Can I sell my car without insurance? – the ultimate guide

    When you’re selling your car, you have to be certain of all the legal requirements. In the UK, it is not legal to sell your car without valid insurance cover

    You don’t want to be caught out and subject yourself to fines or penalties. Read on to understand the key steps to take with your insurance company when selling your car.

    Can I sell my car without insurance?
    What happens to insurance when you sell a car?
    Can I get a refund on my car insurance if I sell my car?
    Insurance when selling a car privately
    When to cancel insurance after selling a car?
    How to cancel my car insurance?
    How to sell your car

    can i sell my car without insurance
    You are required by law to have valid insurance when selling your car.

    Can I sell my car without insurance?

    No. A car can’t be driven or re-registered in the UK without a legal insurance policy in place. 

    If you sell an uninsured car, you actually can’t transfer the ownership. Not only does this make it illegal for your buyer to drive your uninsured car, but it also means that you’ll be the one liable for any fines. You’ll also be subject to penalties to release the car if it gets impounded.

    Prospective buyers will also be wary of driving an uninsured car, as this will invalidate their own insurance, if it covers driving in a car other than their own. 

    If you’re selling a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) car that is uninsured, you need to re-tax and re-insure it before moving it, letting anyone test drive it, and selling it. 

    What happens to insurance when you sell a car?

    The first thing you have to do is contact your insurer in good time to explore your options. If you’re changing your car, you might be able to transfer your insurance policy to the next one. 

    It may work out best to end your current insurance policy (make sure the final day of cover is the day after you sell your car) and take out a new one, either with the same insurer or a competitor. If you’re looking for a policy ahead of time, most quotes are valid for about sixty days, and you can re-enquire closer to the time, too, to shop around for the best deal.

    what happens to insurance when you sell a car
    It is vital you do not cancel your car insurance before selling your car.

    Can I get a refund on my car insurance if I sell my car?

    Depending on how much time is remaining on your policy, and the finer details you signed up for, you may be entitled to a partial refund. There’s still a chance this will be offset with an administration fee, which can cost upwards of £50, and are higher if your insurance agreement has included the use of a black box.

    Check your original insurance contract if you aren’t sure whether refunds are available, should you cancel.

    refer a friend image

    Insurance when selling a car privately

    When you’re selling your car privately, i.e. to a friend, neighbour, or simply someone who saw your car advertised as for sale, you need to be on top of all the legals and paperwork to make sure that neither of you is exposed to potential fines, penalties, or lack of insurance cover. 

    You do not have to insure a car that’s not legally yours. So, you should make sure your car insurance policy ends the day after the car sale, e.g., once the car is with its new owner. You will need to transfer ownership with the DVLA by this time, too, so that you’re not liable if the new owner breaks any motoring laws. 

    It’s worth handling insurance along with car tax as a key first step, when you’ve agreed a deal for your car with your buyer, and handled safe payment.

    insurance when selling a car privately
    It is recommended to organise your insurance and car tax once you have a deal agreed with a buyer.

    When to cancel insurance after selling a car?

    You can enquire about your policy at any time. When you request to cancel your policy, make sure the last day is the day after the transfer of ownership of the car. It’s best to contact your insurer in advance if possible.

    If you have a new car and an old car simultaneously (i.e. you bought a new car before you sold the outgoing car), then some insurance providers can give temporary cover for both vehicles.

    Additionally, you can cancel the auto-renewal of your car insurance if you know you plan to sell soon, and instead, take out a short-term insurance policy. This might be less cost-effective, and cover much less, than a regular policy, but may allow you more flexibility in the short term. 

    How to cancel my car insurance?

    The very good news is that, from 2022 onwards, insurers are legally required to make cancelling insurance as easy as buying it in the first place. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Your policy number

    That’s it! 

    You just need to contact your insurer and tell them why you want to cancel your insurance. They’ll tell you if there’s an early exit fee and if any further paperwork is necessary. Make sure you remember to ask them to send you proof of your no-claims bonus, as this will still be valid for another two years. You should be able to benefit from it when getting your next policy.

    How to sell your car?

    If you already have your next car lined up, but you have to sell your existing car first, at Motorway we offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling, whatever the model.

    Selling your car with Motorway is quick, easy, and 100% free.

    Sell with Motorway and our network of more than 5,000 verified car dealers compete to give you their best price.

    Motorway valuations use live data from our nationwide used car marketplace.

    Just enter your reg on the homepage and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. We’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Is it time to sell your car?

    Want to learn more about owning, maintaining, and selling your car? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from finding buyers, to negotiating a good price, and completing payment safely.