Slash your car insurance premiums by deferring

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If you alter the date when you want your vehicle insurance policy to start being active, it could knock hundreds off your motoring bill, says research from consumer group Which?

It gathered quotes from more than a dozen large providers, for a motorist driving a Ford Focus and based in South London. Researchers found that amending the start date by as little as a single day could make a big difference to premiums.

In one quote, a deferral of just one day meant that the cost of cover was cut by almost half. You will be given the option to choose this deferral either on the phone or online when you are looking for a quote.

In truth, the study found that in most cases, the start date of a policy didn’t affect the premium cost that much. But, when it did, it made a big difference. For example, starting on 31st January rather than a day earlier knocked between £121 and £95 off the sums quoted by three major insurance providers.

In one estimate, a single day’s delay for cover slashed the quote by nearly 50%, or £780. When the start date was moved forward another 24 hours, to February, the quote dropped by nearly £100, meaning a reduction of almost £880 over a couple of days.

Insurers reported to Which? that those who purchase insurance cover ahead of time statistically present much less of a risk, so less expensive premiums are the result.

A spokesman for the insurer where there was the biggest difference in price with the deferral said: “The time elapsed between the date of the quote and the day the policy becomes effective can be a risk factor, and so will have an impact on the premium quoted.”

Another insurer said: “Policies which begin on different days can have varied costs, depending on when a rate change becomes active.”

So this is definitely something to bear in mind, whether you’re looking for driving instructor insurance, HGV cover or any other type of vehicle insurance.