Continuous insurance – new rules explained


If you’re the registered keeper of a vehicle, it must be insured at all times.

The exceptions are:

  • if you have made a SORN for the vehicle
  • if your vehicle has been kept off-road since before SORN came into force on 31 January 1998 – unless it was brought back into use
  • if your vehicle is recorded as stolen, passed or sold to the motor trade or between registered keepers
  • if your vehicle is recorded scrapped or permanently exported by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing (DVLA)


The new rules apply from June 2011. The aim is to have a central record which shows every vehicle, and if it is insured, and if not insured the reason why.

If your vehicle is not insured then from the end of June 2011 Insurance Advisory Letters (IAL) will be issued by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to the registered keepers of uninsured vehicles. This will be following a check of the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – the UK’s central record of vehicle insurance. The IAL will advise the registered keeper that their vehicle appears to have no insurance and what actions to take to avoid receiving a fixed penalty from DVLA.

 If a vehicle does not have insurance, the registered keeper could:

  • receive a fixed penalty of £100
  • have their vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded, or destroyed
  • face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum fine of £1000.

Payment of a penalty does not replace the need for motor insurance.

You can check if your vehicle is insured and the record is on the Motor Insurance Database (MID).

If your vehicle is not insured: 

  • insure your vehicle immediately
  • make a SORN, if the vehicle is not used on the road
  • notify DVLA if you are no longer the registered keeper

Failure to take one of these actions will result in a £100 penalty.

The simple answer is insure your vehicle.