Do you have a sneaking suspicion your car insurance might be up for renewal sooner rather than later? Find yourself nervously wondering “Is my car insured?” every time you get behind the wheel? Worry no more. This one’s for you.
Here, we explain how to quickly check a vehicle’s insurance status online, whether it’s your personal car, a company car, or someone else’s car. And if you’ve forgotten who your car insurance policy is with, we’ve got some tips to help with that too.
How to check if my car is insured
It’s a legal requirement to have car insurance before you can drive on UK roads. The fastest and easiest way to find out if your car is insured is to use the free online car insurance checker tool, askMID. This site is managed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and lets you search the Motor Insurance Database (MID) for your car’s current insurance status.
All you need to do is:
- Enter your vehicle registration number into the space provided
- Confirm that you’ve read and understood the data protection declaration
- Complete the Captcha statement
If your vehicle is on the MID, you’ll see a green tick with the following statement:
YES. This vehicle is showing as INSURED on the Motor Insurance Database today
However, if your car’s missing from the database, you’ll see a red cross and the following:
NO. This vehicle is NOT showing as insured on the Motor Insurance Database today
Note: If your vehicle isn’t showing on the MID, you could be at risk of a fine and potentially face court prosecution. You could also be stopped by the police and have your vehicle impounded.
Is askMID a legitimate company?
askMID itself isn’t actually a company; it’s a website maintained by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
That said, it’s a perfectly reputable and legitimate website run by a private organisation that’s been around since 1946. The MIB was set up to protect drivers from the financial consequences of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver.
Today, the MIB works closely with the government, the DVLA, and the police to monitor and identify uninsured motorists and enforce vehicle insurance laws.
What if my car is showing as NOT insured on askMID when I know it has valid insurance?
The MID is updated around 10,000 times a day, but sometimes, things can get missed. If you’ve made a recent change to your car insurance, there’s every chance the update hasn’t made it onto the database by the time you’ve checked. In that case, it’s worth waiting a few hours and checking again.
However, if you haven’t changed your car insurance recently (and you know for a fact that it’s still valid), it’s possible that some of the details have been entered into the database incorrectly. If you suspect this has happened, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider directly, as they’re the only ones who can update the record that appears on the MID.
How can I find out who my car is insured with?
It’s easier than you might think to forget who your car insurance provider is, especially if you have several other insurance policies (like home and contents insurance), or you regularly switch each year in pursuit of the best deal.
The good news is that it can be pretty straightforward to find out which company has insured your vehicle:
- Check your bank statements for recent outgoing payments to a car insurance provider. Try searching “car insurance” in your banking app, or look for a large, one-off transaction if you’ve paid upfront.
- Search your inbox for a car insurance policy or confirmation email. Make sure you check your spam and trash folders, too.
- If you remember comparing car insurance quotes, log into the comparison site you used and see if it lists your most recent deal.
How can you check when your car insurance runs out?
Most car insurance providers will send a renewal reminder at least a month before the policy expires. But if you want to know your policy’s expiry date ASAP, it should be clearly stated on your insurance documents. Check your email inbox for a copy, or contact your insurance provider directly.
Some insurance companies also provide their customers with an online account, giving them fast access to policy information and other important documents. Again, it’s worth checking your inbox to see if your insurer sent you login information when you took out the policy.
If you’re a Howden Insurance customer, you can log into your client portal here.
How can you check if your car is taxed and has an MOT?
In addition to car insurance, you also need to make sure your vehicle is taxed and has a valid MOT certificate before you can drive it on public roads. If you want to check your car’s road tax and MOT status, you can use the government’s free car check service.
Simply enter your registration number and confirm your car’s make and colour, and you’ll see if it’s currently taxed and has a valid MOT.
Can you check if a car is insured (other than your own) on askMID?
Technically, no. You should only use askMID to check if your own car is insured.
However, in the event of an accident, you’ll want to find out if the other party also has car insurance. If this happens, you can turn to askMID for help with their separate “Other Vehicle Look Up Service”.
To use this service, you’ll need to fill out an online form specifying:
- Whether you’re the injured party (or a representative of the injured party)
- Your name
- Your reference or initials
- Your email address
- Your involvement in the incident (whether you were a motorist, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or property owner)
- Your car’s registration number
- The other car’s registration number
- The date of the incident
Note: While the standard askMID service is completely free of charge, it costs £10 per query to use the Other Vehicle Look Up Service.
Is my company car insured (and will it show up on askMID)?
In most cases, company cars are insured by the company that owns them. The vehicles are usually insured under a “fleet insurance policy,” meaning a single policy covers a fleet of vehicles.
It’s uncommon (though not unheard of) for a business to ask its employees to arrange car insurance on a company car. However, many insurance providers see it as risky to offer cover to people who don’t actually own the vehicle in question.
So, if you want to know if your company car is insured, you’ll need to ask someone in your company (the owner, HR, or your line manager). They should provide you with all the necessary insurance information before you start driving a company car, but if they don’t, it’s worth double-checking that everything’s in order.
Typing a company car’s registration into askMID might show it as insured, but chances are it won’t. This doesn’t mean it’s not insured, only that it’s not on the MID. This could be because it’s covered under a fleet policy, described above.
Read more: Who pays the insurance on a company car?
To recap: How do I check if my car is insured and taxed?
If you want to know if your car is currently insured, simply use the free online checker tool, askMID. All you need to do is type in your registration number and in a blink of an eye you’ll know if it’s listed as insured (or not) on the Motor Insurance Database.
Likewise, if you want to check if your car is taxed and has a valid MOT, you can use the government’s car check service. Again, all you need is your car’s registration number and the make and colour of your car. Once you’ve inserted that info, you’ll see whether or not your car is taxed and has an MOT, and when they’re next up for renewal.