A thought drops into your mind. Did I renew my car insurance? Panic, you’re not sure. This guide will help you check if your car is insured and what happens if it isn’t.
Simple steps to find out if you're insured
Most insurers offer a service called auto-renew. So, the chances are (unless you said that you didn't want your policy to be automatically renewed) then you’ll be covered. Check your bank statements for your regular payments or direct debits to your insurer. Or check emails, including junk or spam folders to see if you have any emails with details of your policy cover. If all else fails contact your insurer, or if you have access to an online service, simply log in to your account.
You can also check if your car is insured by supplying your car's registration to the Motor Insurer’s Database (MID). It takes a few seconds to complete and you'll get an instant answer. If you're involved in an accident, you can also use this service to check whether the other vehicle has insurance.
Do you need car insurance?
It is a legal requirement to have car insurance at all times, even if your car is off the road, unless it is declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) with the DVLA. You still might want car insurance for your vehicle because it may be at risk of being damaged or stolen.
What happens if your car doesn’t have car insurance?
If caught with no insurance you could face a £300 fine and six penalty points. If your case goes to court and you’re found guilty, you will be convicted of an IN10 offence and you could be fined (no limit) and banned from driving. Caught with no insurance, this could impact your chances in getting car insurance in the future.
It is worth highlighting that newly qualified drivers will have their licence revoked if they get 6 points within the first two years of passing their test.
I don’t have car insurance before I travel
It's illegal to drive without insurance. Simply arrange alternative transport.
Is it ever legal to drive without insurance?
You should never drive without insurance. Even if the car is insured and you're not, it's still illegal.
Your car isn’t insured, what next?
If you have your documents to hand then it won't take long to arrange car insurance. So, if you're looking for car insurance we have 3 cover options:
Comprehensive car insurance – covers your car and damage to another vehicle or party
Third party, fire and theft – covers damage to other cars but only fire and theft to your car
Young driver insurance – fully comprehensive cover if you’re aged 17-24 years old.
Can you keep your car on the driveway or garage without insurance?
If your car is on the drive or in the garage and is not being used, you will still need cover because of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement legislation. This has been set up to prevent owners from failing to insure their vehicle and ignoring repeated official requests. Uninsured vehicles cost millions of pounds every year and the cost is paid by the consumer, through increased premiums.
If your car is off the road, you will have to declare it to the DVLA with a Statutory Off Road Notification or SORN. This notification will register your car as not being in use. You'll get a refund on any full month's tax remaining. You may not use your car until it is taxed again.