Car Parked on the Road Without Insurance

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By Sarah Watts
Updated on Monday 13 September 2021

Cars parked on a British street

In the UK, it’s mandatory for all car owners to have a minimum of third party car insurance cover to be able to legally park their vehicle on a public road.

The only circumstances where a car owner can legally park their uninsured car off a public road and on private property is if:

Parking an uninsured vehicle on public or private property that is not SORNed is still breaking the law, even if you park an uninsured car on a private driveway or in a garage.

Here’s everything you need to know about what to do if you notice a car parked without insurance.

Do you need insurance if you're not driving your car?

  • If you are not driving or parking your car on a public road, it is SORNed and parked on private property then, no, you do not need insurance.
  • If you are not driving your car but it is parked on a public road then, yes, you do need insurance. This applies even if a car is SORNed because you have declared to the DVLA that your car is NOT parked on a public road.
  • If you drive someone else’s car, it is your responsibility to make sure you are legally entitled to drive it by having the necessary insurance in place, and that the vehicle is roadworthy, taxed and MOT’d.

Read more: Can I drive an uninsured car with my own insurance?

The consequences of having no car insurance

Driving on a public road without a minimum of 3rd party insurance is a criminal offence and if you get caught by the Police and/or someone reports you, you could either:

  • Receive a fixed penalty of £300 + 6 penalty points (if you’re lucky!)
  • Have your car clamped, seized or destroyed
  • Be found guilty in Court and receive an unlimited fine or be disqualified from driving

Read more: Penalty points could add £200+ to the cost of car insurance

How to check if a car has valid insurance

If you want to check your own car is insured, you can do so by using the free askMID service that allows you to search the Motor Insurers’ Database online. However, you can only conduct this check for your own vehicle, not someone else’s.

However, if you’ve been in an accident, you are allowed to check to see if another driver’s car is insured by using a similar askMID “other vehicle look-up” service.

If you have strong suspicions that a car is not insured when it should be, you should conduct certain checks (more on this below) and then can anonymously report an uninsured vehicle online (see how to do this below).

You might also want to read: When is my car insurance due?

Report car parked on road without insurance

  • Before reporting a car, you should first check if a vehicle is taxed or registered as SORN. You can do this, for free, on the government’s website.
  • If a car is registered as SORN but is parked on a public road, then you should report it.
  • To report an uninsured car parked on a road, you will need to make a note of the vehicle’s registration plate, make, model and colour.
  • You will also need to note down the name of the street, town, county and postcode where you saw the car parked and the time the vehicle is usually parked there (or the time that you noticed it parked there if it’s not a regular occurrence).
  • You can report an untaxed car parked on a public road to the DVLA online. There is an “additional notes” box where you can add any additional, relevant information.
  • If you suspect a vehicle parked on a road isn’t taxed, insured or MOT’d, you should report this to your local police force. You can call 101 or report this or online via your local police force’s website. You cannot contact Crimestoppers to report these types of offences. If you are unsure who the local police force is, you can easily search online using a postcode.
  • If you notice an abandoned vehicle, you should report this to the local Council.

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