How to cancel car insurance

Are you planning to cancel your car insurance? Get all the details here.

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You you generally cancel your car insurance whenever you decide, but the process and associated costs really depend on when you decide to cancel. If you’ve made up your mind and you want to cancel your car insurance, think about any accidents that could occur before you’ve found a new policy or during the first days of your new policy, when you’re unlikely to be able to make a claim. Don’t find yourself uncovered and out of pocket. Check out our guide first.

Cancellation guides by provider

Each car insurance company has slightly different requirements, fees and processes for canceling your policy. Check out comprehensive guides for canceling your insurance from these popular providers.

Can I cancel my car insurance policy?

You will be able to cancel your car insurance policy whenever you wish but don’t assume you’ll get some money back just because there is unused time left on the policy. You may also find that with a cancelled policy comes a cancellation fee so keep this in mind before deciding to terminate your cover.

What are the consequences of cancelling a policy early?

Here are just some of the consequences you could face for cancelling your car insurance early:

  • No money refunded
  • High cancellation fees
  • Paid-for optional extras may be automatically terminated
  • Missed no-claims bonus

Is there a cooling off period?

All insurers in the UK are obligated to offer a cooling-off period of at least 14 days for car policies. If you cancel during this time and haven’t made any claims, you are likely to receive a refund. But be aware that an insurer can still charge for the days of cover that have already passed as well as a cancellation fee. If you purchased a car insurance policy that hasn’t yet started, you might only be requested to pay a cancellation fee.

How to cancel your insurance policy

Once you’ve decided to cancel your car insurance, you’ll need to get in touch with the insurance provider. The cancellation process may be available within your policy document.
Some insurers may only accept your request for cancellation in writing while other insurers may be happy to handle the cancellation of your policy over the phone or via an email. Once you’ve contacted your insurer to cancel your car insurance through the appropriate channel, it’s worth keeping a record of all correspondence such as the date and time of phone calls, email chains and the names of any representatives you dealt with.

What if I want to cancel a policy mid-cover?

If you’re outside the cooling-off period, or more or less halfway into your cover, you will need to check your policy details to see whether you are entitled to any refund. Thinking you’re owed half your premium just because you’ve only used half of your cover isn’t how insurance works.
Many insurers will offer a refund as long as no claims have been made but you may still be required to pay a cancellation fee. Depending on when you pay your premiums, a refund may be given for the remaining full months of unused cover. But again, this can vary between insurers.

Ready to cancel? Compare cheap car insurance providers

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What should I do if I disagree with cancellation charges?

If you cancelled your car insurance but feel like the provider has been unfair with its charges, you have the opportunity to get in touch with the provider, usually the customer services department, to explain any issues you have and possibly even challenge any charges. It’s important that you provide all the details about your issue so that your case can be properly assessed. It’s worth keeping track of all your correspondence as you may need to refer back to old letters, emails or telephone calls to reconfirm information.
If you are still not satisfied with the action your insurance provider has taken, you can get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Service to log your complaint. The Financial Ombudsman Service has the legal powers to help people who may have been treated unfairly by financial services and it won’t cost you anything if you do decide to contact it for advice.

How can I save money on my car insurance?

  • Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
  • Increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
  • Have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
  • Limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
  • Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Add experienced drivers. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy could help to lower the premium.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Advanced driving skills. You could be in line for a discount with certain providers by taking an advanced driving course such as those offered by the Pass Plus scheme.
  • Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
  • Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.
  • Limit modifications. Any modification made to your car to make it look better or drive faster is likely to increase your premiums so think carefully before making any changes.
  • Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
  • Shop around. Don’t just automatically renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully.

Frequently asked questions

Please take reasonable care to answer all the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. If you don't answer the questions correctly, your policy may be cancelled, or your claim rejected or not fully paid. The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
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