Government plans to make it an offence to keep an uninsured car
20 January 2009

The government has set plans in motion to crack down on uninsured drivers by making it an offence to keep an uninsured car rather than just driving one on the road.

Under the proposals, registered owners without insurance will be identified by comparing the DVLA’s database with the Association of British Insurer’s database. The owners will then be sent a letter advising them to insure the vehicle “within a set period” or face a fine.

Figures from the Department for Transport suggest that 6.5 per cent of UK motorists drive without proper insurance, although the real proportion of uninsured drivers is likely to be much higher.

The new offence will initially be punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £100 and a fine, followed by court action and the seizure of the vehicle. If your car is subject to Statutory Off Road Notification, you will not get a letter.

With the rising cost of insurance premiums, the financial penalties would have to be significantly higher than the cost of insuring a car in order to deter drivers from using their cars without insurance.

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The proposals are subject to a public consultation until 16 April.

Dan Stevens

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