What is Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)?

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CIE rule
Exemptions
Warnings
New cars

Around £500m is paid out in claims relating to uninsured driving every year. This cost is passed on to all drivers and adds an extra £30 a year to the average car policy - so it's super important to tackle this problem.

The Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) law means all vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales must be insured. It was introduced in 2011 to help tackle high numbers of uninsured motorists on British roads and protect honest drivers.

Here's everything you need to know 👇

Continuous insurance enforcement means your car must be insured

CIE means that your car must be insured at all times if you're the registered keeper. This means that your car must be insured even when it's not being driven 🚗

It's illegal to only insure a car that you're the registered keeper of for when you're driving it. It has to be covered at all times. (It's different when you use temporary insurance to borrow a friend or family member's car - then you only insure it for when you need it!)

And if you're caught driving without insurance you could get a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points. Drivers that are taken to court could end up with an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving - and you'll still have to pay for insurance on top of any fines.

Top tip: you can use the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to check whether a car is insured. You should only do this for your own car, though.

CIE can't be ignored so insure yourself to drive before you hit the road
CIE can't be ignored so insure yourself to drive before you hit the road
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SORNing your car

One exemption to this is when you 'SORN' a car. This is when you declare your car as off road using a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN). It means that you don't have to pay insurance or car tax on it.

You can SORN your car on www.GOV.uk. You won't be able to drive your car once it's been declared off the road.

It's important to note that SORNing your car won't automatically cancel your insurance. You'll still need to cancel your car insurance and may have to pay a cancellation fee for this.

Other exemptions

If your car is stolen and not found, you won't have to keep paying for insurance.

Cars that are scrapped, for example vehicles written-off as Category A, are also exempt from the CIE rule.

If you export a UK-registered car for more than 12 months, the CIE rule won't apply either. But you must tell the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that you're planning on taking your car abroad for more than a year. You'll need to fill out the "permanent export" section of your vehicle log book (V5C) and send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD.

Remember 🚨
Declaring a SORN doesn't automatically cancel your car insurance. Learn more

The DVLA will send an advisory letter if your car isn't insured properly

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) identifies uninsured cars by comparing DVLA records to those held by the MID.

They'll send you an 'Insurance Advisory Letter' as a first reminder if they suspect you of being the registered keeper of a vehicle that hasn't been insured or declared SORN.

If you ignore the letter you could face a £100 penalty, an unlimited fine if things get to court, and your car may be clamped, seized, or even destroyed. It's not worth it.

Your car must be insured if you want to drive it
Your car must be insured if you want to drive it

You still need insurance for new cars and test drives

There's no grace period with the CIE rule so you'll still need insurance to drive a new car home or to test drive a car.

Some dealerships offer short-term policies but they may be limited to third-party cover. This means that damage to your car wouldn't be included.

Car insurance without the nasty bits

Cuvva offers fully comprehensive temporary insurance that lasts anywhere between 1 hour and 28 days - perfect for those 'in-between' moments, or if you want to borrow someone else's car.

Whatever you're after, it only takes a few minutes to get a quote.

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Updated on 7th August 2023