A Comprehensive Guide on Car Insurance in the UK | Types, Cost, Pros and Cons, and More!

Driving on a public road without valid car insurance is against the law in the UK.

Even if your car is kept in your garage, you must have car insurance unless it’s declared off the road.

At least, you have to get third-party insurance to be able to drive your vehicle in the UK.

Some people don’t think about their car insurance unless their vehicle gets involved in an accident, it’s not uncommon to forget about it.

a car accident


According to the GOV.UK, the penalties and offenses for driving without car insurance are a fixed £300 fine and six penalty points.

In the worst-case scenario, you can get an unlimited fine, be disqualified from driving permanently, and even get your vehicle destroyed.

To avoid this, you have to read this article till the end to learn about car insurance, the types, pros and cons, and many more.

What is Car Insurance in the UK?

Car Insurance 1

If you don’t know what car insurance is yet, it is best to fully understand first what it is and why you need it for driving in London or any other part of the UK.

Car insurance, also known as auto insurance, is insurance for any vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, and trucks.

It’s a legal requirement by the UK government.

Insurance is a contract in which you receive financial protection from the insurance company in case of an accident.

You don’t have to worry about the expensive repair bills caused due to the damage.

The insurance contract comes in the form of a policy, and the conditions can vary, depending on the insurer.

Do I Need Car Insurance in the UK?

Yes, since the introduction of the Road Traffic Act 1930 in the United Kingdom, car insurance has become mandatory while driving in London or any other parts of the UK.

You can’t take a vehicle to the road without car insurance, it’s an offense to use a car or any other vehicle without an insurance policy that fully satisfies the requirements of UK law.

At least, you need to have third-party insurance coverage to keep your driving license status safe from penalties and offenses.

Types of Car Insurance in the UK

If you wish to get car insurance, there are three types of car insurance policies available for you to choose from in the UK.

Let’s cover all of them in detail.

1. Comprehensive Cover

Comprehensive cover is also known as “fully comprehensive” or “fully comp”. It’s the most famous car insurance policy in the UK, protecting the driver and car against severe damages.

It also covers third-party medical and vehicle damage costs, so you don’t have to worry about anything in case of extreme events.

Comprehensive car insurance covers you in the below events:

  • Bodily injuries to the third-party individuals and damage to their vehicles
  • Accidental damage and medical costs
  • Loss of vehicle
  • Personal effects
  • Theft of vehicle’s content
  • Windscreen coverage (Sometimes optional)
  • Vandalism

It’s suitable for most drivers as it covers nearly everything in case.

Remember: Not all car insurance policies in the UK cover everything. Sometimes, you have to pay extra for additional options, like windscreen coverage.

You should check the legal expenses before proceeding with the insurer.

It’s also recommended to find out about the courtesy car (a temporary vehicle you get while yours is being repaired) and see if your car insurance company provides it.

2. Third Party, Fire & Theft (or TPF&T)

This car insurance policy covers all the damage costs for third-party vehicles. It will also protect your vehicle against theft and fire.

However, this insurance will not cover the damages caused to your car after accidents or vandalism.

This car insurance is a cheaper option for drivers looking for a low-cost insurance policy.

Compared to the Comprehensive Cover insurance, this will not cover all the events, but you can drive your car in the UK without any restrictions.

3. Third Party

This insurance policy is the minimum coverage required by UK law. It covers third-party bodily injuries and vehicle damage costs only.

It doesn’t cover you or your vehicle in case of an accident, theft, or vandalism.

Third-party insurance can be an option to consider for people who don’t drive their car frequently and are looking for the cheapest possible coverage.

Not many car insurance companies offer this policy, so you have to find one.

4. Other Types of Car Insurance Policies

Apart from the above three car insurance policies, there are a few other options for you. These include:

  • Black Box Insurance: A small GPS device, about the size of a smartphone, is installed in your vehicle to record your driving style. The insurance company sees your driving behavior and offers you premiums according to that. If you are a safe driver, you might have to pay low auto insurance premiums. You will also feel safe due to the accident alert system installed in the black box.
  • Multi-Car Insurance: If you want to insure multiple household cars, better to insure it with the same insurance company to claim hefty discounts.
  • Young Driver Insurance: Young drivers between 17 and 24 can get this insurance policy. Compared to adult drivers, they have to pay a premium price as they are considered high-risk drivers.
  • Short-Term Car Insurance: Whether you borrow a car from your friend or rent it from any rental car service, short-term car insurance can give you coverage for up to 30 days.
  • Taxi Insurance: Taxi drivers have to be on the road much longer than an average driver, so they have to pay much higher premiums for coverage.
  • Pay-Per-Mile Insurance: For people over 21 driving under 6,000 miles yearly, you could save money by buying pay-per-mile car insurance. This insurance is new, so you may not be able to find it from every car insurance company.

Pros and Cons of Car Insurance UK

If you have just bought your first car, getting car insurance can seem pretty costly.

You might want to avoid it, but in the long run, you will see that the pros outweigh the cons on many levels.

To prevent getting significant fines and penalty points on your driving licence UK, getting car insurance as soon as you buy a new vehicle is necessary.

So, let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of car insurance in the UK.


  • Financial Protection: In case of an accident, a car insurance policy can save you from substantial accidental damage costs. Otherwise, you will pay more than a thousand pounds to fix colossal damages.
  • Legal Requirement: As car insurance is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom, buying it will protect you from legal clauses.
  • Medical Claims: If the driver or passenger faces any bodily injury, the car insurance company will pay for all the medical expenses, so you don’t have to go into debt.
  • Third-Party Liabilities: If you get in an accident and damage occurs to the third-party vehicle (no matter how severe it is), your car insurer will cover all the costs for injuries or death of the third party.
  • Government Fines: If you get caught driving without car insurance in the UK, you will have to pay a fixed penalty of £300. If the case goes to court, you will face a court prosecution with up to a £1,000 fine. Car insurance can save you from all these events.
  • Penalty Points: Driving without car insurance can result in six penalty points. You don’t have to worry about all this if you get car insurance.
  • Protection of Driving License: If you get caught driving multiple times without car insurance, you can lose your driving license UK and won’t be able to drive in London or any other part of the UK. A car insurance policy can protect your driving license.
  • Protection Against Theft and Vandalism: If your car gets stolen or destroyed in an accident, your car insurance company will cover all the costs, so you don’t have to worry about anything.


  • Premiums Can Be Expensive: Buying a premium car insurance policy that covers all the bills can be expensive. You can opt for a cheaper option and only get insurance for the basic plan with necessary inclusions.
  • Time-Taking Process: Calling your car insurance company and getting everything sorted can take some time, so you have to be patient throughout the whole process.
  • Expensive Cars Require Costly Insurance: Insuring an expensive vehicle like a high-powered sports car can cost you much more than a 15-year-old hatchback. Your car insurance policy’s cost depends on your vehicle’s price and model.
  • Have to Be Paid Monthly or Annually: You must get ready to pay a monthly or annual fee for your car insurance, depending on the package you choose.
  • Choosing a Reliable Insurer Can Take Time: Out of all the car insurance companies, selecting a reliable one can take some time. It’s better to get recommendations from friends and family members who already have car insurance to see which company provides the best services.

How Long Does a Car Insurance Last in the UK?

It depends on your insurer and the type of car insurance policy you purchase.

However, most car insurance policies last for a year and have to be extended annually to avoid any issues with your Driving license UK. Don’t forget to check your car insurance expiry date before it expired.

If you choose to leave your current insurer, you might be required to pay the cancellation fee.

If you want car insurance for a short period, you can go for the short-term car insurance policy that only lasts from a day to up to a month.

How Much Does a Car Insurance Cost in the UK?

The short answer is that it depends on your car, insurer, and driving behavior.

You will be paying a high premium if you are a young driver or viewed as a high-risk driver because of frequent penalties and offenses.

On average, the cost ranges from £400 up to more than £700 a year.

You can keep the following factors in mind to know how much your car insurance will cost:

1. Your Car

The more expensive the car, the higher the price you will pay for car insurance in the UK.

For instance, supercar owners will pay a higher premium than minivan owners because of expensive repair bills.

car on the road

Apart from this, if you have an older car in terrible condition with only a few safety features, you will pay more for coverage.

The car insurance cost also depends on the size of your engine. Cars with low-powered engines will have low insurance costs, while bigger engines will have higher costs.

If you have made modifications to your vehicle, it will also increase the cost of your coverage as these kinds of cars are more likely to be repaired.

2. Driving Behavior

Things like penalty points and low driving experience can increase the cost of your car insurance policy in the UK.

If the driver has an excellent reputation with no driving convictions, he/she will likely pay a lower cost for coverage.

You can also take advantage of the no-claim bonus and get cheap premiums if you have no claims behind you.

The insurance companies can also ask you about your car usage.

If you only drive your car for leisure, you’ll be paying a lower fee, but if you also use it to commute to work and drive significant miles, then be prepared for a high cost.

3. Personal Information

When you are ready to buy a car insurance policy in the UK, your insurer will ask for your details to determine factors like where you reside and park your car.

For instance, if you reside in a high crime area, the chances of your vehicle being stolen are higher than a person who lives in a secure location and keeps his car in a locked garage.

Age is also an important factor considered by car insurers. As younger drivers have less experience driving, it increases the chances of accidents and injury.

If you are older, you will be paying low premiums.

What Are Your Thoughts?

After reading this whole article, we hope you have a better understanding of what car insurance is and the importance of getting insured in the UK.

As car insurance policy is a requirement in the UK, it’s advised to get one before you face extreme penalties and offenses.

If you can’t afford comprehensive cover insurance, you can go for third-party insurance, which only covers all the damages caused to third-party individuals and vehicles.

Car insurance will save you from huge repair bills and give you peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to go into a huge debt after getting in an accident.

If you don’t drive your car, it’s better to declare it SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).

SORN means that you won’t take this car to the road anymore.

You can also get cheaper car insurance if you are above 21 and only drive your car under 6,000 miles.

To avoid unnecessary fees, try to pay your car insurance fee annually, as some insurers can charge a considerable amount when paying monthly.

Further Reading for Driving in the UK.

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