No insurance? Kiss your car goodbye

* Owning an uninsured vehicle to be an offence * 100 fine for owners; vehicles could be destroyed * Powers to come into force after April...

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What Car? Staff
17 Sep 2009 12:20 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Owning an uninsured vehicle, rather than just driving it uninsured, will become an offence under new plans announced by the government.

Road safety minister Paul Clark said: 'Each year uninsured and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000, and uninsured driving costs law-abiding motorists more than 400m in extra premiums.'

Police already have powers to seize and destroy vehicles that are driven uninsured, using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment and data from the Motor Insurance Database. In 2008, around 185,000 vehicles were seized.

How the system will work
The DVLA and insurance industry will work together to identify uninsured vehicles, then owners will be sent a letter warning them of a fine if they don't arrange insurance.

Failure to do so will lead to a 100 fine; if this isn't paid, the DVLA can take the car's registered keeper to court, where they may be liable for a fine of 1000. If the vehicle remains uninsured, it could then be seized and destroyed.

Only vehicles with a valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) will be allowed to remain uninsured.

Why is this change needed?
Around 30 of every insurance premium goes towards covering uninsured drivers.

The new scheme will allow the DVLA to identify cars that are simply being kept uninsured, rather than waiting for police to spot the cars on the road.

First conviction under tighter driving laws
New legislation introduced last year made it an offence to cause death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.

A woman was jailed yesterday under this legislation after killing a motorbike rider in Glasgow and seriously injuring his young son. Lillian Martha Kenny, 43, admitted responsibility for the crash. She was driving without a licence or insurance.