Man checking the engine of a blue car at the side of the road

Do I Need Insurance For A Broken Down Car?

Having a broken car is never an ideal experience, and you can often feel like even though it’s not going anywhere, it’s still, somehow, draining your bank account. Do you really need to keep paying to insure a car that isn’t going to move anywhere? Let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through everything you need to know.

Broken down auto vehicle car towed onto flatbed tow truck with hook and chain

Do I need insurance for a broken down car?

It’s a question with a lot more caveats than you might expect, but we’ll explain those further down the page. Here, we’ll cut to the chase…

Yes, you will almost always need to have insurance for your vehicle, even if it’s broken down. There are exceptions, like when it’s SORNed, but you’ll need to jump through some hoops to do that. Just remember that, by default, you do need insurance for your broken down car.

Do I need to insure a car I’m not driving?

To answer this question extensively, it’s easier to explain when you won’t need car insurance. You will only be legally allowed to own a car without it being insured if:

  • It has been declared SORN.
  • It has been kept on private land since before 1st February 1998.
  • It has been scrapped, stolen or exported and you’ve notified the relevant authorities.
  • It is between dealers or is being held in stock by an authorised dealer.

With that in mind, if your car has broken down and you know it’s not going to be moving for a long period of time, then you could, in theory, cancel your insurance policy once it has been declared SORN. Your insurers may even refund you the remaining amount from your agreement, but you will need to discuss this with them at the time and isn’t always an option. 

If you have cancelled your insurance policy, then you absolutely cannot drive the car. The moment you do so, you are breaking the law, and can be hit with one of the heftiest penalties possible while on the road. A fixed penalty of £300 is applied, alongside no fewer than six penalty points on your licence, however more serious cases can see it taken to court where you could receive an unlimited fine and be banned from driving altogether.

How to claim off my insurance for a broken down car

Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. You cannot drive on UK roads without having an insurance policy in place, or having paid your Road Tax. While Comprehensive cover is the most extensive policy you can take, covering you in any eventuality in an accident, even if it was your fault, it does not cover you for any mechanical faults your car experiences along the way. Simply put, if your car hasn’t been physically damaged in an accident of any kind, then you’re on your own. 

Breakdown cover, on the other hand, is not a legal requirement but for most drivers it’s something that they simply couldn’t imagine being on the road without. While not an insurance that will pay out for any repairs you require, they will recover your car in the event of a breakdown, either towing you to the nearest garage or onward to your destination, depending on your level of cover.

You can find out more about how to tow a broken down car if you don’t have breakdown cover here.

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What do I do with a broken down car?

Some cars are so badly broken down that you just know that they’re not going to be going anywhere soon, no matter how much you want to see them back on the road. This is what you can do with them:

  • SORN It – If your car is going to be off the road for a long time, then you can always apply for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN). When you apply for a SORN, you are informing the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) that the car will not be driven at all, and from the moment it is in place, it no longer requires tax or insurance. But, again, don’t drive it – you could get stung with penalties for both driving without tax or insurance, and the combined penalty points would be enough to immediately disqualify you from getting behind the wheel.
  • Scrap It – The easiest solution to what to do with a broken down car, though, is to contact the team here at Scrap Car Comparison!

With a nationwide network in specialist scrap and salvage buyers, no car is too badly damaged for us, and we’ll even scrap uninsured vehicles. Simply provide us with your number plate and postcode and we’ll do the rest. We’ll find the best price available for your car, and we’ll even arrange to come and collect it from you, for free. Get started today and find out how much your broken car could be worth in just 30 seconds.

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