MSE News: The best day to buy car insurance to slash costs by £100s/yr

MSE_Tony
MSE_Tony Posts: 100 MSE Staff
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edited 11 August 2021 at 12:55PM in Insurance & life assurance
Buying your car insurance three weeks ahead of the start day is likely to get you the cheapest price from a comparison site, slashing the cost of your premium in half, an MSE investigation which scoured millions of quotes reveals...
Read the full story:
'Revealed: The best day to buy car insurance to slash costs by £100s/yr'
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  • ozaz
    ozaz Posts: 315 Forumite
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    Does this apply to other forms of insurance as well?
  • koru
    koru Posts: 1,498 Forumite
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    As I pointed out on the young drivers car insurance thread a while ago, this phenomenon also arises when taking out insurance for someone who has just passed their test. As I knew my son was taking his driving test in a few weeks I did a comparison search to get an idea of likely premium if he passed. However, I could not buy the cover (with him as newly qualified instead of being a learner) until he actually passed. When he did, I went back and did a new search and was dismayed that the quotes were quite a bit more expensive. So, I went back to the search I did a few weeks earlier, found the quote ref of the cheapest cover and phoned them. I was relieved to find they would honour this quote.

    I was curious why the quote changed so much in a few weeks, so I did a new search for the same cover, but with a start date in 3 weeks time. The quotes went back down.

    This makes no sense as an indicator of risk in these circumstances, because if you are buying cover for a newly-qualified driver you cannot buy it in advance, no matter how organised you are, as you don't know if they are going to pass the test.

    But I inadvertently discovered the way round this, which is, if you or your child are taking the driving test in a few weeks, do a search in advance and get quotes which you can then use if you/they pass the test.
    koru
  • ghol26
    ghol26 Posts: 69 Forumite
    I!!!8217;m looking for ex pat car insurance. Always a pain as I!!!8217;m a UK citizen but don!!!8217;t reside here all year. Is there any insurer out there who provides good value for money for my needs as I need to renew within the next 2 weeks
  • koru
    koru Posts: 1,498 Forumite
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    ozaz wrote: »
    Does this apply to other forms of insurance as well?
    Good question. It would seem likely that organised people also buy house insurance early and that they are more likely to take steps to prevent, say, burglary or fire or flood. So, one would think that premiums would be lower if you buy in advance.
    koru
  • koru
    koru Posts: 1,498 Forumite
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    ghol26 wrote: »
    I!!!8217;m looking for ex pat car insurance. Always a pain as I!!!8217;m a UK citizen but don!!!8217;t reside here all year. Is there any insurer out there who provides good value for money for my needs as I need to renew within the next 2 weeks
    A bit off-topic. You might be better starting a new thread.
    koru
  • Caddyman
    Caddyman Posts: 342 Forumite
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    As if by coincidence, I've just renewed my own car insurance today, 22 days early. I used a comparison site last week and the updated quotes to be honest, hadn't changed. I ended up on the website of a well known insurer that does not appear on comparison sites and they ended up being cheaper for the cover I need than any of the quotes on the comparison site. I would have bought the policy online but ended up 'phoning them. Although the online quote didn't change, they were able to 'tweak' my policy requirements in such a way as I would not have been able to do online, perfectly legitimately because I just wasn't given the options I needed online. All in all, a positive experience and a price I was more than happy to pay, done in advance, full payment up front on a cashback credit card.

    I also don't need add on's such as breakdown cover, my Nationwide packaged account covers that. I also buy standalone motor legal protection for £9.99, which is around a £20 saving over MLPC sold with insurance policies.

    I generally tend to always purchase both motor and home insurance at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance of expiry. For me, doing things at the last minute is not a good use of my time.
  • VT82
    VT82 Posts: 1,079 Forumite
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    koru wrote: »
    This makes no sense as an indicator of risk in these circumstances, because if you are buying cover for a newly-qualified driver you cannot buy it in advance, no matter how organised you are, as you don't know if they are going to pass the test.
    Ditto, and perhaps more frequently an issue, would be if you buy new insurance for immediate cover when you buy a new car.


    I'm genuinely surprised by the results of this inquiry, and that the responses from the insurers actually back it up!
  • chiny
    chiny Posts: 193 Forumite
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    An amazing find... full cred, hats off to MSE. My flab is er, gasted at such a discovery.

    By fluke, my car insurance renewal arrived today, 22 days prior to renewal. Last year, as usual, I took out a new policy (I never renew) at the last moment; I've just now taken out this year's policy. And... taking out my new policy (same insurer, same cover, same everything) was £60 or 30% cheaper.

    I've not made a claim in over 40 years of driving but I'm happy to pay up 3 weeks early for that discount.

    Again, hats off to MSE :beer:
  • redux
    redux Posts: 22,976 Forumite
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    edited 1 August 2018 at 4:12PM
    By coincidence, my last 3 renewals or moves have been done about 3 weeks in advance, but I didn't notice any variation of quotes for entering slightly different dates.

    I've just done comparisons now, as if starting on 6th August and 22nd August, and spotted no more than about 60 pence of variation in the best 10 or 12 quotes once I checked and redid with the same annual miles for both.

    I can't dispute that MSE thnks it has found something clever, but from my viewpoint it seems that although this may work for some, not for everyone, not at all for me.

    Or maybe it only applies on very last minute panic, start the same day, but I haven't checked.

    One thing I did notice though, and rather against expectation, which I wonder maybe a glitch on the particular comparison site, is that on changing the voluntary excess 2 or 3 of the better quotes disappear from the list with higher voluntary excess, apparently didn't quote, so it's worth a bit of tinkering.
  • quoia
    quoia Posts: 14,435 Forumite
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    Bought a "new" car yesterday.

    (Keeping old car and the insurance that's on it just for the moment - needs a bit of work before selling it - about 3 months before it will end)

    Looked for "new" insurance starting today/tomorrow (Wed/Thurs) 1st/2nd Aug - £206

    Saw this "best day to buy" article

    Tried 21st Aug - 20 days in the future = £183

    Changed it to Friday 3rd- £202
    Tried Saturday 4th - £196

    Sunday 5th:j :j :j :rotfl:£181 :T :T :T

    So won't be driving it for 3 days but saved £25 and some pence

    Basically a 12.5% discount - bloody stupid state of affairs regards "why" if you ask me
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