Insurance check plan labelled 'absurd'
The Government proposal says that the removal of the insurance check could not only cut the number of uninsured drivers, but also generate an average saving of around £1.1 million per year in public leisure time savings and £0.5 million to businesses.
It claims savings would be generated by reducing the amount of failed online transactions – because many insurance policies expire on the same day as the car owner's tax disc – forcing up to 600,000 motorists to travel to a Post Office to complete the transaction.
The Government also believes that the current system merely offers a one-off snapshot of insurance cover, and that the recently introduced Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation is a more efficient way to tackle uninsured drivers.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: 'There is absolutely no benefit in making motorists prove they have insurance when they buy a tax disc now that we regularly check existing databases for insurance under CIE rules.'
Ashton West of the Motor Insurance Database, added: 'The introduction of CIE last year was always designed to provide a more robust and technology-driven solution to ensuring that vehicles have insurance in place'.
However, the proposals have been slammed by the AA, which says the move could encourage motorists to drive while uninsured.
Simon Douglas, director of broker AA Insurance, said: 'To knock out a simple and almost fool-proof check that insurance is in place, once every year or six months, is madness. It’s telling the public that it’s okay to delay or even avoid taking out cover.'
'It’s simply not good enough to rely on CIE legislation, which was introduced last year, and the police using automatic numberplate recognition technology to identify uninsured vehicles after the event. Surely it is better to ensure that vehicles are insured from the outset.'
The consultation period closes on November 26.
By Pete Barden