How do I check if my car is insured?
Published 21 February 2016 by Emily Bancroft
You can run a check on your car to find out if you’re covered to drive it.
It’s compulsory for your vehicle to have insurance before you’re able to drive it on the road and the minimum level of cover you have to have is third-party insurance. So if you’ve just bought a new car, how do you know whether it’s insured? Or what if you’ve got a car and you can remember insuring it in the past but you’re not sure whether you’re still covered?
You can find out whether your vehicle is still insured by running a check online or by ringing your insurer to find out from their records – we’ll take you through how you can do this.
If you’ve just bought a car
When you buy a car, any insurance policy that currently applies to the vehicle won’t transfer to you. This is because it’s not enough that a car is insured to be driven – you’ll need your own motor insurance policy to be covered to drive it.
Beware of anyone selling a car that they claim is insured for six months or so – as we’ve explained, insurance policies don’t transfer with the vehicle, so you’d still have to buy your own motor insurance.
Sometimes, when you buy a car from a dealer, it will come with ‘drive-away insurance’. This doesn’t mean you don’t still have to sort out your own car insurance policy though – it’s only temporary insurance that lasts for a week or so. Drive-away insurance is just designed to tide you over until you organise your own motor insurance.
Has your policy expired?
If you remember insuring your car in the past but it was a while ago, you might not be sure whether this policy will still be valid. Don’t worry – it’s unlikely that you’ve been driving around without any insurance at all. As it’s illegal for a car to be on the road uninsured, insurers will rollover your insurance policy when it expires – this is known as Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE).
Your insurer will be able to take the money automatically for your insurance payment due to a continuous payment authority. If you don’t want to stay with the same insurer anymore – if you’ve found a cheaper deal with someone else, for example – you’ll have to make sure to cancel before your policy automatically rolls over.
To find out if you’re still insured, you can check by ringing up your insurer. They’ll be able to take a look at their records and see if the car is currently insured for you to drive it. Alternatively, you can run a free search on the Motor Insurer’s Database (MID). If you’ve just purchased an insurance policy and your car’s not showing up as being insured on the MID, don’t worry – it can take a while to be updated.
Is your policy coming up for renewal? Find out how you could get a better deal on your car insurance.