How to Report an Uninsured Car
If you suspect that a car is uninsured, would you know how to check and find out whether or not it has a valid insurance policy? And if you find out a vehicle is uninsured, would you know how or who to report this to?
You may be surprised to learn that the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) has reported that one in five road accidents involve uninsured and untraced drivers. So if you’re involved in a collision and someone is acting a bit shady about giving their car insurance details, chances are they might not be insured.
Conversely, some drivers may be blissfully unaware that they're driving around in an uninsured car or they may have forgotten when their car insurance is due and the name of their insurer.
Whatever the reason may be, read on to find out how to check if a car is insured and if it isn’t, whether you should report it and how to go about it.
In this guide:
Driving around in an uninsured vehicle is a recipe for disaster, not to mention illegal.
You are legally required to insure a vehicle before driving it on any public roads in the UK, and the minimum level of car insurance required by law is Third Party-Only insurance (TPO). In the past, many people have opted for this level because they think it’s the cheapest, but you’ll often find that fully comprehensive car insurance will come with cheaper premiums, all while providing you with more cover on the roads.
Penalties for driving with no insurance can incur a £300 fine and 6 penalty points on your driving licence or if the matter goes to Court, you could get disqualified from driving and receive an unlimited fine (depending on your case).
If you cause a car accident and have no insurance, you will be financially liable for any damage caused to your own car, the other driver (i.e. injuries), their vehicle or property.
If you’re involved in a serious or fatal accident without car insurance, the ramifications are severe, result in a potential prison sentence!
So if you’re not 100% sure a vehicle you’re about to drive is insured, to avoid a potential costly fine, higher insurance premiums, penalty points, a criminal conviction or a prison sentence, you must check whether you’re insured before getting behind the wheel.
To easily and quickly check if your own vehicle has insurance, you can conduct a simple check of the Motor Insurers’ Database online via AskMID.
If you want to check whether someone else’s vehicle is insured (say if you’re involved in a car accident and want to check if the other driver is insured), then you can also make a different type of check via the AskMID website - simply click on the link in the previous sentence.
An uninsured car parked on a driveway, in a garage or on any private property whatsoever is still considered illegal unless:
- There is a valid SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in place for the vehicle
- The vehicle was kept on a public road from a date preceding 1 February 1998
So if you think that a car parked on private property is not insured, you should first check the car’s tax status before reporting it (see below).
If you have checked a car parked on a public road is uninsured (or a car parked on private property is uninsured and is not subject to a SORN), then you should report this by calling the police using the 101 phone number. Alternatively, you can report an uninsured car to your local police force online.
How to report an untaxed vehicle
You can easily check online whether a vehicle is taxed via the GOV.UK website and if a vehicle is untaxed and parked on a public road, you can report this anonymously online to the Department of Transport.
How to report a vehicle with no MOT
You can easily check online whether a vehicle has an MOT via the GOV.UK website and if a vehicle doesn’t have an MOT, you should report this to the police by either calling 101 or online to your local police force.
How to report an abandoned vehicle
If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned, you should report this to your local Council. Before a suspected abandoned vehicle is removed by the council a notice will be placed on the windscreen. A vehicle may be abandoned if it is:
- stationary for a significant period of time
- containing waste
- missing one or both number plates
- burnt out
If the driver of an uninsured car crashes into your car, you should record the:
- Other driver’s vehicle registration number, vehicle make and model
- Other driver’s name and address (if they’ll give it to you!)
- Damage caused to your vehicle by taking photographs and videos
- Contact details of any witnesses
Once you have obtained as much information as possible, immediately contact the police by calling 101.
If you have a standard insurance policy then no, you can't. Read our guide for further information on this: Can I Drive an Uninsured Car With My Insurance?
For further information regarding car insurance, take a look at our useful guides below.