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Uninsured Drivers Motoring Along On British Roads


20-3-2012

One in six UK motorists admit to driving a car without insurance Nearly a fifth of uninsured drivers not aware they need cover Men twice as likely to drive uninsured than women Uninsured drivers add an average £30 to EVERY policy.

Uninsured drivers are rife on Britain's roads, according to research by MoneySupermarket.com.1

Britain's number one comparison site found one in six motorists (16 per cent) have broken the law and driven a car they weren't insured to drive. Eight per cent admitted breaking the law by getting behind the wheel of their own car with no cover, while an additional six percent admit to having driven someone else's car without insurance. A further two per cent admit to driving their own car uninsured in between renewing their insurance policy. Buying gap insurance would help too but people are forgetting to protect thier cars from depreciation.

Of those who admitted to driving without insurance, 18 per cent say it was because they didn't know they needed insurance when behind the wheel. Over a third of these people (38 per cent) blamed being in between insurance policies as the reason for driving uninsured, and five per cent simply couldn't be bothered to arrange insurance cover. Seven per cent said there is no point having insurance as they don't believe they will crash and six per cent simply can't afford the insurance cover. 

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: "Year-on-year we are still seeing a worrying number of drivers prepared to hit the road without insurance, despite the introduction of new Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) rules last year. It's illegal to get behind the wheel without adequate cover and should you be involved in a crash when not insured, you could face thousands of pounds in liability, a conviction, including six points on your license, as well as fines of up to £5,000. Uninsured drivers cost the insurance industry £500 million each year, which as a result adds an average of £30 to every motorist's premium.2 

"The rising cost of motoring makes shopping around for the best deal crucial to ensure you aren't paying over the odds for your car insurance. The average saving using MoneySupermarket is £375, so I urge everyone to do their research and not automatically accept their renewal without checking there isn't a better alternative." 

In a bid to protect motorists from uninsured drivers, the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)3 was introduced in 2011 which means anyone who is registered as an owner of a vehicle, which isn't registered as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), MUST have valid car insurance for it or face a penalty.

According to the research, younger motorists were found to be the biggest risk takers, with 29 per cent of 18-34 year olds admitting to driving a vehicle they weren't insured to, compared to just six per cent of over 55s. The research also revealed men were twice as likely to be tempted to take to the roads uninsured than women, with a fifth (22 per cent) having driven without any insurance compared to 10 per cent of female drivers. 

Peter Harrison continued: "The cost of insurance premiums for younger drivers has had no doubt influenced the decision from some young drivers to forgo car insurance altogether. However, the penalties for not having insurance are great, and could even result in your vehicle being confiscated. Although car insurance premiums for younger drivers are high, having insurance and proving you are a safe driver will bring premiums down. Not having insurance, and being caught without it, could result in you not being insurable in the future." 

MoneySupermarket.com's top tips for getting a cheaper car insurance quote:

Fit an alarm: Fit an approved alarm and immobiliser, such as a Thatcham 1 or Thatcham 2. All improvements to security should help to lower your car insurance costs. Some insurers could even insist on sophisticated tracking devices before they will insure expensive cars. Use a 'black box' - many insurers now offer 'black box' technology which monitors your driving habits and rewards good drivers through lower premiums. Change your excess: Changing the excess you are prepared to pay on any claim may reduce the premium. With voluntary excess the more you are willing to cover yourself in the event of an accident the lower your premium. However, this can be a false economy as the cost of making a claim, may be far greater than the difference in premiums. Check your mileage: Check your mileage to make sure you are not paying extra for miles you are not covering in your car. If, for example, you change jobs and have a shorter commute to work you could be saving money. Try and work out how many miles you will genuinely cover - but don't get it wrong as inaccuracy could jeopardise your claim. Top of Form Bottom of Form Minimise your optional extras: Only select to have a courtesy car or legal expenses if you really need them, as they may increase your premium. The less your motor insurance company has to provide in the event of an accident, the lower your costs. Be careful where you park: Keep your car parked in a locked garage overnight if you can - this can help reduce the premium. More than 50% of vehicle thefts occur during the night so if your car is safely locked away it makes sense that your insurance costs will be reduced as a consequence. If you don't have access to a garage, then parking on a driveway is generally considered a lower risk than parking on the road. It's less likely that vandalism, theft or accidental damage will occur when you're off the highway. Pass Plus: If you're a new driver looking to get your first car and car insurance we'd highly recommend that you take your Pass Plus in order to reduce your premiums. The Pass Plus certificate can only be obtained within the first year of passing your practical driving test. Add a partner or parent to your policy:Adding a partner or a parent to your policy details may reduce the cost of your premiums, a particular benefit to younger drivers. However, don't add a parent as the main driver if you are the main driver of the car as this will invalidate your insurance. 

Opt for smaller engine sized car: Insurers calculate premiums based on a number of factors, but the type of car you drive, and the engine size of the car will impact premium prices. Opting for a smaller car with a small engine will give cheaper premiums.

1 Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2019 British adults, of which 1,483 drive, from 11 - 15 February 2011.

Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. www.opiniumresearch.com. 

2 http://www.mib.org.uk/Media+Centre/en/Key+Facts/Default.htm 

3 http://www.direct.gov.uk http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/Motorinsurance/DG_186696?pro=stayinsured

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/49/section/22