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.