Make sure that you keep your car insured
It is a legal requirement, being enforced more strictly now than ever, to have your car insured. Even if you're not using your vehicle and it's just sitting in your driveway or garage, you may still be breaking the law by not notifying the relevant authority.
Find out how to check if your car is insured, what to do if it isn't, and how to make sure you don't pay over the odds when you do insure it in this helpful guide.
In This Guide:
- Continuous insurance enforcement and the clamp down on uninsured drivers
- But what if I don't use my car?
- How can I make sure that my car is insured?
- Will it cost me a lot to get my car insured?
- How can I make sure I keep my costs down?
Continuous insurance enforcement and the clamp down on uninsured drivers
Uninsured drivers cost the car industry around £500 million at the moment, money that is coming out of the pockets of law abiding insured drivers.
In an effort to cull the number of uninsured drivers on the road, the government, the DVLA and the Motor Insurance Database (MID) have teamed up and implemented Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE).
The DVLA and MID now have means to cross reference data and records, making it easier than ever for them to identify and take action against uninsured drivers.
If you are caught without insurance, you will first receive an Insurance Advisory Letter, notifying you and threatening penalty action should you fail to insure your car in the given time period.
Penalties range from a fine of £100, to a fine of £1,000 and from vehicle clamping to outright vehicle destruction. As such, it is imperative that you make sure that your car is covered at all times.
But what if I don't use my car?
Even if your car remains unused, sitting in a driveway, you either need to have it insured anyway, or you need to prove that is it off road by taking out a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). Otherwise you are breaking the law and you will, if caught (which, given CIE, is incredibly likely), face the penalties detailed above.
In order to declare your car off road by means of a SORN, you'll need to send off the following information to the DVLA:
- - The 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal letter (V11 or V85/1), and
- - The 11 digit reference number on your vehicle log book (V5C)
To find out more, read out article on how to declare a car SORN, and protecting yourself against prosecution if you're not using your vehicle.
How can I make sure that my car is insured?
If you head over to askMID.com and enter your car's registration number into the relevant form, you'll be able to check if your car is insured.
If you are unsure, it is always best to check so that you avoid getting into trouble and facing severe penalty fines and prosecution.
Will it cost me a lot to get my car insured?
Car insurance can at first seem dauntingly expensive, and there are reasons for high premiums, but this doesn't mean you have to break the bank.
Prices can be particularly high for younger drivers, who are statistically proven to be significantly more at risk of accident than older, more experienced drivers.
The cost of fraud in the insurance industry is something that serves to drive up prices of policies as well, since the companies do not want to be out of pocket. The industry as a whole uncovers £19 million worth of fraudulent claims every week, and while most of these are to do with house insurance, the car insurance industry certainly plays its part.
A large part of this is down to the vast number of whiplash claims every year in the UK, costing the industry £2 billion and increasing the cost of every premium by around £90. Because of the difficulty in actually diagnosing whiplash, the system is open to wide scale abuse, and thousands of fraudulent claims are made every year.
How can I make sure I keep my costs down?
There are various steps you can take to avoid paying over the odds to get cover for your vehicle, starting with your choice of car.
A car with a smaller engine will be cheaper to insure than a gas guzzling 4X4 for example.
You can also keep your premiums low by building up a no claims discount over time. This is one of the best ways to save and some drivers will even find that they are better off paying for small repairs themselves in the event of an accident given the value of their no claims discount.
Finally, to make sure that you get the best quotes available that are relevant to your needs, head over to our car insurance comparison page and we'll help you find the best policies on the market.