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Why not compare car insurance quotes rather than accepting an automatic renewal?

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There are lots of recurring events that most of us look forward to – like birthdays and anniversaries. But there’s one event that comes around every year without fail that isn’t usually a reason for celebration – your car insurance renewal date. And if you go for the easy option of auto-renewal then you’ll be in the group of drivers that end up spending £1.3 billion more than they need to – here’s how you can break the habit.

Frequently thought questions

When it comes to sorting out your car insurance, there are lots of questions to be asked that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Which is why we decided to help you out and answer some of those ‘frequently thought questions’ about auto-renewal.

Is my car insurance renewed automatically?

That depends on your policy. Don’t assume that your insurance provider does renew it each year – because you could be in for a nasty surprise if they don’t.

If your insurance provider does auto-renew your policy, they’ll usually send you a letter between three and four weeks before your renewal date. You can decide whether you want to stick with or switch suppliers during this time.

You’re not under any obligation to renew your policy with your existing insurance provider, but lots of us do and if we’re really honest about it – it’s because it’s less hassle. Afterall, searching for car insurance isn’t fun. But if you do decide to stay with your existing provider you could be doing yourself out of a potential £274** saving and with new rules coming to effect it means that your provider must include last year's price.

**Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2018. 50% of consumers could achieve this saving with Compare the Market Motor Insurance.     

I’ve received my renewal letter – what should I do with it?

Firstly, check the date that your policy is due to end – you’ll usually get notice three to four weeks before it needs renewing but it’s always worth checking.

The period between receiving your renewal notice and your policy end date is your opportunity to find a better deal and a quarter of our customers found that they could save £659^^ when they used our car insurance comparison service.

^^Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2018 25% of customers could save up to £659.12 on their car insurance premium.

How do I cancel my car insurance renewal?

You’ll need to tell your insurance provider that you don’t want to renew your policy and you should tell them before the renewal date. If you don’t tell them before the renewal date you might end up having to pay an admin fee.

You should follow any cancellation instructions set out in your contract – some insurance providers may ask for confirmation in writing either by letter or on email. If you speak to your insurance provider to cancel your cover, make a note of who you spoke with and when; it’s also worth just following this up in writing. Mistakes can and do happen so make sure you’ve got something that backs up what you say.

Is car insurance auto-renewal the best option?

Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘best’. If you’re relying on auto-renewal to take away the irritation of searching for car insurance, then yes – it probably is the best option; but sitting back and doing nothing could be costing you £274**  that you could save by comparing.

**Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2018. 50% of consumers could achieve this saving with Compare the Market Motor Insurance. 

What happens if I renew my car insurance but decide to cancel?

By law, you have 14 days to change your mind. The 14 days starts from the day cover begins or from the day you receive your paperwork – whichever is later.

If you decide to cancel during the 14 day ‘cooling off’ period, then you’ll be refunded the cost of your policy minus any days that it was active for. You may also be charged an administration fee – but your terms and conditions should clearly state if this is the case and how much.

If you decide to cancel after the 14 days, then that’s fine, you can still do this. However, you could be charged a cancellation as well as admin fee. And of course, you’ll also be charged for the time that the policy was active for. More info on cancellation fees here.

Can insurance providers auto-renew my policy?

Yes – they can and they can charge you whatever premium they feel is appropriate at renewal. However, new rules from April 2017 mean that your provider has to make it clear to you how much your previous premium was so that you can see the difference in cost.

How can I lower the cost of my insurance?

We all like saving money, especially on the things that aren’t any fun, so to give you a helping hand, here are some tips on how to drive down the cost of your car insurance:

Why should I compare car insurance?

When you compare using our car insurance comparison service, you can be confident about getting a good deal. That’s because we bring you quotes from over 100 trusted partners based on what you need. So just because your policy provider has an auto-renewal facility doesn’t mean you should feel pressured into accepting it. We all like to save money, so make yourself feel good and start comparing.

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