Is My Car Insured?
Is your car insured? It used to be the case that if an unused car was off the road (on your driveway or in a garage, for example), you needn’t insure it. This all changed in 2012 with the introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement law.
What does that mean?
If you own a vehicle and it is registered in your name, you must arrange insurance for it, unless it has officially been declared “off-the-road”. The penalty for not doing so is a hefty fine of up to £1,000, prosecution and the risk of the car being impounded and even destroyed.
How to check that your car is insured
How can you tell if your car is insured? There’s a very easy way to check. Every insured car will be registered on the Motor Insurance Database (MID). Simply enter the registration number of your vehicle and if it is registered, the MID website will confirm it; it even tells you the make and model of your car.
If you’ve only recently insured your car the MID may take a few days to show updated details.
Why the new Continuous Enforcement Regulations?
Uninsured drivers cost the car industry hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Law-abiding citizens pick up the tab with higher insurance premiums. The government is determined to clamp down on this, so now it’s not just uninsured cars on the road which are being targeted, but infrequently used vehicles, too.
Who will know if my car is not insured?
The Motor Insurance Database is used by the DVLA to enforce motor insurance law. The DVLA have a record of the registered keeper of every vehicle in the UK. A letter is sent to registered keepers if their vehicle is not on the Motor Insurance Database. If the car owner does not subsequently arrange insurance, a fixed penalty or prosecution will follow.
The police also use the MID. If a driver catches their attention for whatever reason, checking the insurance status of the vehicle with the MID is a routine procedure.
Declaring your car “officially” off the road
If your car really is off the road, ie not being used at all and you want to make that official so you don’t need to have motor insurance or road tax, you must contact the DVLA with a formal Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You can do this online if you want.
Checking other vehicles are insured
If you’ve been in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, you might be worried that the other driver doesn’t have insurance. The Motor Insurance Database can help you here, too. For a small fee (currently £4.00), the MID will allow you to search their database to check the registration number of another vehicle and find out who their insurance company is.
We hope you found this helpful. If you don’t have car insurance yet, let us help.