Continuous car insurance- good news for whose pocket?

an off-road car, yesterday

The insurance companies obviously don’t have it sewn up enough already. It's not enough that you need to have car insurance, now you need to have seamless car insurance unless you are declaring your car off road with a SORN.

Of course, car insurance is compulsory, and even those little toe-rags who choose to drive without it know they are being illegal. Still, with annual quotes of £15,000 (for my 18 year old brother), you can perhaps understand, if not condone, their actions. However, the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme aims to clamp down on uninsured drivers by matching the DVLA and insurance company registers to make sure every car that is not statutorily off-road is insured. Or you face a £100 fine, followed by clamping, seizing, and squishing.

The new law came into effect on Monday but the Government has declared an enforcement amnesty until late June, giving drivers the chance to get insured if they are not.

But what does it mean for your pocket?

Well, it is estimated that the 1.4 million uninsured vehicles in the UK adds around £30 to every law-abiding policy, so naturally the insurance companies will be making sure that £30 saving is passed on to every customer*.

But aside from this massive saving, those on holiday or in hospital, or otherwise unable to drive or use their car must still insure the thing, even though they cannot use it. This is not a money saving measure. Also, how many suckers are the insurance companies going to catch by auto-renewal knowing that the policy can’t be allowed to lapse?

Interestingly, the law will apply in England, Scotland and Wales but not in Northern Ireland. And remember, if you do want to declare your vehicle off-road, it actually has to be off the road, ie on a driveway or in a garage. If it is in any part on land that is not yours, eg the road, a grass verge, the pavement, it cannot be off-road. Sorry.

*this is sarcasm.


  • Tom
    Struggling to see the outrage to be honest. If you're on holiday or in hospital then you still need to have your car insured because you may drive it at any moment. If it's off road then it's SORN'd. Even if your policy is set to auto renew then you still get a renewal notice giving you ample timeto cancel the auto renew process.
  • Tom
    Oh "Or you face a £100 fine, **followied** by clamping, seizing, and squishing."
  • Delenn
    No outrage here. Get insured. Actually, I rather like the Ireland scheme of having an insurance disc* next to the tax disc on each and every car. * they are square in Ireland, not round though.
  • Paul
    Few thoughts/questions; 1) I doubt the fine, etc, will come the instant you aren't insured - more likely a warning letter or 3 first? 2) If you auto-renew out of fear, you still have 14 days to cancel, right? Plenty of time to shop around and get a better deal. 3) If you're going on holiday for anything less than 29 days, that's no excuse for not sorting out new insurance as most insurers let the policy begin up to 30 days from the quote - some are even longer.
  • squish c.
    I once had my car written off by an uninsured driver, so in principle I'm in favour. However I would be worried that if I change insurer, and the new insurer is slow or amiss with their admin (it has bben known) I might loose my car :-(
  • Phil76
    So, how does the SORN system work? Can you tell them the car's off-road for any period of time (like if you were going on holiday for a month)? How long before the DVLA get so far behind in processing SORN requests that the insurance database becomes a joke?
  • ole
    I still find it strange that for something we legally have to have, there is no "publicly owned" alternative. The Insurance companies can monopolies the prices as we have no alternative... At least if the government offered a basic, affordable, entry level insurance policy, then the poor could afford it and not dodge. Then if you wanted a premium insurance policy, you go to a proper provider... I think this is how it work in Australia whereby when you buy your road tax, you automatically receive third party insurance. Just a thought....
  • Richard
    If you don't insure your car atm it shouldn't be on the road anyway so the fact that you will soon have to sorn it should it be uninsured makes no difference apart from change in paperwork.
  • LanceVance
    I still don't think that this will stop the people that drive with no insurance. The dodging bar stewards will still buy a nail, drive it about, dump it at the end of my road/the kids playarea when they are finished with it!!!
  • blogger
    what happens if you are trying to sell your car your insurance runs out but you have still got tax left on the vehicle will you lose your tax because no one will pay as much for a car with no tax so you will probally lose about 200 pound on the price you get for your car jus because you have not insured a car you dont use
  • confused
    I'm really struggling to find why there is an issue with this new policy. Its common knowledge to sorn a car if its not being used, if you have ever taxed a car then you would know that from the renewal notice? if your cars left on any public road, i would hope common sense kicks in that you need it insured anyway otherwise your just as bad as the minority that don't insure vehicles and push up the price for us that do. Why do you get to pick and choose when you insure it and when you don't. When you sorn a car you get a tax refund, so cant complain there Yes insurance isn't nice to pay for with the prices but if you don't like it and cant afford it and want your car sitting around whats the point in having it? or are you thinking about 'popping to the shops' without insurance every now & then..... just something else we can all moan about and think how hard done by we are and it seems those who have been ignoring the rules & regs have finally been hit and are doing the moaning
  • Jimmy M.
    To all those ignorant people who don't see the problem, let me try to explain from the perspective of one who is disadvantaged by this. I earn minimum wage and have taxed my car when my tax ran out at the end of July, the insurance and MOT expired on the 16th of August and as I have to pay for things like food and bills I cannot afford to get the MOT done until pay day. So I have been walking to work and have left the car on my driveway. Now, I have SORN'd the car once before, and because of the DVLA's institutional incompetence I had to wait 3 months for a refund on my tax. But because I'm strapped for cash, I can't afford to tax my car twice while I wait for a refund. So, due to the failings of others, I am forced into a catch 22 situation where there is no point in me paying for the insurance until I can afford the MOT, and there is no point in me getting an MOT if I've SORN'd it as I cannot afford to pay the tax again and wait for the refund. So, even though I don't want to break the law, I am forced to break it by not insuring it while not driving it, and it's parked off road. My point is that I would be happy to pay the tax and lose the money on the half month or so that I don't drive the vehicle, and if the SORN refund of MY money could be done immediately (obviously it could but they'd rather not because, like the Inland Revenue, they like to keep your money for as long as possible for interest reasons) then it would all work properly, but the sad fact is that it doesn't because nothing is thought through properly. The only thing this legislation has achieved is to penalise those who work hard and obey the law while also giving insurance companies the excuse of raising prices - my insurance company 1st Central had the audacity to quote me an extra £400 this year with no changes to the policy and an extra year's NCB. We can look forward to a lot more of this from now on. Meanwhile, the people it supposedly sets out to deter - those who drive without insurance - simply register the car somewhere else and continue to do the same until they're caught. They don't need a V5 as they don't intend to tax or insure the vehicle. Also, when the penalty for driving without insurance is a driving ban, this is no deterrent as anyone who drives without insurance has no reason to have a licence. ANPR is incredibly effective and is installed on the majority of marked and unmarked vehicles. This is a suitable deterrent to those who 'pop to the shops' as someone put it. Next time you decide to post your opinion on something, and make assumptions about those who are affected by it, try to think through the subject in hand before you make yourself look ignorant and/or idiotic.
  • Geoff
    I have a current issue with this continuous insurance....My vehicle is currently at the garage awaiting assessment for repair. Actually the gearbox is faulty so the car cannot physically be driven at all . This has happened at the same time that the insurance is due. So not knowing if the vehicle can be repaired or if it's going to be written off I did not renew the insurance as I can do that over the phone if I need to. So legally I am in breach of this new law because I should now SORN the vehicle if it is off the road. The only problem is that because DVLA only refund taxto full months if I did that I would lose a whole month's of tax. Equally if it cannot be repaired I would have undertaken all this only to lose even more money on the insurance. So people I chosen to ignore this stupid law in favour of good old fashioned common sense. My vehicle is not in a driveable condition and is not on a public road or in a public place and therefore does not need any reason to have either insurance or tax. If it were I would of course ensure that both are obtained...

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