We all know we should be shopping around for car insurance instead of letting it automatically renew to get the best deal.
And now the best time to get the cheapest quote on price comparison sites has been revealed – three weeks ahead of the start date.
MoneySavingExpert reports that getting your insurance too early could see you pay hundreds extra, while leaving it to the last minute will probably mean you’ll be charged the highest price.
Through scouring millions of quotes, its investigation found quotes 21 days before were up to £531 cheaper compared to buying it 30 days in advance, which is the earliest you can typically get a quote on comparison sites.
Getting it on the day it’s due to start costs up to £1,156 more than the best time to purchase it.
MSE analysed more than 18 million quotes from January to May from three of the biggest price comparison websites – Confused.com, Compare The Market and MoneySupermarket. Car insurance quotations are calculated based on a range of factors, such as your age, your car type, where you live and your driving history.
MSE asked the main insurers why quotes were cheaper three weeks before and explained it’s all based around risk – buying then suggests the person is more careful and organised.
Last-minute types are seen as risker and more likely to make a higher number of claims. When asked why it’s pricier 30 days before, they said it was simply because there are fewer insurers providing quotes that far in advance.
The figures are a rough guide, as everyone’s car insurance quote is tailored to their personal circumstances, but they give an indication of when most people will get the best savings.
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis said: “Car insurance pricing is based on a mix of ‘actuarial risk’ and which section of the market is being targeted. To find the risk they look for patterns, and we’ve now uncovered that one of those is how early you get a quote before renewal.
“To avoid being a last-minute loser, everyone with car insurance should, at the very least, put a note in their diary 25 days before renewal to sort it within a week.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The I