Cancelling car insurance - what you need to know

There are various circumstances that may result in you wanting to cancel your car insurance, whether you have recently purchased a new car, or have simply changed your provider. Our in-depth guide explains how to cancel your insurance policy, costs that you may be liable for, and whether you may be entitled to a refund.


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Cancelling during the cooling-off period

Cancelling car insurance

Insurers must offer a minimum cooling-off period of at least 14 days due to distance selling regulations, where you are able to cancel your car insurance. The cooling-off period should start when you receive your documents or the commencement date of your insurance, depending which comes earlier.

If you cancel within the cooling-off period, the insurer may still apply a fee to cover their costs, so it’s recommended that you check the documentation provided before cancelling to ensure you’re not hit with unexpected costs.


Cancelling after the cooling-off period

Cooling off period

If you want to cancel your insurance after the specified cooling-off period, you are still able to do so but may incur cancellation and administration fees. In addition, you may have to pay for the amount of time that you’ve been insured, which will be worked out using pro-rata and is based on the amount of time you’ve been insured on the car. It is also worth noting that if you cancel your car insurance mid-policy, you will not earn any no-claims bonus due to not completing the full year claim-free.

Read more: How to get proof of no claims bonus


How to cancel your car insurance


To cancel your policy, you will need to contact the insurance company and make them aware of your intentions. Some insurers may allow you to cancel your policy online, however, you may also need to call and/or provide written confirmation that you wish to cancel. The procedure that you will need to follow should be included in the terms and conditions of your policy documents.


Cancelling if your car has been declared a SORN

SORN car

If you declare your car as a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) to the DVLA, you are registering the car as off the road - this ultimately means that the vehicle will not be driven or stored on a public road.

You can cancel your insurance if you have declared the car as a SORN, however, this will mean that you’ll be liable for the costs if the vehicle is damaged in any way, or it is stolen. If you are nearing the end of the policy, it may also be desirable to keep the car insured to earn your no-claims bonus for the year.

Read more: What is a SORN?


Cancelling your insurance if you’ve sold your car

payment online

If you are planning to sell your car, or have already sold the vehicle, you may want to cancel your insurance policy, as it is no longer required. If you are selling your car and not replacing it with a new one, you will need to contact your insurance provider to make them aware that you want to cancel. You should request a copy of your no-claims bonus, which will remain valid for two years.

However, if you are selling your current vehicle and replacing it with a new one, you may consider contacting your current insurance provider to make them aware and see if they can transfer the policy to your new car. Depending on the car, your premium could rise or fall, which will help decide whether you change the details or go with a different company. If you choose to cancel your current insurance, it is worth noting there may be cancellation fees and you will lose your no-claims bonus.

Read more: Can I sell a car with outstanding finance?


Cancelling your insurance after you’ve made a claim


If you’ve made a claim on your insurance, it doesn’t affect your ability to cancel the policy, although you will still be liable for the fees set out in the terms and conditions. You may also be required to pay the policy in full and may not receive a refund for the remaining months. Furthermore, if you pay for your car insurance via monthly payments, you may be asked to pay any remaining payments in a single lump sum if you choose to opt-out of the policy.


Can I get a refund on my car insurance?

Money for car insurance refund

If you are cancelling your policy within the cooling-off period, you will be entitled to a refund for the amount you’ve paid, with a deduction for the amount of time you’ve been insured. If you have made a claim since the commencement date, this may also be deducted from the amount of money refunded. The insurance provider may also charge an admin fee, which will be outlined in the policy documents.

If you are wanting to cancel car insurance outside of this period, you may still be entitled to a refund. This could be the case if you have paid for your insurance in full, where you will receive a refund on a pro-rata basis - this will be outlined in your policy documents. Where you’ve opted to pay monthly, you may be eligible for a partial refund on the month paid in advance upon cancellation. If you opt to cancel your insurance, you may be liable to pay a cancellation and administration fee, which will also be found in your policy documentation.

Read more: Can I get a car tax refund?


Cancelling your insurance at the end of the policy

End of policy

If your insurance is coming to an end and you are keeping the car for another year, you have the choice of either renewing the policy or choosing another company. Your current policy may include an auto-renew clause, therefore if you want to cancel at the end date, you may need to contact your provider before this date. You should ask that the cancellation is effective as of the final date on the agreement, which ensures that any cancellation fees are avoided.

Read more: Driving without insurance: what you need to know


How to cancel car insurance


There are two ways to cancel your Tesco car insurance policy:

  • Call Tesco Customer Services on 0345 246 2895.
  • Write to Tesco via Freepost RSJB-RZZY-HTJB, Tesco Bank Customer Service, P.O. Box 276, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 2BT.

Please note that Tesco charges a £40 cancellation fee unless you cancel within the first 14 days.

Aviva is not allowing online cancellations at present, but you can call 0800 056 2192 to discuss your cancellation.

You’ll need to call Hastings Direct on 01733 308380 to cancel your car insurance policy, which includes a £45 fee if you cancel after the 14-day cooling-off period.

You can only cancel esure car insurance policy by calling them on 0345 606 1374. It’s best to have the relevant details on hand, including your vehicle registration and policy handbook.

In most cases, you can cancel your AXA car insurance online in your AXA account. However, there are some situations where you might have to call their Personal Advisory Team on 0800 454 080 to cancel your policy.

Diamond requires you to call them on 0333 222 5783 to cancel your car insurance policy. You’ll incur a £25 cancellation fee if you do so during your cooling-off period, or £55 if the period has elapsed.

Cancel your Direct Line car insurance by calling their helpline on 0345 246 8706. You may also temporarily suspend your policy if you meet certain criteria (e.g., if your car has been written off following an accident and you’re yet to buy a new vehicle).


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