If you’re driving on UK roads, you must have appropriate car insurance by law. The good news is that at mustard.co.uk, cheap car insurance is quick and easy to find in just a matter of minutes. But what’s the worst that could happen if you’re caught without cover, and how can you make sure you don’t end up driving without car insurance?
Can I check if my car is insured?
If you can’t remember renewing your policy and want to make sure your car’s covered, you can check for free at the askMID database. Each time you renew or buy a car insurance policy, your insurer will update the database with your details.
The information on the database is then used in ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) technology to check whether cars are insured or not.
Updates to the system aren’t instant and it usually takes around 48 hours for a new policy to appear. With that in mind, some insurers advise that you should carry a copy of your insurance details in your car just in case you’re pulled over.
What are the penalties for driving without car insurance?
Needless to say, driving without car insurance comes with severe penalties and you could end up with a £300 fine and up to six penalty points.
If you’re taken to court, it could also result in an unlimited fine and in the worst case scenario, you could be disqualified from driving. The police can also remove and destroy your car if it’s uninsured.
Do I have to insure my car if I’m not driving it?
Yes, all cars are subject to what’s called ‘continuous insurance enforcement’ (CIE). This means that cars must be insured at all times unless you have officially taken your car off the road and arranged a statutory off road notification (SORN) for it. For example, if you only use your car during the summer months and want to avoid paying for insurance during winter, you’ll need to arrange a SORN.
To organise a SORN, your car must not be used or kept on public roads so you’ll need to keep it on private land, a garage or a driveway. Making a SORN is relatively straightforward if you have your V5C logbook, and it can be done online at GOV.UK.
You can also arrange a SORN by phone by calling the DVLA vehicle service department on 0300 123 4321 (the service is 24 hours). Alternatively, you can download an application form (V890) and post it to the DVLA at Swansea, SA99 1AR.
When you SORN is complete, you’ll automatically get a refund for car tax (vehicle excise duty). Refunds only apply for full months, so if you have three and a half months left of car tax, you’ll only get a refund for three months.
What happens if I have the wrong car insurance?
Your car insurance has to be suitable for the way you use your car, this is known as your car’s ‘class of use’.
For example, if you only use your car to run errands, do the school run or go shopping, your class of use would be ‘social, domestic, pleasure’ because these are the only things your car is used for. If you also use your car to commute to work, you’ll need to add ‘commuting’ to your policy (social, domestic, pleasure + commuting). Similarly, if you use your car for business, you must have business use set out in your policy.
If you don’t have the right insurance for your needs, you risk invalidating your policy. Not only does this mean your insurer can refuse to pay out, a voided policy is considered the same as not having insurance at all. With that in mind, it’s well worth making sure your policy reflects what you use your car for, and updating your insurer if anything changes.
Search for great value car insurance
At mustard.co.uk, you can compare car insurance deals from leading UK insurers simply by filling in one form. Plus, their Cheapest Price Guarantee* is a budget friendly promise to beat any other online quote.
To start comparing, head to mustard.co.uk or call a friendly expert on 0330 022 8812.
*T&Cs apply. See mustard.co.uk for details.