Is my car insured?

Worried you no longer have valid car insurance? Read our guide and discover the simple steps you can take to see whether you have valid insurance for your car.

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If you can’t remember whether you have car insurance or not, it’s probably not a good idea to drive until you’ve checked. Driving without car insurance is illegal in the UK and can cause a whole host of problems. Read our guide to discover how to check if you have valid car insurance and how you could save on your next car cover policy.

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How can I check if my car is insured?

If there’s any doubt in your mind as to whether you have insurance or not, the simplest way to check is by visiting the Motor Insurance Database (MID) website and conducting a free online search by entering your car’s registration number. Every vehicle that is insured in the UK is listed on this database so you should be able to find out if your car is insured or not within seconds. The MID should also confirm the make and model of your car but that’s all that will be provided. To find out the specifics about the actual insurance provider or the policy, you will be requested to pay a small fee of around £4.

It might be worth checking your emails to see if you have an email with the policy documents attached or perhaps a confirmation or renewal email. It’s also worth checking in your spam and junk folders as there could be a chance these emails have winded up in there by mistake.

It might also be worth you checking your bank and any credit card statements to see if a payment or direct debit is being made to an insurance company. Once you have the insurance provider’s name, you can then contact the provider directly, giving your personal details and information about the car to confirm cover.

What if my car is uninsured?

It is illegal to drive your car on UK roads without at least third party car insurance cover. All drivers must insure their cars at all times as detailed in the Continuous Insurance Enforcement legislation, which has been enforced since 2011.

If you knowingly or unknowingly drive your car without cover, you could face a fixed penalty of £300 and 6-8 points on your driver’s licence.

In the event of driving without insurance, the police has the power to seize your vehicle and even destroy it in some circumstances.

Name Product Courtesy car cover New for old car replacement Drive abroad in EU? Personal accident cover Multi-car discount Policy options
Up to 90 days
Up to £5,000 personal accident cover or up to £7,500 for AA members.
New customers get AA Roadside Assistance for a year from just £15, plus discounts on breakdown cover upgrades.
Up to 90 days
Up to £5,000 personal injury cover
Insure more than one vehicle under the one policy. Every car added will earn its own discount.
Black Box Insurance, Car Sharing Insurance, GAP Insurance
Quotes starting from £248 per year. No claims & MultiCar discounts on offer.
Up to 180 days
Motor Legal Protection, Key Protection, Excess Protection
No upper age limit
Up to 90 days
Cover you or your partner up to the benefit amount outlined in your insurance agreement
If you've got more than one car to insure at the same address, you could save yourself some money on every additional policy
Black box insurance, Young driver insurance
  • Replacement, upgrade or the money in case of write off
  • No-claims discount protected if car is vandalised or hit by an uninsured driver
  • (terms apply)
Up to 90 days
Young driver insurance
You or your partner are covered up to the amount in your insurance agreement.
If you've got more than one car to insure at the same address, you could save yourself some money on every additional policy ( Introductory discount, Minimum premiums apply))
Black box insurance
  • Guaranteed hire car as standard
  • Taxi to get you to your destination if you've been involved in a crash (T&Cs apply)
  • No-claims discount protection (Terms apply)
Up to 90 days
£5,000 of personal injury cover for you and your spouse
Young and first time drivers insurance
Up to 90 days
You or your partner are covered up to £2,000 per person.
Short term car insurance, Young driver insurance
20% off MOT costs and 10% off servicing with comprehensive and third party policies.
Up to 90 days
Optional extra
If you've got more than one car to insure at the same address, you could save 10% on your cover
Multi-car, temporary insurance
Personal accident cover up to £5000.
Learner driver insurance, Young driver insurance, New driver insurance, Student insurance, First time drivers insurance
Up to £200 cover if handbag is stolen child seat cover.
Cover up to £10,000 per accidentand £2,500 per person.
Learner driver insurance
Insurance for young and learner drivers ages 17 to 25. Discounts up to 21% for good driving.
Up to 90 days
Get up to £10,000 cover per accident.
M&S Bank cardholder's save up to 15% when taking out a new policy or renewing existing insurance.
Up to 93 days with a foreign use extension
Up to 15% off certain additional car insurance policies
Young driver insurance
Up to 60 days
Cover for passenger injury.
Free breakdown cover for eligible new customers and 3 year guarantee on repairs carried out by approved repairers.
Up to 90 days
Optional extra
Get 10% off when you insure additional cars in your household
Multi-car, temporary insurance
Up to 90 days.
Up to £5000 cover.
If you're an existing customer and you insure your second car at the same address, you get a discount of £50

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Are there any exceptions?

If your car isn’t currently being used and is actually stored away in somewhere like a garage, you won’t need to insure or even tax it but you’ll need to legally declare your vehicle as being off the road. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) refers to this as statutory off road notification or “SORN”.

Will I get a criminal record for driving without insurance?

If you are caught driving without car insurance and your case goes to court, you could be banned from driving and have to deal with an unlimited fine. A motoring conviction of this nature is known as an IN10 and will remain on your licence for four years from the actual date of the offence being discovered. You’ll also have to disclose this conviction with any insurance provider for five years from the date of the offence being discovered, which is likely to mean much higher premiums.

An IN10 could really scupper your ability to get car insurance in the future, let alone policies with lower premiums, so it is best to avoid driving without insurance at all costs.

How can I save money on a new car insurance policy?

  • Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
  • Increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
  • Have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
  • Limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
  • Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Add experienced drivers. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy could help to lower the premium.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Advanced driving skills. You could be in line for a discount with certain providers by taking an advanced driving course such as those offered by the Pass Plus scheme.
  • Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
  • Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.
  • Limit modifications. Any modification made to your car to make it look better or drive faster is likely to increase your premiums so think carefully before making any changes.
  • Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
  • Shop around. Don’t choose to automatically renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully.

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Frequently asked questions

*Disclaimer: Please take reasonable care to answer all the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. If you don't answer the questions correctly, your policy may be cancelled, or your claim rejected or not fully paid.

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