How to check if your car is insured
Owing a car comes with many perks but also with a few responsibilities. One such responsibility is, of course, car insurance. Insurance is a legal obligation for anyone driving in the UK. Failure to comply with this regulation can lead to fines, points on your license, and even in some cases disqualification from driving altogether.
If you are uncertain of the insurance status of your car, then this guide is for you. Here we will advise you on how you can check your insurance status and what you can expect if you fail to comply with DVLA regulations.
In This Guide:
- How do I know if my car is insured?
- What is the motor insurance database?
- How do I know who my insurer is?
- What if my car doesn’t have insurance?
- Do I still need to insure my car if I am not using it?
- How do I find cheap car insurance?
How do I know if my car is insured?
There’s a quick and easy way to find out if your vehicle is insured. All you need to do is visit the online Motor Insurance Database (MID) to see if your registration number is listed. If your registration appears, then this will confirm that your vehicle is covered under an insurance policy.
What is the motor insurance database?
The MID is a national register of all the vehicles that have been legally insured within the United Kingdom. The data base is managed by the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) and is used by the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to ensure that motor vehicle laws are being adhered to.
The search is quick, easy, and free to run. If you cannot access the MIB website, then there is also the convenient option to make a telephonic enquiry. The switchboard is open between 9am – 5pm and can be reached on 01908 830001. *Note that this number is for urgent enquiries only (please see the MIB’s contact page for contact details regarding casual enquiries).
How do I know who my insurer is?
Life is busy and you can’t be expected to remember all the fine details. So, if you forget who your insurance provider is, then once again, don’t despair. To track down your insurer’s name, you can check:
- Any policy documentation that you may have filed
- Your email history for correspondence
- Your credit card or bank statements for a reference name
If you don’t have access to any of the above, there’s one certain way that you can get the information you need. For a small additional fee paid to the Motor Insurance Bureau, you can retrieve additional details such as your insurer’s name and general policy details.
What if my car doesn’t have insurance?
If an uninsured car is registered in your name, the MIB will send you an Insurance Advisory letter advising that you will be penalised if you don’t insure the vehicle with immediate effect. If you fail to comply, then you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100. If you ignore this warning and fail to pay the penalty (and fail to insure your vehicle), then you will risk prosecution. Your car may even be seized and destroyed.
And there’s more.
If you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle on any public road, you could get a fine of £300. You may also get marked with 6 penalty points against your name - with the possibility of a total driving ban and an unlimited fine if your case goes to court.
Failure to insure your car can be regarded an IN10 offence. If this shows up on your record, then it may hinder your chances of qualifying for cheap car insurance in the future.
Do I still need to insure my car if I am not using it?
Whether your car is on the road or parked in your yard collecting dust, you are still legally bound to pay for insurance cover. However, there are some scenarios where you may be exempt from continuous vehicle insurance enforcement. For example, car insurance may not be necessary if:
- You have a certificate of Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN)
- Your vehicle has been “scrapped” and is recorded as such
- Your vehicle has been stolen and remains unrecovered
- Your car has been recorded as 'disposed to the trade'
- Your car has been exported
- It’s a vehicle owned by the crown
You can contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to enquire about the status of your vehicle and if it qualifies from being exempt from car insurance and car tax.
How do I find cheap car insurance?
If you find that your car has not been legally insured, then you are responsible for seeking the proper cover immediately. At this point, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the numerous insurance providers in your area. However, it’s important that you shop around so that you can find the best deal that provides full and proper insurance cover for your car.
To easily compare car insurance quotes, you can use our free online quote comparison tool. This way you can quickly compare rates and cover terms from the comfort of your own home. Simply fill in a few details, and the different deals will be provided to you in an easy-to-compare format.