When is the best time of year to buy car insurance?

The best time of year to buy car insurance is in December. The most expensive month of the year is March. You can expect to pay six-to-eight percent more for car insurance if you buy coverage in the spring. But when you comparison shop online, you don’t have to worry about the best time of year to buy auto insurance. You can get cheap quotes all year long with our free comparison tool below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2020

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Things to know...

  • Many drivers are not aware of the fact that insurance rates increase and decrease seasonally
  • By renewing your coverage during a more affordable month, you may save a substantial amount of money on car insurance
  • There are other great ways to set up a lower premium amount for financial savings

Many drivers shop for auto insurance when they get a new vehicle and allow coverage to automatically renew afterward, but it actually is in your best interest to compare rate quotes every six months.

By doing so, you may be able to take advantage of exceptional savings on your premium related to price fluctuations and other factors.

Before you make the decision to start shopping for rates today, however, you should be aware that insurance rates may be more affordable during some months than during others.

Compare car insurance quotes right now by entering your zip code into our free rate tool above.

The Best Time of Year to Buy Car Insurance

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Each car insurance company adjusts rates periodically, but you may discover that rates with most providers are most affordable during the month of December. On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive month for car insurance rates is usually March.

In fact, the difference in rates may be as much as six to eight percent or more between the months of December and March, but this varies by provider.

Because rates vary considerably, it is in your best interest to compare multiple quotes from leading providers before making a buying decision.

Other Factors That Affect the Cost of Auto Insurance

The season or month is just one of numerous factors that affect the cost of auto insurance rates.

If you want to save as much money as possible on your car coverage, you need to understand these factors and use them in your favor. These factors include:

Drivers can choose the coverage types and limits that they want as well, and these factors play a direct role in how beneficial the coverage is and in the cost of the premium.

Drivers should research state and lender requirements for coverage before adjusting the coverage on an existing policy to ensure that they purchase at least the minimum amount of coverage that is required.

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Selecting a Term Length Strategically

Because choosing the month when you buy your coverage can have a significant effect on your premium and because it is easy to control this factor, it makes sense for drivers to take full advantage of it.

You can consider shopping around and comparing rates starting in late November or early December for the best results. When you compare insurance rates online from leading providers, this process may only take a few minutes of your time.

Rather than choose to request quotes from the top three or four providers whose company names pop into your mind, research the options carefully.

Through the Internet, you can learn about the financial strength and the quality of customer service each company offers. This information can help you to make a more informed decision about which provider to buy coverage from.

The Possibility to Change Providers Mid-Term

Remember that you do not need to wait for the renewal date on your policy to shop around for new auto coverage. If your existing policy will renew in March, this is clearly not the most ideal or cost-effective month to compare rates and buy new insurance.

In some cases, it is best for drivers to change their auto insurance provider mid-term to take advantage of lower rates available in December.

You can buy coverage in or close to December for great savings on your premium. Then, you can choose a 12-month term for your new coverage. Your future renewals will happen at the most affordable time of the year, which can give you ongoing benefits.

When You Cannot Find Coverage

Most drivers will be able to easily find a great rate on car insurance when they shop around and request quotes from leading providers. However, there may be instances when drivers are not approved for coverage through several providers.

This can be a frustrating experience, and it may even cause you to worry about if you will be able to find any coverage at all.

While this concern is understandable, most drivers are able to eventually find coverage.

High-risk auto insurance companies and the state’s assigned risk pool are two options available when you cannot get coverage elsewhere.

These coverage options are most well-suited for high-risk drivers, such as those who:

  • Have numerous accidents or traffic citations on their record
  • Drivers who are young and inexperienced
  • Drivers who are older in age

Focusing on Reducing the Cost of Your Premium


If you are concerned about the cost of your car insurance, you understandably want to find the best way to lower your premium as much as possible.

Shopping for new rates in December is one way to generate a lower insurance cost, but there are other ideas to consider as well. These are some of the other ways you may be able to generate a more affordable premium:

  • Choose your coverage types and limits carefully
  • Select a higher deductible
  • Take advantage of car insurance discounts
  • Pay your premium amount in full upfront
  • Get a vehicle that is more affordable to insure
  • Improve your credit rating
  • Improve your driving record

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Shop for Auto Coverage


Because shopping for a new insurance policy during the month of December can yield more affordable rates and is an easy way to potentially save money, it makes sense for drivers to shop around and compare rates from leading providers during this month.

However, if December is still several months away, you can still compare rates today to learn about potential savings.

Remember that you can shop around again in December and possibly switch providers mid-term for additional savings on your premium.

Compare rates with no obligation any time by entering your zip code into our free comparison tool below.

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