When Does My Car Insurance Run Out?
Last updated: 11/08/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Every driver in the UK is legally required to have car insurance. This means that letting your policy run out could have some serious consequences, such as a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence. Just like getting an MOT, it’s important to periodically review your car insurance to make sure it’s still valid and serving your current needs.
But what happens if you’ve completely forgotten your policy expiration date? It’s easily done, after all, your car insurance probably isn’t something you think about every day. Luckily, there are several different ways you can check when car insurance expires and make sure your policy is renewed before it’s too late.
Most car insurance renews on an annual basis, so your policy will probably expire a year after it started. However, some policies may renew monthly or every six months depending on the agreement you have with your provider. Your renewal period may also be different if you made any changes to your policy since taking it out. For example, if you purchased a new car, added a family member to your policy or moved home, your car insurance may have renewed and started a whole new cycle from that date.
If you’ve completely forgotten when your car insurance runs out, there are lots of different ways you can find out. Here are some of the places you can start:
When you take out car insurance, your provider should issue you with a certificate. This will be a single-page document that can be used to prove you have the minimum amount of cover required for drivers in the UK. It should also state when your policy expires.
If you can’t find your car insurance certificate, your policy documents should have everything you need to know. It will take you longer to sift through your policy documents, but they will have more detailed information about the conditions of your policy and how often you need to renew your car insurance. Your expiry date should be included somewhere in the documents, but if you can’t see a specific date, find the date your policy started and then look for the term your policy is valid for.
Calling your insurance provider is the quickest way to find out when your car insurance runs out if you’ve misplaced your policy documents. You will probably need to have some personal details to hand, as your provider will need to identify you to keep your account with them secure. If you have your policy number, the process should be even smoother, but most providers will be able to locate your account with your name, date of birth and address.
A lot of car insurance policies renew automatically, meaning you don’t need to worry too much about your expiry date. If you’re sure you opted in for auto-renewal, you could wait to receive a letter or email from your provider telling you when your policy is about to be renewed. This is a useful option for people who may want to know their expiry date so they can switch providers more easily.
If you need to know roughly when your car insurance expires, then your monthly payments could give you a good idea. Check when your standing order or direct debit for your car insurance usually leaves your account and have a look at the date you first started paying. However, keep in mind that your billing cycle could be slightly different to your policy cycle, so if you really need to know when your insurance runs out, make sure you dig deeper and get an exact date as well.
As a last resort, you can try and find your car insurance expiry date online through the Motor Insurance Database. If you’ve forgotten who your car insurance provider is or whether you actually took out car insurance, this database will help you to find all the basic details you need. However, you probably will need to pay a fee to access this information, which is why you should only go down this route if you have no other options.
If you find out that your car insurance has already expired, you will need to renew your policy before driving again. Before trying to renew or take out a new policy, check that your car insurance has actually expired. It may have renewed automatically even if your expiry date has passed. You should call your provider to confirm this, as driving your car without insurance is illegal.
Seeing that your car insurance has recently renewed when you wanted to switch providers can be frustrating. However, if your car insurance renewed less than 14 days ago, you should be able to cancel without paying a fee. And if you want to stay with your provider but just change the type of policy you have, you may be able to make changes or switch to a new plan even after your expiry date.
Knowing when your car insurance expires is really important, as not only could you be breaking the law by driving without cover, but you may be paying more than you need to if you aren’t shopping around for new deals. If your car insurance is expiring and you want to look for a new provider, get in touch with our team at Money Expert to get a quote and learn more.