Around 1.4 million vehicles are being driven uninsured in the UK. New government legislation means that drivers must insure their vehicles or have a SORN to avoid financial penalties.
What Are the Figures for Uninsured Vehicles in the UK?
According to the Department of Transport there are around 34 million vehicles registered in the UK but only 32 million insurance records. It is estimated that the 1.4 million Uninsured Vehicles costs Britain around £500 million per year. Uninsured vehicles also bump up insurance policy prices for other UK drivers; as much as £30 per policy. Uninsured drivers are also more likely to be involved in traffic accidents causing financial hardship for other drivers. The UK police presently seize around 500 uninsured vehicles per day.
What Does the New Legislation on Vehicle Insurance Consist Of?
The Department of Transport is introducing new vehicle insurance regulations in April 2011. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement Scheme (CIE) will provide new rules for vehicles driven on the road and also for cars kept off-road. The CIE legislation means that uninsured vehicles that are not driven on the road must carry a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Cars that are not driven on public roads or are kept off-road are not required to be insured but must have a SORN.
How Does the CIE Apply to All Vehicles?
There are now only two choices open to drivers in the UK; vehicles must either be insured or carry a SORN. Registered on the road drivers must have at least third party insurance. Drivers without insurance or a SORN can face a series of fines and penalties.
The Motor Insurance Database records will be compared with DVLA’s Registered Vehicle Database. This will allow the authorities to compare and identify drivers who do not have motor insurance or a SORN. If the driver does not have either insurance or a SORN they will be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter. This is a reminder letter that will provide details of what must be done to comply with the CIE regulations. Drivers who do ignore the Insurance Advisory Letter can receive an initial Financial Penalty.
What are the Penalties for Non Insured Drivers?
Drivers who ignore the initial Insurance Advisory Letter can be issued with a fine of £100. But this is the minimum fine that can be applied. Other penalties can include the seizing and destroying of the driver’s vehicle. The vehicle can also be clamped by the authorities. Prosecution in the courts is another option, and this can mean financial penalties of up to £1000.
What is the Expected Outcome of the New Legislation?
Once the Continuous Insurance Enforcement Scheme is in place there is expected to be a huge number of Insurance Advisory Letters sent out to drivers. The British Insurance Broker’s Association estimates that hundreds of thousands of advisory letters will be issued across the UK. Comparing the Motor Insurance Database and the DVLA database will make it much simpler to identify uninsured vehicles or vehicles without a SORN.
Can Errors Occur with the New Insurance Legislation?
It may be the case that some insured driver’s records will not appear on the Motor Insurance Database. Drivers can check the database to ensure their records are included; this is a free to use service. If the insured driver’s records do not appear on the database they should contact their insurers to update the database. By doing so the driver can ensure they are not sent an advisory letter or stopped by the police when driving on the road.
Are There Any Exemptions from the New Insurance Enforcement Rules?
Drivers who have taxed their vehicles before 31 January 1998 and who have not driven their vehicles on the road since are exempt. This means that they will not be required to hold a SORN or insurance as they will be automatically excluded from the DVLA database. Drivers who keep their vehicles off-road and have taxed their vehicles after 31 January 1998 will be required to submit their tax discs to receive a SORN. Tax discs must be submitted to the DVLA using the V14 form. This includes vehicles with nil value tax discs.
Its very easy for vehicles to be driven uninsured and very easy for them to pass the ANPR checks as well!Take the forty ton juggernaut that clipped my car.I never got to the bottom of it but according to my insurers the lorry was being driven uninsured and any chance of compensation would be exceedingly small (my insurance was Comprehensive Plus yet I never got a penny)I can only assume that the driver of the lorry was a casual driver who was not on the policy.Knowing that insurance companies seldom pay I repaired the car myself with parts purchased on-line.All the damaged parts were bolt-on and buying a wing and chin of the same colour meant that there was no welding or spraying needed.Parts cost less than £250 and my excess was £250 so I never got a penny. I did have legal cover that covered me from £0 to £250 but the hauliers stonewalled and failed to reply to my insurance companies letters.Eventually my insurer told me to drop the case as going to court for less than £250 wasn't economic.Whilst insurance is compulsory it isn't compulsory for the insurers to pay. Great system isn't it?
Davey - 4-Apr-12 @ 1:29 AM
Baffles me as to how this can occur. The DVLA Swansea database holds records for every vehicle registered on the system. They know which are taxed, which are insured and which are MOTd.
So why don't they, once a month, run off a list of all the vehicles that are not taxed, Insured or MOTd or on SORN.? Contact the owners with a first warning and subsequent threats and if ignored go and tow the car away.
They have the information but they don't use it to advantage.