Is My Car Insured?

Is my car insured? Here’s how you can find out

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Car insurance is a legal requirement - even if your car just sits in the garage. If you're not sure if your car is covered, here's how to find out.

Lady driving a car

How you can find out if your car is insured

It’s free to use the Motor Insurance Database to check if your vehicle is insured. You will also need to declare you are authorised to drive the car. Since Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules were introduced by the government in 2011, all cars must be insured with at least third party cover.

If your car is not in use, it needs to be declared officially ‘off the road’ via a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) or you could be fined up to £1,000.

What is Continuous Insurance Enforcement?

Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) came into force to clamp down on uninsured drivers. This growing problem currently costs the car industry £500 million – with law abiding citizens ultimately picking up the shortfall by paying higher premiums.

It was once the case that only uninsured drivers on the road were breaking the law, but this law ensures that even stationary vehicles without insurance are forbidden.

Under the new system, the Motor Insurance Database (the UK’s central record of motor insurance) and the DVLA are working together; comparing their records to identify offending vehicles.

What are the penalties if my car is uninsured?

If you are found to be keeping a car that doesn’t have insurance, the first step of the process is that you will be sent an Insurance Advisory letter by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau with a warning that a fine will ensue unless action is taken. 

If this is ignored, you will receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 and the possibility of your vehicle being clamped, seized and disposed of along with a court prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

How can I check if my car is insured?

It is very simple to check if your car is insured or not. Just go to

It is very simple to check if your car is insured or not. Just go to and enter your vehicle registration number. This is the Motor Insurance Database which holds information about every vehicle on the road in the UK. This database is also used by the police to identify uninsured vehicles.

Are there any exemptions?

The only exemption is if you have officially declared your car to be off the road by informing the DVLA and making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). To do this you will need to return your tax disc to the DVLA on a V14 form and declare SORN at the same time. The only other exemptions are if the car has been stolen or recorded scrapped.

How can I avoid a penalty?

To avoid a penalty you need to either insure your vehicle immediately, notify the DVLA that you are no longer the registered keeper or, as above, make a SORN. If you don’t do this you face at least a £100 penalty.

Get cheaper car insurance

While car insurance is still a considerable expense, it's a legal requirement, so better to pay for it than end up with a large fine, a court prosecution and maybe even no car as it's been destroyed.

It is possible, however, to make huge savings by simply shopping around and comparing policies to make sure you’re getting the cheapest car insurance deal. Go to our money saving tips page to find more ways of lowering the cost of this unavoidable expense.

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