Starting from June 2011, all vehicles must have valid insurance regardless of whether they are in use or not. The only exceptions are:
- Vehicles with a current SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification – click here for info)
- Vehicles that have been kept off road since before the SORN rules were introduced (January 1998)
At present, the law only requires vehicles used on public roads to be insured – vehicles can be kept on private land without requiring insurance or a SORN.
The new rules mean that it will be an offence to keep a vehicle off road – even in storage – without insurance if it does not have a current SORN.
This is likely to particularly affect the owners of classic cars, motorhome homes and motorcycles, who often only insure their vehicles for part of the year and store them unused and uninsured in winter.
The new policy is pretty simple – all vehicles must be insured (in use) or have a SORN (not in use). It is no longer possible to keep a vehicle taxed throughout the year but only insured for part of the year.
Penalties & Enforcement
Starting from the 30th June, the DVLA will be sending out Insurance Advisory Letters (IAL) to the registered keepers of uninsured vehicles.
The letters will set out the penalties you will face if you fail to insure (or SORN) your vehicle within a certain timeframe.
These may include fines, clamping and even the eventual seizure of your vehicle, should you fail to insure or SORN it.
How does the DVLA Know If I’m Insured?
The DVLA uses the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to check whether each vehicle registered in the UK is insured. If your vehicle is insured, there will be a record of it on the MID.
You can check whether the MID has a correct record for your car on the askMID website. It is free to use to check your own vehicle.
If you have re-registered your car on a personal registration plate and not notified your insurer, you should do so immediately – your vehicle may show up as uninsured when checked on the MID, as your insurance company will still be using your old registration plate in its records.