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Is my car insured?

If you’ve mislaid your certificate of motor insurance, there are various ways to check if your car's insured and who your insurer is.

Andrew Hagger
Updated 24 June 2021  | 2 min read

Key points

  • You can check if your car's insured using your number plate and the Motor Insurance Database (MID)
  • Lost certificates of motor insurance can be replaced, usually for a charge
  • If you keep your car on your driveway or in your garage, you can make a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). Otherwise, you’ll need insurance

How do I check if my car's insured?

1. Use GoCompare

If you think you might have bought your car insurance through Gocompare, it might be as simple as signing into your account.

Just click the 'sign in' button on the top right of the page and enter your email address and password.

Your recent purchase information will be in the 'Your car insurance' section.

2. Check the askMID database

If you can’t find your car insurance policy documents, enter your registration details on askMID to check the Motor Insurance Database (MID). It’s free and you’ll know within seconds if your car is covered or not.

If any of the details are wrong, the MID can’t update them for you – you’ll need to contact your insurer.

3. Check your policy documents

If you do have your policy documents, the start and end date of your cover should be there, along with your policy number.

4. Contact your insurer

Your current insurer will have all the information about your policy. If you don’t know who your current insurer is, your previous provider might have some details about who you transferred to.

5. Check your bank or credit card statements

Look for payments to an insurance company then you can try to contact them for more information.

6. Look through your emails

You may have had confirmation from the insurer. Don't forget to look through your junk and spam folders.

Does my car insurance renew automatically?

Yes, your policy will probably auto-renew on the policy end date, unless you’ve specifically you’re your insurer not to do this.

Autorenewal can be convenient, as it stops you from accidentally being uninsured – but it can also cost you. Sometimes insurers charge you more for sticking with them, even if nothing’s changed on your policy.

Your insurer will send you a letter three or four weeks before the end date of your policy to let you know it’s due for renewal, and to ask whether you want to cancel.

Even if your policy does auto-renew, you have 14 days’ cooling off period when you can cancel it, though you might be charged a cancellation fee, or for time on cover.

You could set a reminder in your diary for when your insurance is up to avoid auto-renewal. This will give you time to take matters into your own hands – compare car insurance and see if you can get a better deal.

What if my car doesn't have insurance?

Check your insurance is still in date and hasn’t expired without you realising.

Driving without insurance is illegal and the consequences could be severe.

1. You’ll get a fine

The fixed penalty for driving without insurance is £300. If you’re taken to court the fine is unlimited.

2. You’ll get points on your licence

On top of the fine, you’ll get six penalty points on your licence.

3. You could be banned from driving

If it goes to court, or you’re a repeat offender you could lose your licence.

4. Your insurance premiums will go up

You’ll have to declare any points or convictions to future insurers, and they’ll put your premiums up because of them.

Can I drive without insurance?

No, you’re legally required to have at least third-party only (TPO) insurance to drive your car or park it on the street. The police can instantly check whether your vehicle is insured using the MID.

Can I keep my car on my driveway without insurance?

Yes – if you don’t drive your car, and you keep it either in your garage or on your driveway you don’t need to insure it.

You need to get a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) first.

If you don’t you could be fined £100, get taken to court, or have your car destroyed.

How can I check if my car is taxed and has an MOT?

  1. Visit the government vehicle tax checker
  2. Look for your most recent MOT certificate
  3. Check the government hasn’t sent you a letter or an email – it'll do this when your tax is due

What you can do if you’ve lost your insurance details

If you’ve checked the MID and found that you’re covered, it’s then a case of tracking down who your insurer is:

  1. Look through your bank and credit card statements to track down the insurance company or search your email inbox for ‘car insurance’
  2. Contact your insurer and explain the situation
  3. If you can’t find your current insurance certificate, you’ll be able to get a copy of it from your insurer but you might be charged
  4. Once you have your policy documents, put them somewhere safe
  5. Take a photocopy of your insurance certificate and keep it in your car’s glove box, or take a picture of it on your phone so you can access it quickly if you need to

Replacing your insurance documents

Out of 363 comprehensive car insurance policies listed on Defaqto, 84% don't charge a fee, but 15% charge £15 or more to replace your insurance documents – so keep them safe![1]

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[1]Last checked 3 June 2021

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