February 21, 2024

Can you take GAP insurance out at any time?  

By Henry Williams

Featured image for “Can you take GAP insurance out at any time?  ”

Something most people already know is that cars are depreciating assets (unless you drive a vintage vehicle). Therefore, as soon as you drive your car off the forecourt, it begins to quickly decline in value. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem as buyers know a car is unlikely to increase in value. However, if your car is written off or is declared a total loss, you could face financial issues. That’s where motor GAP insurance could come in handy.  

Motor GAP insurance covers the depreciation in the value of your vehicle in the event that it is totally written off. That way, your insurance should cover the total value you paid for your car, rather than just the current value. 

Most insurers will only allow you to buy this type of insurance within a limited time frame after you purchase your vehicle. However, this window of opportunity varies between GAP cover types and providers. It’s also worth remembering that if you buy your car from a dealer, you don’t have to take out GAP insurance then and there.  

In this article, we’ll cover: 

What is GAP insurance? 

If you have motor GAP insurance, your insurer will cover the difference between the cost of your car at purchase and the amount your standard motor insurance policy will pay out at the point that it’s written off, which is usually the current market value of the car.  

If you purchased your car on finance, a GAP policy will cover the difference between the total cost of your remaining repayments and the amount your standard insurance provider is willing to pay out.  

Also see: Is motor GAP insurance included in my standard insurance policy

When is the best time to take out GAP cover? 

The simple answer to that question is you should take out your motor GAP policy as soon as possible after buying your car. 

Typically, you only have a 12-month window after buying or leasing your car to take out GAP insurance. However, time frames vary between different types of GAP cover.  

For example, contract Hire GAP (which covers the difference between the outstanding balance of rental payments and your insurance settlement) is much more varied in terms of when it can be bought. Some providers allow you to take out a contract hire GAP policy within 365 days of the start of your lease, others just 90. And, in some cases, it’s the length left on your lease that determines whether you’re eligible. 

The other thing to be aware of is that, while it’s common for your dealer to offer you a motor GAP policy when you purchase a new car, you’re under no obligation to buy it from the dealership. In fact, buying GAP insurance from a third-party provider is usually much cheaper. 

motor GAP insurance
Woman buying a new car

Does the age or mileage of my car matter? 

Generally, the age of the car and whether it’s new or secondhand doesn’t matter when purchasing this type of insurance.  

As long as the car is new to you and you apply within the window of eligibility, you can take out cover.  

However, policies do typically have an upper limit when it comes to your vehicle’s mileage.

Also see: Can I buy GAP insurance online?

How long does GAP insurance last? 

When you buy a GAP policy, you will typically choose a set coverage period of between one and five years. Your car will be covered for only the length of your policy, after which it will expire.  

Additionally, you can usually only make one claim on your GAP insurance policy. That’s because this type of insurance is designed to cover the total loss of your vehicle, which can only happen once. Once your car has been totaled and your claim has been settled, your policy will expire. It cannot be transferred to your next vehicle.  

motor GAP insurance
Red car parked at a look-out point

Can I renew my insurance?  

In most cases, you cannot renew your GAP insurance policy and it will expire at the end of your coverage period.  

However, there are some exceptions. Some providers now offer a kind of top up insurance for people who have extended their vehicle leases. If you were to write off your car, your top-up lease GAP policy would pay the difference between the current market value settlement and the outstanding finance settlement.  

You can also now buy top-up total loss GAP insurance, an annual, renewable policy that will pay an additional percentage of the amount your motor insurance policy pays out. However, with this type of insurance, there’s usually an upper claim limit.

Where can I buy GAP insurance? 

One way to find the right GAP insurance for you is to use an online price comparison site like Money Supermarket.  

These types of sites allow you to quickly weigh up the different options available based on their price and features. Just remember to check the small print of any policy you consider to ensure that your car will be covered in the event of a write-off.   

You can also purchase a motor GAP policy via your dealership. Although, it’s important to note that these policies are often far more expensive than the ones you can find online.  

If you’re looking for an affordable motor GAP policy that offers flexible cover, you can take out GAP insurance with Save More Money. 

Our cover is available from just £7 per month. Our product is suitable for, all vehicles that are less than eight years of age, have fewer than 80,000 miles on the clock at the start of the policy and were purchased in the last 180 days.

It takes just minutes to apply for Save More Money Motor GAP Insurance online.


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