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You may have seen in the news last week that the system used by the police to check whether cars in the UK are insured experienced problems. This led to situations where people with valid UK car insurance could have been stopped for having no insurance.

So if you’ve ever wondered “What do I do if the police stop me for an insurance check?” then wonder no longer.

What do you do if you are stopped by the police for having no insurance?

Unless you’re a career criminal or law-breaker, getting stopped by the police can be a daunting experience. The blue lights in the rear-view mirror, and that heart-stopping “what did I do wrong?” thought.

Worry not. If you’re insured with Zixty, and you get stopped, simply show the police your documents in the Zixty app. This will show the dates and times of your insurance, and may be enough for you to be on your way.

Not got the Zixty app? Let’s fix that (and get you a loyalty discount too). Simply download the Zixty temporary car insurance app, and your documents are right there.

A hand on a steering wheel

How do the police know if my car is insured?

Every insurer in the UK, including businesses like Zixty who offer temporary car insurance, are required to send details of insured vehicles to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and these details are uploaded to the Motor Insurance Database (MID). We have a separate article about the MID, and how you can check your car insurance using Ask MID.

Police using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) have real-time access to the MID, and if your car is showing as uninsured, they may stop you.

How long does it take for the MID to be updated?

It generally takes a day or so, but can take a while longer. We send data the day that you take your policy out, and after that, it’s beyond our control.

Why does my car need to be insured?

In the UK we have Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE), which mandates that all cars must be insured unless the owner has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Them’s the rules, and here are the consequences of not playing ball.

How do I know if my car is insured?

It’s your responsibility to know if the car you’re driving is legally insured. If you’re relaxed about admin and paperwork, in the first instance why not check out our article to see how to check if your car is insured.


So there you have it. Our top tips are to download the Zixty app before you get behind the wheel, and always stay calm and polite when dealing with the police.

Stay safe. 🌳