Motorists who renew their car insurance in December pay on average Â£85 more than those who purchase in February.
Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket analysed over six million car insurance quotes dating back to 2013 and found that those unfortunate enough to have an end of year renewal date pay 18% on average more than fellow drivers.
The average fully comprehensive policy in December costing Â£560.80, compared to Â£475.60 in February the cheapest month to renew.
Further analysis by MoneySuperMarket reveals that fully comprehensive premiums have increased by Â£58.60 (13%) over the last five years, from Â£456.93 in January 2013 to Â£515.53 in October 2018.
Shopping around can save as much as Â£276
Editor-in-Chief at MoneySuperMarket, Tom Flack explained that holding out for a bargain-priced vehicle at the end of the year can come at a price.
â€œPeople buying a car often wait until December to secure a bargain as dealers look to shift stock before the end of the year, but it comes with the downside that itâ€™s the most expensive time of year to buy insurance,” he said.
“Those insuring in December pay, on average, Â£85 more per year than those who take out insurance in February.”
Shopping around can help motorists to make up for the seasonal price spike.
â€œNo matter when your car insurance is up for renewal, it pays to shop around on a price comparison site. You could end up saving as much as Â£276 a year just by switching insurers.
“Alongside searching to ensure youâ€™re on the best deal for you, it pays not to wait until the last minute: insurers give consumers a 45 day window to renew their policy and often reserve the best prices for those who are organised and donâ€™t leave it late, as they are perceived as safer drivers.â€