New Government figures have revealed that more than two million vehicles on British roads are uninsured which means almost one in 15 motorists are driving without any form of cover.
However, new measures are being introduced to curb repeat offenders that fail to insure their vehicles. From 1 January 2008 insurers must register customers’ insurance details on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) within seven days, rather than the current 14.
It is hoped that this means that customers who do not renew their cover before expiry of their existing policy, for whatever reason, could be stopped by transport police on suspicion of being uninsured.
John Close, Insurer Relations Director at AA Insurance explains: “Police use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology which instantly cross-checks registration numbers against the MID. If a checked vehicle is not on the database the equipment alerts police who can then stop it. If the driver can’t prove that he or she is covered, the car could be confiscated.
With one in every 20 drivers deliberately avoiding paying insurance, the collaboration between the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which runs the MID and the police will see a tough line being taken against an unrepentant criminal motoring underclass.
Drivers who allow their cover to expire before attempting to renew will find their insurer has no choice but to immediately update the expiry to the MID to ensure they comply with the new seven-day rule. “Customers can no longer delay renewing their insurance, even by a day,” Close adds. “If they do, they risk being stopped by police for driving without insurance.”
The Department for Transport figures showed a rise of 100,000 uninsured drivers in just one year – with the total figure amounting to 6.5 per cent of all vehicles in the UK. Previous research has shown that those drivers who neglect to pay their vehicle insurance are more likely to fail to stop after an accident and have also been found to be around ten times more likely to drink and drive.
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