Motor Insurance

How to Check Car Insurance, Tax and MOT

In order to check if a vehicle is insured and that the car tax has been paid, there are some easy steps you can take which are outlined below.

As a car owner in the UK, you need to ensure that any car you own has insurance, tax, and MOT. As a driver you need to insure the car and yourself, and anyone else who might drive the car. If you register the car in your name it is your responsibility to make sure that the car is adequately insured and taxed, and that it has an MOT certificate.

If you drive in a public area or road without car insurance then you could face a hefty fixed penalty fine of £300 and also 6 points on your licence. If the matter ends up in court then you could face being disqualified from driving and fined up to £5,000. In extreme cases your car could be seized and destroyed.

If your car is not on the road, as the registered owner you will have to officially declare to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that your car is off the road, even if you are not driving it and have no intention of driving it. Otherwise, you face being charged for having a car that is not insured. The fixed penalty fine for not declaring the car is off the road is £100.

Is my car taxed and insured?

Vehicle Excise Duty, also known as car or vehicle tax, is based on the level of CO2 emissions produced by your car. For older cars registered before March 2021, the level of car tax is based on the engine size. Motorbikes also have to pay vehicle tax. Some vehicles are exempt from paying tax and these include:

  • Mobility scooters
  • Electric cars
  • Old vehicles made pre-1972

If you fail to pay your car tax you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and you will be asked to back-pay all the car tax you failed to pay. The government has a useful tax calculator that will help you work out how much car tax you need to pay on your vehicle. Make sure you have all the relevant information about the car before using the calculator, including the date of registration, the make, and the model of the car.

If you want to check if a vehicle is taxed you need to know the full registration number of the car. Click on the government’s website and click on the green ‘Start Now’ button:

You will be prompted to enter the registration number of the car and verify some information relating to the car. Once this is done, you should be able to view lots of information about the car including its tax details.

Car insurance comparison with NimbleFins

  • You can save up to £504*
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars on**
  • Cheap quotes from 110+ providers

Does my car have MOT?

If you own a car or are thinking of buying a car it is really important that you find out as much as possible about the history of the car.

One of the most important pieces of information is knowing if a car has passed or failed its MOT. The government website will not only tell you if a car failed its MOT, but it will also let you know the reason for the failed MOT.

The MOT checker means you can check the MOT of any car, and you can also check to see when the current MOT certificate needs to be renewed.

How to check if a car has an MOT

In order to check the MOT of the car, you can follow the steps above or click here to go to the government’s MOT history checker. This is a great, free, and easy service to use.

You will not only find out the current MOT status of the car, but also the dates of previous MOT tests, the test numbers, odometer mileage from the tests done, and if the car passed the MOT test(s).

When is my car MOT due?

If you want to find out when your car MOT is due, you need to know when the current MOT certificate expiry date is. You can contact the DVLA and they will be able to help you confirm when the MOT is due. You can also check the details of your last MOT check by ringing the garage that issued your MOT certificate.

Alternatively, the government MOT checker is a great tool to use to find out when the MOT is due. As mentioned above, you need to have the car registration number to hand when you search for MOT details on the website.

When is my car tax due?

If you are currently paying your car tax via direct debit, it should automatically renew when the tax runs out. The DVLA will write to you to confirm the date the payment will be taken out.

You can enter your car registration number on the government website at any time to check when your tax is due. The AA also has a useful car tax checker you can use.

Your car will need to be taxed annually. You can pay your tax as an annual lump sum, in monthly payments, or by making six-monthly lump sum payments.

How to check if a car is insured

The easiest way to check if your car is insured is to visit the Motor Insurance Database. This online database is a centralised database that contains details of all insured vehicles. You will need the registration number of the car to carry out the check. The website is updated daily so it is very accurate.

When is my car insurance due?

To check when your car insurance is due you can:

  • ring your insurance company and ask for details
  • check your policy documents for the expiry date
  • check your bank statements to see when you started your insurance payments

You can also check here.


Can you tax a car without insurance?

The answer to this question is no. You cannot tax a car without insurance in place. When you tax the car the DVLA will check the official databases to make sure that the car you are taxing has a valid MOT certificate and insurance in place. Legally, you need to have all three of these if you own a car.

Can you tax a car with temporary insurance?

Yes, you can tax a car with temporary insurance in place. You must make sure that any temporary insurance policy you take out shows up on a search of the Motor Insurance Database.

Can I insure and tax a car on the same day?

This will be difficult because you cannot tax a car without insurance. The best thing to do is to get your insurance online so your coverage starts immediately and then apply for tax online. Make sure you explain to the insurance company that you are applying for your tax the same day so you need evidence that your coverage has started in case the insurance does not show up on the Motor Insurance Database.

Can you tax a car before insuring it?

No, see the answer to the questions above.

Is my car insured if it is not taxed?

You can obtain car insurance without tax, however, driving your car without tax is illegal and could invalidate your policy. So, as soon as you have an insurance policy you should then arrange for the tax to be paid.

Can you tax a car without MOT?

You will need an MOT certificate before taxing your car.

How to cancel car tax?

You can cancel your car tax by contacting the DVLA and asking for the tax to be cancelled.


Our team of writers has expertise in business, car, travel, home and pet insurance as well as personal finance issues.


Car Insurance

  • You could save up to £504*
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars**
  • Quotes from 100+ providers

Motor Insurance Reviews

NimbleFins Newsletter

Get deals, tips, news, and more!