When is car insurance mandatory?

You are legally obliged to take out car insurance as soon as the licence plate is put in your name. From that moment on, your details as the owner are known to the RDW. A car that has already been transferred to your name, but is still with the seller, for example, must be insured in your name from the moment of transfer.

The owner of a car is obliged to insure the vehicle at least against third-party liability. But what about when you do not use the car on public roads? Is car insurance compulsory then? Or can you leave the car uninsured in that case? What are the consequences of leaving the car uninsured?

The check on whether a car is insured or not is simple. First, a licence plate is registered in your name when the car is transferred to your name. On the day of registration, there must also be a notification from a car insurance company. This registration by the insurer shows that the car is insured against third-party liability. Is this notification not received? Then it is easy to conclude that the car is not insured. By registering the car by name, it is immediately clear who is at fault, namely the person in whose name the car is registered.

Car temporarily not in use

For example, you buy a fixer-upper which you have to work on for a few months before the car can be put on the road. This means that the car will not be on the public roads. The car is registered in your name, so that the insurance obligation arises. You can avoid the insurance obligation by temporarily suspending the registration number. You are then temporarily exempted from the insurance obligation. But beware! The suspension is only valid for a maximum period of one year. After that, the obligation for third-party insurance arises again. You can apply for the suspension online on the RDW website. After one year, you can extend the suspension, but you must take action to do so again.

What if you forget to insure the car?

You buy another car, but you forget to insure it. That is a problem. You can be fined €609 for uninsured driving. The financial damage can be much higher. Do you cause an accident? Then you have to pay for the damages of the other party and yourself. Car insurance is compulsory, and not without reason.

Vehicle on public roads

If the vehicle is on the public highway but you are not going to drive it. Even then, you must take out valid third-party insurance for the vehicle. It does not matter whether you are going to drive the vehicle or not.

Registration number suspension

Only by taking the vehicle off the public roads and suspending the registration number will you have no insurance obligation.

Which motor vehicles are subject to compulsory insurance?

A motor vehicle is normally subject to an insurance obligation, but not in all cases. For example, a toy car with mechanical propulsion also falls under the definition of a motor vehicle. This is not subject to an insurance obligation. What about the electric bicycle? Are you also obliged to take out an insurance for this? Read here which motor vehicles are subject to an insurance obligation.

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Last updated: 05-08-2020

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