You must have motor insurance to drive your vehicle on UK roads.

Third-party insurance is the legal minimum. This means you’re covered if you have an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal, or property. It does not cover any other costs like repair to your own vehicle.

If you’re in an accident

If you have an accident causing damage or injury you must give the following to anyone with ‘reasonable grounds for requiring them’, for example, an insurance company:

  • your name and address
  • the vehicle registration number

You also need to give the owner’s name and address if the vehicle is not yours.

You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours if you do not give your details at the time of the accident.

You must also report the accident to your insurance company, even if you’re not planning to make a claim.


Accidents with uninsured motorists

  • You should tell the police if you have an accident with someone who’s not insured.
  • Your insurance company will also be able to give you more advice.
  • You might also be able to get compensation if you’re the victim of an uninsured or hit and run driver.

Driving abroad

Driving in the European Union (EU)

  • The rules for passports, driving, EHIC cards, pet travel and more may change from 1 January 2021. Act now so you can travel as planned.

All UK vehicle insurance provides the minimum third party cover to drive in EU countries.

Check with your insurer if your policy has the extra cover for things like theft or damage to your car abroad.

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 penalized.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.

Driving without insurance

It’s illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place without at least 3rd party insurance. Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you’re not correctly insured to drive it you could get penalized.

Penalties for uninsured drivers:

  • The police could give you a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points if you’re caught driving a vehicle you’re not insured to drive.

If the case goes to court you could get:

  • an unlimited fine
  • disqualified from driving

The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy the vehicle that’s being driven uninsured.

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