Do you have a classic car, or maybe a car you’re repairing, tucked away in a garage?
You may think that because it’s not on the road, you don’t need to insure it.
But, from today, you’d be wrong, as a new law called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) takes effect – although it won’t be fully enforced until June 20 to allow time for an advertising campaign to raise public awareness.
The practical effect of the new law is that police will no longer have to wait to catch someone driving without cover – just owning a taxed vehicle without insurance cover in place is now an offence that could lead to a fine, court action or having your car seized and destroyed.
Clearly, the aim is to cut the number of uninsured drivers on the roads, and here’s why:
- Uninsured drivers kill 160 and injure a further 23,000 people each year
- They cost honest motorists £500 million in extra premiums
- About four per cent of vehicles (roughly 1.4 million) have no motor insurance at any given time
- Responsible motorists pays an average £30 each per year in premiums to cover crashes involving uninsured and untraced drivers.
So, unless you have declared your vehicle as being off the road (SORN), you will be sent a warning letter followed by a fixed penalty notice with a fine of £100 if no action is taken.
In extreme cases, the fine could jump to £1000 or your vehicle could be towed away and crushed.
Gerry Bucke, general manager of Adrian Flux Insurance Services, welcomed the new laws.
“In principle it should help cut down on the number of uninsured drivers on the roads, which can only be a good thing,” he added.
“But there is a danger that some honest motorists could be caught out, like owners of classic vehicles who only insure their cars for the summer or are carrying out restoration work while the vehicle is still taxed.”
Uninsured vehicles will be identified by checking the Motor Insurance Database (MID), a record of every vehicle insured, against the records of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Any registered vehicle which shows up on the DVLA’s records but not the MID, about 1.4million of the UK’s 35 million registered vehicles, will be investigated.
So if your vehicle is off the road, make sure you either declare it as such, or make sure it has insurance cover.
All your CIE questions answered.