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Transferring insurance from one car to another

If you’re planning to replace your current car with a new one, you’ll need to update your insurance. But do you transfer insurance to your new car, or take out a brand new policy? Read on to find out what your options are and how to get the right car insurance deal.
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How to transfer insurance to your new car

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Transferring your motor insurance policy to a new car is easy, but easy isn’t always best.

Here’s how you could save money on getting insurance for your new car.

Can I transfer car insurance from one vehicle to another?

Most insurance providers allow you to transfer your current cover to a new car if you’re no longer using your old one. All you need do is call or email them with your new car’s registration number and details of any modifications to the manufacturer’s standard specs. Once your car insurer has this information, they’ll give you a quote.

Before you hand over the cash, it’s worth considering your options as you don’t need to stick with your current car insurance provider.

If your new car is more expensive or has a larger engine, your premium could go up. In this case it’s worth shopping around for a cheaper policy – even after any amendment or cancellation fee’s been factored in.

Incidentally, should you cancel you’ll get a refund for any unused months remaining on your annual cover, unless your cover is almost at an end.

How do I transfer car insurance from one car to another?

If you’re sticking with your current insurer, all you need to do is pass on your new car’s details, as all your other information will be transferable. Your policy will run for however many months you have left on your annual cover. When it expires, you’d need to set up a new annual policy.

When should I tell my insurance provider I want to transfer my policy?

You’d need to tell your insurer that you want to transfer your policy before you drive away in your new car. This is because it’s illegal to drive on UK roads without motor insurance. Driving without insurance could see you landed with a £300 fine, six penalty point and your car impounded and crushed. For this reason, you should contact your current insurer to arrange for your insurance to be transferred from the time and date you’re picking up your new car.

If you’ve not had time to transfer your car insurance, let alone shop around for a new policy you could take out temporary car insurance.

Note: If you’re buying from a dealer, you may be offered an incentive, such as one year’s free car insurance. However, you’ll need to weigh up how long you have left on your existing car insurance policy, and how much your existing insurer will charge you if you cancel, before deciding whether this is a good deal or not.

Can I keep my old car without insurance?

If you’re keeping your old car, but transferring your insurance to your new car, you must get a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) from the Post Office. This is free of charge and allows you to park your car on your own property, if not on the road.

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Do I have to pay anything to transfer my car insurance policy?

If you’re upgrading your car to a newer or better model you can expect to pay a higher annual change for cover. Likewise, there may be an admin fee of from around £15 to cover the cost of switching car insurance or a fee of from around £25 for cancelling your policy altogether.

Given some insurers don’t charge anything it could be worth bearing in mind if your current insurance is up soon and planning to switch cars some time in the next period of cover.

Will transferring my car insurance to another car affect the cost?

Your premium could go up or down depending on the car you’re looking to cover. More expensive cars are more attractive to thieves and vandals. Along with unusual cars, such as uncommon models imported from the USA, Europe or further afield, can also cost more to repair, which affects the cost of insurance.

For these reasons, switching cars can prove expensive, even though you and your named drivers remain the same. As with any insurance quote, it’s worthwhile shopping around, even if you’ve only recently bought this year’s car cover.

Do I have to stay with my current car insurance provider when transferring to another car?

The chances are you’ll have investigated the potential cost of insuring your new car, even if you’ve not settled on the exact model. As a result of your research, you’ll have reached a conclusion about the likely cost of covering your new car.

If you find your present car insurer is charging more than you think you’d need to pay elsewhere, after any policy cancellation fee is added, you are free to terminate your current policy and arrange a new one. Just make sure there’s no gap between policies, as cover must be continuous.

Also, be aware you may also lose your no claims bonus for the year if you switch car insurance to a brand-new policy. If you already have the maximum NCD, this is not a concern.

Can I do a car insurance transfer mid-year? 

You can change insurance mid-term, providing you inform your current insurer as soon as you know what date you’ll be buying your new car. Otherwise, you’ll still be insured on the car you’re selling and not automatically covered on your new one. 

If you don’t tell your insurer you’re driving a different car you won’t be covered in the case of an accident, and you will be driving illegally as your cover is no longer valid. Driving without insurance is a £300 fine, six penalty point and you risk having your car impounded and crushed.

Insuring a new car to drive home

In all the excitement of buying a new car, it’s easy to forget to check whether you’ve got cover in place for the day you’re picking it up. 

If you’re buying a new car from a dealer, it’s likely they’ll include a temporary car insurance policy in the sale, but it pays to check. This covers you for up to seven days giving you time to arrange your own policy.

Some dealerships also offer incentives, such as one year’s free car insurance. However, you’ll need to weigh up how long you have left on your existing car insurance policy, and how much your existing insurer will charge you if you cancel, before deciding whether this is a good deal or not. 

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Can I drive a new second-hand car home without insurance?

If you buy a second-hand car you’ll need to take out your new insurance policy (or amend your existing policy) before you drive the car home. Don’t be tempted to drive the car home without adequate cover — it’s not just the risk of a crash you have to think about, you’re actually driving illegally if you don’t have insurance.

That said, you may have minimal insurance cover to drive the vehicle home if you have ‘driving other cars’ permission on your current insurance policy. Check your policy carefully to see if this is included and will cover a car you have bought. 

Bear in mind that this will give you the minimum amount of cover to drive legally (third party), so if you get into an accident on the way home, your insurer won’t pay out for any damage to your new car.

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How to transfer insurance to your new car

What if I am buying a second car?

If you’re buying a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) car, you’ll have to have an insurance policy for each vehicle. Contact your current insurer to see if they offer special ‘multi-car’ policies or discounts, or take out a new policy — just make sure you compare deals to find the best price.

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Even if you take out a separate insurance policy for your additional car, you must inform all insurers that you hold policies with that you have a new vehicle — the insurer will base your premium on how many cars are in the household. This might work in your favour, as they may even reduce your premium based on the fact you may be driving the original car less.

So before taking out new car insurance, consider whether you will save money staying with your current provider, whether the type of cover you need has changed, and if multi-car insurance would work best.

When else might I need to change my car insurance? 

You should always inform your insurer if any of the following changes apply:

  • You’ve moved home

  • Your marital status or name have changed

  • Your car is kept somewhere else overnight

  • There’s been a change to the main driver

  • You’re adding an additional driver

  • You’ve changed jobs or been promoted to a new role

  • You’ve modified the car

  • You’ve been involved in an accident (even if you’re not making a claim)

  • You have a driving or criminal conviction.

Get a car insurance quote

See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch


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