Motorists save an average of 12% on their car insurance costs when they purchase their new policy a week or more before the renewal date.
Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence for price comparison site GoCompare, shows that drivers who take out a policy on the renewal date itself paid more in 89% of cases studied.
In comparison, those who were able to purchase a week in advance saved an average of £76 a year – equivalent to a 12% saving.
The saving is even bigger for young drivers, with the typical 18-year-old able to save as much as £265 a year by making their insurance purchase in advance.
The study found that even purchasing a day ahead of the renewal date drivers can save 7% - around £45.
‘Drivers can get one over on their car insurer to get themselves a better deal’
Mark Gutteridge of GoCompare Car Insurance says: “Car insurance is one market where leaving it until the last minute in the hope of getting a bargain, definitely doesn’t work.
“Drivers need to be alive to the fact that insurers are finessing their pricing this way and that leaving things until the last-minute could be costing them more than they might think. Armed with this new insight, drivers can get one over on their car insurer to get themselves a better deal.
“If you leave buying your insurance until the last minute you will limit your choices and end up having to take the price offered to you. So plan ahead a little and you could shave a significant amount off your annual premium without sacrificing cover.”