Drivers warned of 26 day countdown or risk a hefty car insurance renewal fee

Close up of unrecognizable man fastening seatbelt before trip in a car.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Millions of drivers are facing a price hike with the cost of car insurance renewals increasing. The cost of your car insurance premium will depend on a variety factors. This includes your age, driving history, the type of car you drive - even your postcode.

As many motorists will be aware, car insurance is a must-have legal requirement for anyone getting behind a wheel. A comprehensive car insurance policy (often called a fully comprehensive or fully comp) offers you and your car protection at the highest level - an option many opt for.

As well as covering you for third-party damage to another vehicle or person, this form of car insurance also covers fire, theft and damage to your vehicle. This is regardless of who is at fault.

Despite some fees coming down in price, some have remained high with many struggling to afford it, despite the need to have it. According to, Tom Jackson from the consumer site GoCompare said: “While it is good news that premiums are starting to stabilise, the cost of car insurance is still an average of £100 more than it was this time last year. This means it’s more important than ever for policyholders to get the best deal.”

However, in order to save money, there is a 26 day sweet spot you can use in order to secure the best deal. The Times report that often you can get a quote to renew your insurance around one month before your cover is due to end. However they state that consumer site GoCompare say you should do this 26 days before your new policy starts.

They experts state: "The closer you leave it to your renewal date to get a quote for car insurance, the higher the cost of the premium tends to be" adding that the "best time to renew is usually three to four weeks before your policy ends".

When it comes to renewing, the car experts add you should not wait until last minute. It comes as their data shows car insurance prices often rise closer to renewal date and are at its peak during the week leading up to it.

They explain: "This is likely because insurers consider people who wait until the deadline to buy cover as higher risk. Taking out cover in good time on the other hand might indicate you’re an organised and responsible person. So, you’re more likely to take good care of your car and be a responsible driver, too.

"It’s also possible that customers will feel under pressure to buy a policy quickly close to the renewal date and are more willing to accept higher costs when time’s running out."

The 26 days sweet spot is also backed up by Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert (MSE) who say: "Most car insurance policies run for 12 months, with a new price calculated for the following year around a month before it ends. Yet you should never just auto-renew as it's likely you'll pay more than you need to.

"You should always compare prices, and we've found that the best time to buy car insurance is 20 to 26 days ahead, as this is usually the cheapest."