New car insurance rules affect everyone

Drivers could be hit with a fine of up to £1,000 when new car insurance rules take effect in June.

A new law called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) will make it illegal to own a car without it being insured. The aim is to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road, but the new legislation will mean that those who forget to renew their car insurance risk a fine. It will also affect those who own vehicles or motorbikes that they only insure for part of the year, such as a soft top car that is perhaps only driven during the summer months.

The only vehicles which are exempt from insurance are those that are registered with the DVLA as having been declared off the road. To do this a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) declaration must have been completed.

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at moneysupermarket.com, said: “Uninsured drivers cost the industry £500million each year, which adds an average of £30 to everyone else’s car insurance premiums. The CIE legislation should help drive down the number of uninsured drivers on our roads, a move which can only be applauded.

“All motorists need to be vigilant though – especially leisure drivers or motorbike enthusiasts who only use their vehicles occasionally and let their insurance lapse in the meantime. They need to declare their vehicles as SORN or renew.”

In a recent poll on moneysupermarket.com, 56% of motorists said the new rules will make them more vigilant and that they’ll shop around to find the best deal on their car insurance each year, and 27% said that they already ensure they are continuously insured.

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Don’t just auto-renew

When your car insurance is coming up for renewal your existing insurer will send you a new quote, and rather than you having to get in touch to say you’re happy with it and want to re-insure, an increasing number of providers will automatically renew your policy unless you contact them to say otherwise.

We may see more insurers adopt this strategy when the new CIE rules come into force as not only does it help insurers retain customers but it also guarantees that motorists won’t be fined for failing to renew their insurance on time.

However, while automatic renewals may seem a convenient option, it will probably result in you paying more than you need for cover. Car insurance premiums have soared by 31% over the past year – that’s an average increase of 44p per day.

Not only is the cost of cover getting more expensive, but many drivers are missing out on the best deal because they’re failing to shop around. Independent research shows that the average saving on an annual car insurance policy using moneysupermarket.com is £282, so it’s well worth spending a few minutes to get a quote and see if your renewal price can be beaten. Our video ‘How to buy car insurance online’ explains how the quotation process works.

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