Drivers warned of insurance crackdown

* New insurance laws from next month * An offence to leave a car uninsured * Advertising campaign kicks off today...

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What Car? Staff
23 May 2011

Drivers warned of insurance crackdown

From next month, it will be illegal to keep an uninsured vehicle even if it's not driven or kept on the road.

The Government is warning drivers that they face a fine, court action or having their vehicle seized if they are not insured.

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: 'Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads, killing 160 and injuring a further 23,000 people each year, and they cost honest motorists 500 million in extra premiums. That is why we are introducing this tough new law, which will leave uninsured drivers with nowhere to hide.'

An advertising campaign is being launched today by the Motor Insurers' Bureau, and its chief executive Ashton Weston said: 'The change in law is a stepping up of enforcement activity, so that not only those vehicles driven without insurance will be caught.

'Now the registered keeper must make sure that their vehicle is insured all the time.'

Under the new system:

• The DVLA will work in partnership with the Motor Insurers' Bureau to identify uninsured vehicles.

• Motorists will receive a letter informing them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning them that they will be fined unless they take action.

• If the keeper fails to insure the vehicle they will be given a 100 fine.

• If the vehicle remains uninsured regardless of whether the fine is paid further action will be taken. If the vehicle is on public land it could then be clamped, seized and destroyed. Alternatively, court action could be taken, with the offender facing a fine of up to 1000.

• Seized vehicles would be released only when the keeper provided evidence that the registered keeper is no longer committing an offence of having no insurance and the person proposing to drive the vehicle away is insured to do so.

Vehicles registered with a valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) will not be required to be insured.