Under the new law, motorists now need to have their car declared as being officially off the road, or risk being penalised for not purchasing cover from one of a multitude of car insurance companies in the UK. Previous to the new regulations, those driving without insurance needed to be caught in the act in order to face prosecution.
Uninsured registered drivers will now receive a warning letter in the post. Continued infractions will lead to a penalty of £100, and then possible clamping, seizure, or even destruction of the vehicle – and the car’s owner can be subject to as much as £1,000in fines at court.
Expected to begin enforcement action from the middle of next week, it is hoped that the new initiative will help to reduce the approximately 1.4 million cars in the UK that are uninsured. In comparison, 34 million motor vehicles owned by Brits are currently insured.
According to the Department for Transport, there are 160 fatalities and 23,000 injuries annually stemming from road traffic accidents in which uninsured drivers are involved. Association of British Insurers spokesperson, Malcolm Tarling, remarked that uninsured driving is a quite serious problem in the UK, as approximately 4 per cent of motorists do not have any cover.
Mr Tarling continued, stating that not only are uninsured drivers more likely to be the cause of a traffic collision, they also drive car insurance rates up for honest motorists.