What is Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)?

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In the UK we have a law called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) which means that all vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales must be insured.

That includes everything from cars, vans and motorbikes to motorhomes and HGVs.

(Sounds a bit intense, we know!)

CIE was introduced in 2011 to help tackle high numbers of uninsured motorists on UK roads and protect honest drivers.

Around £500m is paid out in claims relating to uninsured driving. This cost is passed on to all drivers and adds an extra £30 a year to the average car policy.

We explain 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 insure a car just when you're driving it. It has to be covered at all times.

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.

You can use the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to check whether a car is insured.

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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Temporary car insurance from 1 hour to 28 days. No deposits, interest or nasty hidden fees. Get a quote

You don't need insurance if your car is declared off the road

Declaring your car as off the road using a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN) means that you don't have to pay insurance or car tax on it.

You can register your car as SORN on 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 need to cancel your car insurance and may have to pay a cancellation fee.

Cars that are scrapped, stolen or exported are exempt from CIE

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.

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 declared SORN.

If you ignore the letter you could face a £100 penalty, a fine of up to £1,000 if it goes to court and your car may be clamped, seized or in some cases destroyed❗

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 even just 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.

Cuvva offers fully comprehensive temporary insurance that lasts anywhere between 1 hour and 28 days.

Car insurance without the nasty bits

Cuvva hates deposits, interest, tie-ins and hidden fees - it's why we've scrapped them.

Instead, we offer flexible temporary insurance from 1 hour to 28 days.

It's perfect for borrowing and lending - and for experienced or learner drivers alike.

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

Flexible car insurance 🚗
Flexible car cover perfect for borrowing and lending. Temporary car insurance
Updated on 31st March 2023