If you’re surrounded by boxes, about to move home, you’re not alone. According to Lloyds Bank, the number of UK home movers is at a 10-year high.
With so much to think about, it’s easy to forget or ignore the steps you need to take to make sure you stay legal on the roads.
However, if you fail to do the following things you could be faced with thousands of pounds worth of fines, a driving ban, or even the threat of jail time.
So, if you’re thinking about moving home or have the big day planned, Tom Preston, Managing Director of Hippo Leasing gives his top tips to keep on the right side of the law…
Your car or van insurance
When you know your move date, notify your insurance company straightaway. For some providers you’ll have to call them, while others accept address changes online.
That’s because your car insurance premium is partially calculated using your postcode, local crime figures and your property’s parking.
Failure to update your home address with insurers may leave you with a policy that’s invalid. The police could issue you 6 points and a fixed penalty of £300 on the spot, as well as seize or destroy your vehicle.
If you’re found liable for an accident and you’re uninsured you could face thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of pounds worth of costs.
Your driving licence
Whether you hold a full or provisional licence, you need to apply for an updated driving licence from the DVLA online or via post with your new address before or as soon as you move.
The great news is, it’s free. The bad news is, if you don’t do it you can be fined up to £1,000.
If you want to update your photograph at the same time, it’ll cost you £14 and you can pay via debit or credit card online.
Your vehicle log book
A V5C is the official name of the paper booklet which proves you’re the registered owner of your vehicle. Like your licence, this needs to be updated or you could risk a fine of £1000.
You need to fill in section 6 of your log book with the new address and post the whole log book to the DVLA along with any supporting documents. This is free to do and you’ll be issued a new certificate.
Your private number plate certificate
If you have a personalised registration plate, you’ll need to fill in the ‘change of address’ section on your V750 or V778 certificate online or by post.
Once again, if you’re caught with an out-of-date certificate you could be given a £1000 fine.
Your lease or finance contract
If you lease or have your vehicle on finance, you’re not the registered owner and must fill in a change of address application or call to tell your provider you’ve moved to avoid the risk of invalidating your contract.
Your vehicle tax direct debit
It’s easy to forget about your tax, especially now the system has gone electronic. In fact, the number of untaxed vehicles has tripled in the UK since tax discs were scrapped in 2014.
If you pay for your vehicle registration (tax) via Direct Debit to the DVLA you’ll also need to update your address to make sure payments are still made. If your Direct Debit is cancelled, you’ll be untaxed which could result in a £1000 fine.
Take me home sat nav
If you’re doubling up your mobile phone as a sat nav while you get to know your new neighbourhood, make sure you’re following the rules around safe use.
It’s illegal to hold a phone while your engine is on, so set everything up before you start your journey. You must also have hands free access via a Bluetooth headset, dashboard holder or windscreen mount and have a clear view of the road ahead.
If the police catch you using your phone while driving or think you’re distracted by it, you could receive 6 penalty points and be faced with a maximum fine of £1000.