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Can car insurance be transferred?

So what happens if you decide to buy a new car, but have some time left to run on your existing car insurance policy? Do you have to cancel that insurance and take out a brand new policy, or can car insurance be transferred? Keep reading to find out more.

How do I transfer it?

Don’t delay 

The most important thing to do is make sure that you will be covered from the moment you take ownership of the new car. Driving without insurance is illegal, and anyone who does so is risking points on their licence, a fine and even confiscation of their car. In cases that go to court, you could even lose your licence. Bear in mind that your new car is not automatically covered by the policy in place for your old car.

Will there be a charge?

Your insurer will almost certainly charge you an amendment fee to change cover over to a different vehicle. If there is any price difference for the new car policy, this will also be added.

What if I’m buying a second car?

If you’re adding another car to your household and you will be the main driver, then it may be cost effective to take out a multi-car policy. Some insurers offer this option, and if yours does, it could secure you a good discount on the second policy. This applies if you’re buying an additional car, rather than replacing one.

What to watch out for

Price difference

It may be worth finding out the difference in price to insure your new car before you even buy it. If the car belongs to a higher insurance group, you will be paying more for the premium. This is on top of any admin or amendment fees.

Compare transfer vs. new policy

It may, in some cases, prove cheaper to cancel the old policy and take out a new one. This all depends on the cancellation and amendment fees, as well as the premium. Work out what you’d be paying each way before making a decision.

Cover that first journey

Make sure you cover the new car from the moment you first drive it, or even park it on a public road. You don’t want to have a mishap on the way home in your brand new car, only to discover that you’re not covered by insurance.

If you haven’t yet sold the old car

Don’t forget that if you buy a new car before you sell or trade in your old one, you will need insurance to cover both cars. The only exception to this rule is if your car is declared to the DVLA in a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). If this applies, you must not drive the car or even keep it on a public highway.

If your new car comes with free insurance

If a year’s free insurance is offered as part of the deal when you buy your new car, you may not need to transfer your policy. In this case, it’s best to check how much you can expect to get refunded if you cancel your current policy, as well as how long this policy has left on it. If it seems worth keeping your current insurance, you could try asking the dealer for a discount instead of the free cover.

Other related FAQs

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

If you’ve had an accident of any kind, you’ll need to report it to your insurer soon afterwards. When you do, they’ll seek a detailed explanation of what’s happened and assess the damage done to your car. When they have a clear understanding of what’s occurred – and assuming you have fully comprehensive cover, they’ll arrange to repair your vehicle – or pay its market value if it’s written off.

Insurers generally do not offer the facility to put your car insurance on hold – and cancelling and restarting your car insurance cover rarely makes financial sense. If you’ve got a reason for needing a break in cover, talk to a specialist company who cater for your circumstances – like classic car insurers or student policy providers.

Put simply, the reason why car insurance is high is because the cost of claims is high. As a result, insurers increase premiums to protect themselves and make a profit.

Car insurance can go up for a number of reasons – especially if you’ve had an accident or received a fixed penalty in the last year. If you haven’t, you might find you’re just getting a poor deal when your deal automatically renews – so don’t be afraid to shop around until you’ve got a better price.

There are a number of reasons why car insurance quotes can change, such as if you’ve recently changed your address, or for reasons out of your control, like government tax increases.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to accurately calculate how much your car insurance is going to cost without getting a range of quotes. As well as looking at national driving statistics, insurers will seek a huge amount of information about you and your vehicle before deciding on a personalised price.

Generally speaking, your car insurance covers your vehicle and damage that you may cause to other vehicles and motorists. Depending on the type of policy, it can also cover a range of additional extras, such as medical expenses and breakdown assistance

In the UK, every car is allocated an insurance group. This helps insurance companies determine the cost of cover. The groups run from 1, which offers the cheapest premiums, to 50, which offers the highest.

Car insurance is usually calculated based on the likelihood of you making a claim in the future. A range of factors are taken into consideration too, such as age, occupation, your driving history and the details of your vehicle.

If you make a claim on your car insurance, then yes, the cost of renewing your insurance will go up, unless some other significant factor works in your favour to bring it down.