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When is my car insurance due?

How to check your car insurance expiry date

Sarah Tooze
Written by  Sarah Tooze
Saarrah Mussa
Reviewed by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 14 Nov 2023

Whether you pay monthly or annually for your car insurance, at the end of each year you have the choice to renew or take out a new policy. Here's a guide to how it all works.

When is my car insurance due?

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to make sure your car has a valid insurance policy before hitting the road. You can take out insurance for any time period you would like to use your car, but most people go for an annual policy that you can then renew yearly.

There are a few tips we can give you to find out when your car insurance is due:

  1. Check your policy documents  
    These are typically emailed to you upon purchasing your policy, and contain start and renewal dates. If not, you can access them online or contact your insurer.

  2. Look out for your renewal notice  
    It’s common for insurers to send an email reminding you that your insurance is about to expire. Most will offer auto-renewal, which means as soon as your annual policy is over, the policy will renew itself.

  3. Check your bank statements  
    If you opt to pay for your insurance monthly, your bank statements will show when your next payments are due.

Once you know your renewal date, you can decide whether to stick with your current insurer or explore other options. Don’t forget you can use our comparison tool to get quotes from multiple insurers before renewing your policy.

In the meantime, make sure you have a valid car insurance policy in place. Driving without insurance is illegal and can result in serious penalties. 

Mother and daughter sitting in the boot of their car

How to check car insurance expiry date?

You can check your car insurance expiry date through your insurer. You should have received your policy documents when you first purchased coverage from your insurer, and these will specify the policy start and end dates. If you can’t find them, just give your insurer a call. They will be able to give you all the details of your policy, including when it needs to be renewed.

How can the motor insurance bureau help me find out when my car insurance expires?

The easiest way to check your car’s insurance status is through the motor insurer’s database (MID). The MID is managed by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) and holds details of all insured cars in the UK.

askMID is free to use and all you need is your vehicle’s registration plate number. It identifies the make and model of your car as well as whether your car is insured. To get access to further details like the insurer’s name and policy outline, you’ll need to pay a charge.

Remember, it’s illegal to drive on public roads in the UK if your car is uninsured. It’s important to keep track of your insurance policy’s expiration date and renew it before it expires to avoid any legal or financial consequences.

When should I renew my car insurance policy? 

The best time to renew your car insurance policy is between 21 and 30 days before your policy expires. This will give you enough time to compare quotes from different insurers and find the best deal, whilst ensuring your policy fully meets your needs.

If you wait until the last minute, you may not have as many options and you could end up paying more for your insurance. If you end up uninsured, you wouldn’t be able to drive at all. If you need more time to compare, consider short-term car insurance which can cover you for one hour or as long as 28 days.

You might be tempted by auto renewal car insurance but we would advise against it. While auto-renewal car insurance is convenient, it often leads to increased premiums by insurance companies.

What should I do if my car insurance policy has expired?

If your car insurance policy has expired, you should not be driving at all. The continuous insurance enforcement rules that came into force in 2011 mean that every vehicle on UK roads must have at least third-party cover in place.

What happens if I drive without car insurance?

In the UK, it is illegal to drive without car insurance. If your car insurance policy has expired, you should not be driving at all. The continuous insurance enforcement rules that came into force in 2011 mean that every vehicle on UK roads must have at least third-party cover in place.

If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face the following penalties:

A fixed penalty notice of £300 and six penalty points on your driving licence (which could result in difficulty getting insurance in the future)

An unlimited fine if you are taken to court

The seizure of your vehicle

Disqualification from driving

Even if the car itself has insurance, you must be properly insured to drive it or you could be penalised. For example, if it’s not your car, you could either be listed as a named driver by the policyholder or take out temporary car insurance.

Do I need insurance if I don’t use my car?

Yes, even if you don’t drive your car, car insurance is still a legal requirement if you keep it on the road. This also includes having your car parked on a public road.

However, if you don’t drive your car and you don’t want to insure it, you can declare it off-road with a SORN (statutory off-road notification). This means you won’t be able to drive the car or park it on a public road until it has been taxed, has a valid MOT certificate, and is insured with a new policy.

What happens to my existing insurance if I buy a new car?  

If you buy a new car, you have a few options for what to do with your existing insurance. You can:

  • Transfer your existing policy to the new car: This is the most common option, and it will allow you to keep your existing coverage and rates. However, your premium may go up if the new car is more expensive or has a higher risk of being stolen or damaged.

  • Cancel your existing policy and start a new one: This is a good option if you want to shop around for a better deal or if your current insurer doesn't offer coverage for the new car. However, there may be cancellation fees and a coverage gap between your old and new policies.

  • Keep your existing policy and add the new car: If you want to keep your current insurer and rates, but you want to add the new car to your coverage this option may be for you. Be mindful that your premium may increase for pricier or higher-risk vehicles.

The best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you're not sure what to do, you can contact your insurance company for advice.

Make sure the new car is covered by your current policy. Not all policies cover all cars, so you'll need to check with your insurer to make sure the new car is covered.

Sarah Tooze
Sarah Tooze
Car & Van Insurance Expert

Our expert says

When you come to renew your car insurance the good news is that your existing provider can no longer charge you more than they would a new customer but it’s still important to shop around for the best deal. Put a note in your diary or use an app on your phone that alerts you when it’s time to start looking - ideally before the actual renewal date if you want time to secure the best deal.

What can I do to ensure I don’t forget to renew my policy? 

It's important you don't forget to renew your policy, as well as being aware of your automatic renewal date. Here are some additional tips for staying on top of your car insurance:

  • Set a reminder in your phone or calendar. This will help you remember when your policy is due and give you plenty of time to shop around for a new policy if you want to

  • Check your policy regularly, be aware of the renewal date on your policy and make sure your policy still meets your needs and that your premiums are competitive

  • Make sure your insurer emails aren’t going to your junk. When your policy is reaching its end, your insurer is likely to email you reminding you it’s time to renew but sometimes these emails can end up in your spam folder

  • Consider automatic renewal but be aware it can often be more costly. Auto renewal will automatically renew your policy with your current insurer unless you cancel it

Get car insurance with MoneySuperMarket

It’s always a good idea to shop around, and comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is an easy way to browse deals from multiple providers. All you need to do is enter a few details about your car and driving history, and we’ll show you a selection of car insurance deals tailored specifically for you and your vehicle.

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