Making sure you renew your car insurance on time

More than 3.2 million people in the UK have taken to the road uninsured after forgetting to renew their car insurance. Make sure you don’t forget to renew yours.

It’s surprising just how many people do it, but 6% of motorists do.

On average, they spent 7 days driving without insurance after the renewal date on their car insurance has slipped their mind.

What happens if you drive uninsured?

Even if it’s just for a day, driving without insurance is dangerous and could land you in hot water.

The consequences of driving without insurance can be quite severe, with a number of potential punishments:

  • an on-the-spot fine of up to £200
  • the police can confiscate your vehicle
  • 6 to 8 penalty points on your licence
  • losing your driving licence
  • prosecution and a maximum fine of £5,000

Check to see if you’re insured on the Motor Insurance Database

As well as the legal penalties, it also adds to the cost of insurance overall and could contribute to your premiums going up.

“The cost of uninsured motoring in the UK is estimated to be around £500 million,” says Tony Chilcott, head of Churchill Insurance.

“The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) charges a levy on all motor insurance companies to help fund the cost of uninsured driving in the UK, which amounts to £30 for each law abiding driver in their annual motor premium.

“It’s vital that motorists have valid insurance in place to help make the cost of insurance fairer for everyone.”

Going on holiday? Renew before you go

You don’t even have to be driving on the road to be penalised for not having insurance.

From April 2011, even parked cars have to have valid insurance under new rules called Continuous Insurance Enforcement.

Under this scheme, the DVLA and the MIB now compare databases to identify people whose insurance has lapsed.

They then notify the owner, warning them that unless they insure their car, they’ll face one of the following penalties:

  • a £100 fine
  • their vehicle being clamped, seized and disposed of
  • a court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000

It’s a steep price to pay, especially if the insurance just slipped your mind.

So if you’re going on holiday and you’re planning to renew your policy when you get back, make sure your policy doesn’t expire while you’re away or you could come back to a nasty surprise from the DVLA.

Make sure you don’t forget

Here’s a few easy ways to make sure you don’t forget to renew your insurance:

  • Take action early – if you leave it to the last minute to renew, you could easily forget. Renew your insurance a few weeks before it expires. That way, if something else comes up, you’ve still got plenty of time to sort it out.
  • Set a reminder on your phone – if you have a smartphone, set an alarm up to go off a few weeks before it’s due to run out – so you’ll get a notification reminding you to renew.
  • Check your post and emails – your insurer will often send out a reminder message, so make sure you check your post and emails regularly and don’t miss anything.