It’s unlikely that you’ll have forgotten whether you bought or renewed car insurance for your vehicle. But if you’ve left it to your partner or parents to buy it for you and maybe haven’t seen any paperwork, you might not be 100% sure that it was done. You may have trusted someone else to do it but in the eyes of the law, it is your responsibility to know the answer to the question, “Is my car insured?”
The simplest and quickest way to find out if any of the vehicles you own or drive are insured is to check the Motor Insurance Database (MID). You can do this online, but please note, if you have recently taken out a new policy or made any changes to it, the database may not have been updated with this information. If you’re sure you’ve bought insurance but it isn’t showing up on the MID, it’s advised that you call your insurance provider immediately, and check back on the MID website after a few days.
Changes in car insurance law
You may have a car sitting on the driveway or in a garage that you never use. Therefore, you might think that you don’t need car insurance. This was true a few years ago but since the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) was introduced in 2011 as a way of clamping down on uninsured drivers, all vehicles you own and are registered in your name must be insured at all times, unless declared as “off the road” with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) with the DVLA.
What happens if you have no car insurance?
If your vehicles are uninsured and not declared as “off the road”, you will first be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) by the Motor Insurers' Bureau advising you to purchase the relevant insurance or face a fine. If you fail to insure your vehicles (even if it remains stationary), you will receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, your vehicle could be clamped, seized and destroyed, and you could face court prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Find further information here on car insurance or speak to one of our RAC advisers on 0330 159 1019* to get a quote.