Posts tagged convicted drivers
If you listened to Radio 1 yesterday, you may have heard the newsbeat item about the change in the law regarding uninsured vehicles.
A lot of people seem to be confused about how the law will operate, given that it will now be an offence to own an uninsured vehicle, as opposed to driving it.
The law does not apply to cars notified as SORN, however, so classic car owners and people who are restoring, modifying or building a car off the road don’t have to worry about a visit from the old bill (unless they’ve forgotten to inform the DVLA that the car is off the road). Anyone insomniacs who want a hand sleeping can read the DfT’s paper on the subject of uninsured drivers (pdf).
The 1Xtra radio station also had a somewhat moreinteresting documentary on uninsured drivers, where they went to a part of Manchester notorious for the problem, with one in three drivers not having insurance cover, and talked to the offenders and those who have to live near them.
After the sweeping powers they got last year, the police are to get yet more powers to seize uninsured vehicles. Under the new system, they won’t even have to catch someone driving the uninsured car, and will be able to grab the car from a private driveway. What’s more, if you don’t either renew your insurance, or else complete a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) you’ll be liable for an automatic fine of £100.
If this seems like overkill, consider this.
Approximately 1 car in every 20 on the roads does not have valid insurance.
The drivers of these uninsured cars caused 36,000 crashes last year, resulting in 27,000 injuries and, sadly, 180 people lost their lives at the hands of an uninsured driver. In a third of these crashes, the uninsured driver fled the scene, knowing that it would be virtually impossible to be traced.
All of this costs money, £500 million last year, or £30 on everybody’s premium.
Uninsured drivers are ten times more likely than average to be drink drivers, six times more likely to be driving a mechanically unsafe car and three times more likely to have a Careless Driving rap.
Whilst we can’t do anything about cars which are unsound, drivers with a less than perfect history can get insurance for much less than they might think. We have special schemes available for drivers with a chequered history, and drink driving and careless or dangerous driving convictions need not mean extortionate premiums.
For everyone else, the new rules will mean that you will have to keep on top of your car’s insurance status, and make sure that you complete a SORN if you’re keeping the car off the road. You should also consider laid up cover to make sure your car is protected whilst you are working on it.
But the extra burden of red tape may well be worth it to rid the roads of the uninsured menace.
As we’ve noted before, it’s becoming easier and easier for motorists to be caught speeding, although some drivers are successfully overturning unfair convictions.
To illustrate this they published the table below, showing the rates that the AA’s panel quoted on an example.
It’s not very often that a rival insurance broker will publish a whole range of sample quotes like that, so I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to compare our rates with a major competitor. As you can see, their cheapest rate for a 44 year old man from Gloucestershire with a 2.0i Ford Mondeo Ghia, maximum no claims and 2 SP30 speeding convictions comes in at £404.
So I got quotes guru Dan Clark (who you can now find posting on a ever growing list of forums, btw), to run the same details through our underwriting criteria.
Our rate came in at £315.
That’s a whole £89 cheaper – 22% less – than the best quote the AA could offer. And cheaper than all but one of the quotes listed for the same chap with a clean license (and even that is only £19 difference).
And in case you think we cheated by raising the excess, we didn’t – the policy excess is just £100, low by any standards.
So the message for drivers who’ve experienced the dreaded double flash from a GATSO is clear, make sure you call us (08000 83 88 33) at renewal time, or you could find yourself paying well over the odds for convicted driver insurance.