Motorists who buy car insurance on the renewal date could be paying more than necessary, according to research conducted by MoneySupermarket.
After analysing over 13 million quotes given to motorists seeking to renew their cover, the comparison site found that drivers can save up to seven per cent (around £33 on average) if they bought new insurance more than two weeks before their policy expired.
The average cost of renewing on the day of expiration stands at £467. This drops to around £452 if purchased a week earlier, and to £448 if purchased a week earlier than that.
The difference in price is due to insurers regarding those who wait to be a greater insurance liability and stinging them with inflated prices.
If everyone running a car in the UK bought new insurance early, a collective £500 million could be saved.
The majority of British motorists leave shopping for new insurance until the last minute, with 55 per cent waiting until the week their policy expires.
Some 18 per cent are even less organised, waiting until the day their cover runs out before shopping for a replacement policy.
"Those who do leave it to the last minute are often viewed by some insurers to be a greater risk so they will price accordingly. Planning ahead is key to making significant savings on your car insurance as insurers tend to change pricing daily.
"There are also significant savings to be made by not settling for your renewal quote and by taking the time to shop around alternative providers, running an early quote and locking in your best price allows you to look into the options available before your policy renewal date."