Rules in England, Wales and Scotland
You must have motor insurance for your vehicle if you use it on roads and in public places.
You do not need to insure your vehicle if it is kept off the road and declared as off the road (SORN). This rule is called ‘continuous insurance enforcement’.
If not, you could:
- get a fixed penalty of £100
- have your vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded or destroyed
- face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum fine of £1,000
It doesn’t matter who is driving the car - if you’re the registered keeper, you could get penalised.
You will also still have to pay for your insurance on top of any fines received.
Motor traders - exceptions
If a vehicle is between registered keepers or registered as ‘in trade’ with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), it is excluded from continuous insurance enforcement.
Vehicles you keep for your own use are not excluded.
Rules in Northern Ireland
There are different rules for vehicle insurance in Northern Ireland.
Step 1 Check the vehicle before you buy it
You'll need the vehicle's registration number, make, model and MOT test number. You also need to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book).
Step 2 Buy and register the vehicle
Step 3 Insure the vehicle
You must have insurance before you can use your vehicle on the road.
Step 4 Tax the vehicle
You need to tax the vehicle before you can use it on the road.