Despite the efforts of cheap one day car insurance sites like carinsurancefor1day.co.uk Uninsured driving is a significant problem. The Motor Insurers' Bureau estimates that about 2 million motorists in the UK are uninsured, around 5% of the total. This costs every insured motorist an extra £40 per year in insurance premiums. While some uninsured motorists knowingly forego insurance, others simply aren't aware that they don't have proper cover. Regardless of the reason, the penalties for driving uninsured are steep.
The Association of British Insurers' research has shown that uninsured motorists are some of the most dangerous on the road. Some research has found that up to 15% of UK motorists have driven without insurance and 9% have driven others' vehicles without proper cover. Driving uninsured is especially common amongst young drivers due to the high costs of cover. It's estimated that motorists under age 25 pay nearly £1,500 per year for insurance and the cost is rising quickly. 2008 premiums for this age group rose by 11.5%. Given these costs, some believe it's cheaper to pay for the penalties than to purchase the insurance.
If caught driving uninsured, motorists face penalties of 6 to 8 points on their driving licences and a fine of up to £5000. Motorists may even have their licences revoked. Police can spot-check vehicles and issue a fixed penalty of £200 and 6 points on one's licence. If motorists get more than 6 points, their licence will be revoked. More than 300,000 of these fixed penalties are issued each year, but that might seem quite lenient given the other consequences.
"Operation Takeaway" began in 2005, a scheme wherein police scan cars to determine if they're insured. If not, they seize the vehicle. The owner may collect the car within seven working days so long as they produce their lawful licence or insurance documents. If they fail to do so, the vehicle is crushed and sent to China for recycling. Owners who claim their vehicles have to pay a £12 per day fee for garage storage as well as a fee for recovering the vehicle, usually around £105. That's paltry compared to the costs of replacing the car entirely, however.
Some motorists simply aren't aware that they don't have cover. Some misunderstood what type of cover they need and purchased the wrong kind. Some assume their annual cover includes third party cover on others' vehicles. Others think they have a 14-day grace period after their insurance ends. In the latter example, this may be true in some cases, though the level of cover is likely reduced. In every case, motorists should thoroughly investigate. The consequences of driving uninsured are dreadful enough to warrant the extra care. When driving others' vehicles, it's so simple to get a temporary policy online that risking these consequences is completely unnecessary.