Vehicle insurance

Uninsured vehicles

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.

You can check if your vehicle is insured on askMID.

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.

  1. 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).

    1. Check the details you've been given match DVLA's information
    2. Check the vehicle's MOT history
    3. Check if the vehicle has been recalled because of a safety issue
    4. Check the log book isn't for a stolen vehicle
  2. Step 2 Buy and register the vehicle

    Once you've bought the vehicle, you have to register it. How you register it depends on whether it has a V5C registration certificate (log book).

    1. Find out how to register your vehicle
    2. Get a vehicle log book if you don't have it £25
  3. Step 3 Insure the vehicle

  4. Step 4 Tax the vehicle