New car insurance laws in force

* Uninsured cars have to be registered as off-road * An offence to leave a car uninsured * 1.4 million driving without insurance...

New car insurance laws in force

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

Drivers face being fined, taken to court or having their vehicle seized if it is 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. Now the registered keeper must make sure that their vehicle is insured all the time.'

The Motor Insurers' Bureau chief executive Ashton West said: 'We know who the registered keepers are with vehicles that have no insurance and letters will be dropping on to their doormats from this week. It's no longer a case of if you will get caught, but when you will get caught.

'An estimated 1.4 million drivers are flouting the law by driving without insurance. This adds around 30 per year to honest drivers' motor insurance policies.'

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 evidence is provided 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.

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