A simples guide

Car insurance renewal

So – when is your car insurance due for renewal? At first glance it looks like a pretty silly question – afterall, your insurance needs to be renewed every year, right?

Well, yes of course it does, but do you actually know what date your renewal’s due or do you just wait until your auto renewal letter lands on your doormat?

If you fall into the latter group, you are not alone, more than half of people don’t bother to switch car insurance providers even though it could save them money.


Is my insurance automatically renewed?

That depends on your policy, don’t assume that your insurer does renew it each year. If you’re in any doubt you should find out what your policy agreement states – you don’t want to be caught out.

Many insurance providers will roll your policy over into the next year and if they do, they’ll usually tell you around four weeks before your policy renewal date. It’s within this time frame that you can decide whether to stick with your current insurer, or look elsewhere for a better deal.

You’re under no obligation to accept an automatic car insurance renewal but let’s be honest, most of us do because it’s easier. But switching doesn’t have to be a chore and it doesn’t have to be difficult. More than a quarter of people looking for new car insurance deals will achieve an average saving of £518 by comparing the market with us. If that’s not an incentive to start comparing, then perhaps we can tempt you with the fact that nearly half of you could save an average of 42% on your car insurance. So it might very well be less hassle to simply let your provider renew your policy but just sitting back and doing nothing could be costing you money.


coins in jar

What should I do if I don’t want to renew my policy?

If you don’t want to renew your policy with your existing insurer – tell them. But you’ll need to do so before your current policy renewal date, otherwise you could be charged a cancellation fee if they do automatically renew it.

When you do tell your insurer that you don’t want to renew, make a note of the date and the name of the person you spoke with. If you can, follow up the conversation with an email, clearly notifying them of your decision. In most cases, that’ll be the end of it but sometimes, miscommunication or computer errors mean mistakes happen so always make sure you’ve got something that backs up what you say.

What happens if I change my mind after I take out a new policy?

By law, you have a minimum of 14 days to change your mind about any insurance policy (except for travel insurance lasting less than one month). This cooling off period entitles you to cancel a policy and get a refund on what you’ve paid. Although you should be aware that some insurers may charge you for the portion of cover you have had over the period your policy was in force. Some may also charge you an administration fee.

Fourteen days is the absolute minimum amount of time you have to change your mind and some insurers will offer more. So it’s important to check what your policy states before you make any rushed decisions.

You can of course still cancel after the cooling off period, but you’ll probably be charged some hefty cancellation and admin fees. If you’ve got monthly direct debits going out to pay your premium, simply cancelling it with your bank does not mean your policy’s cancelled. It just means that you won’t be paying your insurer what you agreed to and you’ll end up in even more of a pickle.

Don’t bury your head in the sand, if you want to cancel your policy you need to call your insurer and take any cancellation fees on the chin. If you do cancel, just make sure you’ve got alternative car insurance already in place or lined up so that you’re covered. Don't drive your car until you are.

Compare the market

We love car insurance and we love it even more that we can help you with it. We’re one of the UK’s largest comparison site and with 120 over 100 trusted car insurance providers, we’re confident we can find you the right deal at the best price for you. If you want, we’ll even send you renewal reminders before your policy needs updating, that way you’ll always be at pole position when it comes to your car insurance. 

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