Students who have moved into new student accommodation across the country risk invalidating their insurance and having to pay heavy fines.
Nearly 500,000 students in the UK could face fines of up to £1,000 if they fail to update their driving licence and vehicle documents with their new address details.
It is a legal requirement that any address change, even if it is temporary, is declared to the DVLA.
According to GoCompare, an estimated 426,730 UK students will be taking their car to university this term. Student drivers should register any address changes with the DVLA to ensure their driving licence, vehicle log book (V5C) and tax details are up-to-date.
As well as keeping their driving licence information up-to-date, motorists are also required to update their car insurance documents. Switching postcodes can have a significant impact on insurance premiums, so failing to notify the insurer could invalidate the policy and leave the driver unable to make a claim in the event of an incident.
A spokesperson from GoCompare said: “Being lumped with a £1,000 fine is something few students can afford, but the costs could stretch even higher when it comes to your car insurance.
“Failing to notify your insurer of changes to circumstances, including your address, could result in you being refused when claiming on your insurance.
“A change of postcode will see your premium fluctuate due to factors like crime rate, risk of accident and how built up the area is, so it’s essential you are keeping your insurer up to date, as they need to assess the risk of your vehicle and adjust your premium accordingly.
“If your car is registered at an address in a city, but you’re moving to an out-of-town campus, you could see your premium go down, whereas if you’re used to living more rurally, you could see your premium increase if you’re taking your car to a city.
“It’s not all bad news though, when looking at the premium for an 18-year-old driver living at home in Bristol, the best average was found to be £1,266 per year, compared to living at university halls in Bristol, where the best average premium was £1,330 – a difference of just £64 a year on average — a lot easier to stomach than being hit with a £1,000 fine or a rejected claim.”