don’t plan to use the vehicle, if you park in the street, you need to take out insurance. You’ll get a better deal if you plan ahead.

Your existing insurer will send a renewal notice showing the cost of taking out a new policy with the same company. You will then have a price to compare against what you’ve been offered.

The advantages of taking action early

There are several reasons for seeking out at least one alternative quote. What’s particularly important is that the timing of your action could save you hundreds pounds on a typical policy. 

The main reason for giving yourself approximately three weeks to arrange cover is fairly straightforward. As with any other purchase, buyers will feel pressured into making an impulse buy when there is a looming deadline. In this case, the pressure is even greater than it would be for other items you might buy because of the need to have cover in place when your existing policy runs out.

How to benefit

While the biggest gains tend to be made by people who take out a policy three weeks early, there are still savings to be made if you have less time. The benefits tend to reduce as the renewal date approaches, so taking out cover two weeks ahead of time will be cheaper than if you leave it until one week. The most expensive policies tend to be those that are arranged at the last minute.

Other factors also come into play. In some cases, you’ll have no control over the issues that can influence the price of your policy. For example, age matters. Younger drivers can gain more than their older counterparts in terms of savings if they buy the new policy around three weeks in advance.

The simple message is that leaving it until the last minute means there will be less time to find the best deal, even if you’re arranging cover through a company that compares prices from more than one insurer on your behalf.

Other ways to keep costs down

In addition to arranging the policy in good time, there are other steps you can take to keep costs down. The main thing you can do is shop around and compare quotes from several insurers. You can do this by contacting each of them. Alternatively, it’s often easier to use a company that can offer you several options. This is particularly important if you fall into one of the higher-risk categories.

You might also be able to save money by increasing your voluntary excess and taking extra security measures to protect your car. Minimising policy add-ons can help you to limit costs too.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

Generally, car insurance payouts are not taxable. The only exception to this rule is if any repair done to your car actually boosts its value – but the way insurers work means this is unlikely to happen.

Many insurance companies will price match – especially if you’re renewing your insurance with them. It’s not uncommon for providers to offer exceptional prices if you’re a new customer – but not be quite as competitive when you get your auto-renew price. There’s no harm in asking for a price match – the worst they can say is no!

There are many factors that determine the price of car insurance, and some drivers find that the cost of their premiums starts to decrease once they hit a certain age.

Although it’s perfectly legal to have two car insurance policies running at the same time, it can make claims unnecessarily complicated. As such, it’s worth making sure you only have one policy in place for your vehicle.

All cars are assigned into a group based on how much they cost to insure, with group 1 being the cheapest to insure up to group 50 being the most expensive. Insurance groups are a rating of the car for insurance purposes.

Comparing car insurance quotes is quick and easy, especially if you use a broker or comparison website. Simply enter your details and you’ll be able to browse and compare quotes from different providers.

Yes - a car insurance provider can find out if you have any penalty points on your driving licence, even if choose not to disclose them during the application process.

If you’re using your vehicle for anything related to the work you do, then you’ll need to let your insurer know and pay for the right level of cover. If you don’t – you may find you’re driving illegally.

Your job can be a factor when an insurance company is working out how much to charge for your premium - and this can mean that there are certain good occupations for cheap car insurance.

Although it will be registered, getting car insurance quotes does not have an impact on your credit rating, so it won’t be taken into account if you apply for a loan or other form of credit in the future.