Is my van insured? How to check if your van has the right insurance
Valid insurance is a legal requirement if you want to drive your van on public roads, and you could be hit with a penalty if you drive your van without insurance.
It is the owner/driver of the van's responsibility to make sure the correct level of cover is in place for what it is being used for.
Van insurance differs slightly from car insurance as vans are typically used for different purposes - transporting goods or people, used for work etc. - so it's important to make sure that not only does the van have insurance, but that it's the correct type of van insurance policy.
For more information on the different types of policy available to van drivers, visit our van insurance page.
How to check if your van is insured
The best way to check if your van is insured is to visit the Motor Insurer's Database (MID) and input your van's registration number. The quick online tool will then tell you if there is a van insurance policy in place for your van and confirm the make and model of the vehicle. The MID contains the insurance information of every vehicle that is insured in the UK.
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You can also use the MID to check if a vehicle you have had an accident with is insured by putting in their registration number into the 'Other Vehicle Look Up' service, although this will cost you £4.
What are the penalties for driving without van insurance?
It is against the law to drive a van without having at least the minimum third party insurance in place. The penalties for driving without insurance can include:
- 6 penalty points added to your driving licence
- A £300 fixed penalty
- Losing your van if it is seized by the police
- Collection fees to reclaim your seized van
- A crushed van if it’s not reclaimed within 14 days
- Potential court prosecution – if this happens you can get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving
Many people fall foul of this as they don't use the van that often, but unless you've declared it as SORN then you will need van insurance. Sometimes people end up driving without insurance due to a simple mistake like forgetting to renew their cover - but they will still face the same stiff penalties as someone who is deliberately breaking the law. If like most people you have opted not to auto-renew your van insurance policy so you can compare quotes and get the cheapest policy each year, then it is your responsibility to make sure there is always a valid insurance policy covering your van.
If you get a conviction for driving without van insurance you will receive what is called an IN10 endorsement on your license, which will remain there for four years and you have to inform insurance companies about the conviction for five years.
This means that when it comes to getting insurance again you may find it difficult to get a policy, as some insurers don't offer quotes to drivers with an IN10 endorsement. If you do find an insurance company willing to offer cover you may end up paying a lot more for cover as you will be viewed as a higher risk.
Read our guide: Convicted driver insurance for more information