You’d think that when you renewed your car insurance didn’t matter – given it’s the same car, same driver and at the same address.

Sadly, you’d be very wrong about that.

It turns out one of the things car insurance firms look at when deciding a price is how far ahead of your renewal date you search – and getting it wrong can cost you a small fortune.

So, a year ago, MoneySavingExpert.com ran a test to find out exactly when was cheapest – testing more than 18 million quotes, the site founded by Martin Lewis discovered your best bet was to renew 21 days before your policy ran out.

It’s fair to say it worked.

“We’ve been inundated with successes since [revealing the results],” Martin said in his weekly newsletter .

Martin pointed to a man named Simon, who told them he “saved £1,000+”, another reader – Cam – said they saved £960 a year.

The better news is that it’s far from the only way to save significant sums on your car insurance.

Here are 5 more ways to cut the cost of your quote:

  1. Pay up front: up to £200 cheaper – Splitting your bill into monthly payments should be avoided at all costs.That’s because while a few providers are kind, other’s treat split payments as a loan – with up to 30% APR. We’ve seen cases where people can knock £200 off their policy by paying up front and spreading the cost with a loan, interest-free from either a friend or family member or a 0% card if you have a good credit rating.

  2. Get your mileage right: £233 cheaper – When your insurance quote asks you how many miles you do a year, don’t just guess at 10,000. Many of us actually drive fewer miles than we think, and the less you drive, the lower your premium will be. But always strive to be accurate – don’t underestimate your mileage or you could invalidate the policy. And there’s a second reason to go big too – with some insurers found charging people more for driving less.

  3. Add a friend: Up to £200 cheaper – It’s a crime to say someone who isn’t the main driver of a car is, but adding a secondary driver is perfectly legal – and more than that, it can save you money. Get their permission first, then add an experienced driver with a clean driving licence and decent no-claims history to your insurance.

  4. Try new technology: £100s cheaper for some – New technology can result in big savings. A telematics policy involves having a tracking device fitted to your car which sends information back to the insurer about how the car is being driven. Telematics policies can help young drivers accumulate no claim discounts more quickly as they can show they are safe drivers from day one. Some insurers will give you discounts of more than 10% off for a dashcam too.

  5. Use the right job: Up to £300 cheaper – If you describe yourself as a “chef” when filling in your car insurance application, your average quote is £98 higher than if you write “kitchen staff”  comparison site GoCompare.com  found – and it’s not just cooks that have this problem. If your job fits in more than one category,  check car insurance quotes  for all of them before applying. But be careful, while you can often legitimately choose more than one job, if you knowingly misrepresent yourself that could invalidate your cover.

And of course….

Read More

Car insurance: What you need to know

These all have the potential to lower your quote, but to pay less, make sure you’ve compared car insurance providers too .

A pro tip is to check on a series of comparison sites – as some will do deal meaning a policy is cheaper with them than anywhere else – as well as checking Direct Line and Aviva too, who frequently don’t appear on the sites.

Oh, and once you’ve found a deal, check to see if you can get more off by using a cashback site like Quidco or TopCashBack and you could see as much as £100 handed back to you on top of the other savings.