Police across the country are this week cracking down on uninsured motorists as it is revealed that it costs law-abiding citizens up to £100 million a year in premiums. From Monday 12th November, police across the country will be using ANPR cameras and the Motor Insurance Database to try and catch those who do not drive with insurance.
This isn’t the first year that ‘Operation Drive Insured’ has run, with tremendous success last autumn, leading to rollouts with Police Scotland further and now repeated annually.
Last month the Motor Insurance Board (MIB) confirmed that it had written to its five millionth uninsured car owner since 2011, an impressive number in eight years, around 625,000 a year or 1712 a day. They also revealed that at certain points in the year, they could write letters to as many as three thousand people a day, thanks to an automated system that is run with help from the DVLA, and set up seven years ago.
The introduction of the Continuous Enforcement Legislation has meant that both the DVLA and MIB can identify and prosecute the cars (and their owners) that appear to be off the road or driven without insurance but not declared with a Statutory Off the Road Notice (SORN.)
In 2017, the MIB received 11,000 complaints from people who had been involved in a road traffic collision with an uninsured party, costing those that do drive with insurance over £100 million a year from their insurance premiums. This is due to the MIB being a last resort for failed claims, meaning that the premiums of law-abiding citizens are used to make up for those who choose not to insure their cars.
Plans for this week
This week, officers from 35 forces across the UK will use ANPR cameras placed in strategic locations to identify cars without insurance.
They’ll then have a direct line to the Motor Insurance Database, provided by MIB, and will be able to quickly liaise the insurers to determine if there is valid insurance on the car. If there is none, they will be able to seize the car, and the driver could get up to six points on their licence and face court prosecution. At the same time that the vehicle is seized, police will be carrying out a series of additional checks for other road traffic offences.
Other offences being checked include ones for drink or drug driving, as statistics show that those who are uninsured are more likely to be committing another road traffic offence at the same time. Technological developments mean that these roadside tests can be conducted easily and quickly before more in-depth tests are conducted back at the police station.
Simon Hills, the inspector for roads policing operations at Thames Valley Police, said: “In my experience, drivers who willingly use vehicles without insurance are often committing secondary offences.
These range in seriousness from minor road traffic offences, to driving whilst disqualified and other crimes such as drug dealing and burglary.
The effective enforcement of uninsured vehicles allows us to deny criminals the use of the road and prevent further offending. Operation Drive Insured is a perfect opportunity for us to target our resources.”
Hotspots for uninsured drivers
Data from MIB, published back in 2015, shows that the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands all have the highest number of uninsured drivers, with the number one top spot in the postal area of B9, under West Midlands police. An estimated 117,000 vehicles in the West Midlands area were uninsured in 2015, a shockingly large figure.
West Yorkshire Police released a statement backing the national push, as they are in the top 20 hotspots in the UK for uninsured drivers. MIB figures estimated that 55,000 cars in West Yorkshire were uninsured.
Superintendent Mark Jessop of West Yorkshire Police’s Road Policing Unit said:
“Driving on West Yorkshire’s roads uninsured is not safe and will not be tolerated. We have dedicated officers across the force dealing with incidents on the roads on a daily basis.
On average we seize around 25 cars a day across the county for having no insurance.
It is often the case that a driver who does not insure their vehicle may not take other responsible steps in ensuring it is roadworthy, making it a potentially dangerous vehicle on our roads.
We would encourage all drivers to stay insured and to drive safely. If your vehicle is seized for having no insurance, you will have to pay to release that vehicle whilst also providing proof it is now insured within a fixed time. Ultimately, the vehicle could be crushed. In addition to the seizure costs, you face a fixed penalty of a £300 fine and six penalty points.”
Do you think it is fair that law-abiding citizens have to pay out £100 million a year for those who break the law? Should more be done for those who don’t pay for insurance? Let us know in the comments below
The answer to the main question is yes. However, when the police start checking cars driving into cities to see if they have cover for communiting to work then we have issues. Insurers should insure and not look at ways to produce ‘cut down policies’. Police should not be used to increase revenue for private companies.
Should persons who have insurance be penalised for those who don’t MrEgg?
I think this is an excellent way of getting unsafe drivers off the road – insurance is a necessity for driving, as is having a licence so is it not right to remove the persons who flaunt the law?
Surely in the long term, less uninsured drivers on the road should reduce average insurance premiums? As for the police; they’d be making their own revenue, not more for the insurers.
( Surely in the long term, less uninsured drivers on the road should reduce average insurance premiums? )
Do you really think that your premium’s would go down, don’t think so they go up every year without fail. the insurance company’s should take some of the blame as well, ave been driving over 30 years and my premiums have gone up every year, I drive a 1.4 Punto never made a claim never had an accident but yet my premium this year was over £1000
If that figure is what you are paying after your no claim discount, you need to shop around for insurance next time. I drive a 2 litre 7 seat people carrier and for fully comp with windscreen and legal cover I pay a little under £300.
You really should shop around Mark. What extras have you to raise it that high.
No extra’s fully comp over 25 year’s no claims most insurance will only accept 10 years, and i do shop around for the cheapest quotes confused.com and compare the market and so on, the reason my insurance is so high is i think the area that i live in, high level of car crime, according to the insurance company’s BB10 area’s are really bad to get cheap car or house insurance .
Try this website https://www.police.uk/lancashire/F5/crime/
you must be one of those that just re-news with the same insurance company every year… or your in a very, very high risk area…. if your insurance is that high you need to change company…
If a law is not enforced there is no point having it on the books, plenty of EU ones are just ignored! I personally don’t want to subsidise those who don’t want to pay and own a car responsibly, possibly injure someone where we then all pay more into the central fund but I agree cut down insurance is horrible, the worst I know is Admiral Multicar where the administrator could lose their home as if ANY driver invalidates the policy for ANY reason they can claim back ANY money they have paid out from the administrator, often Dad who owns the family home? Very easy to invalidate for example, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, how many drivers are non drinkers and never go to the chemist? Under the “influence” …………… tell that to an Olympian!
Well the MID is nothing more than a token gesture as it only says if the car is insured and there is no check on if the actual driver is insured! Very easy to fool the system with non disclosure of material facts. Also tell the Police a car is uninsured when trespassing in my car park and they do NOTHING as they have to catch it on the road!!! Hard when you are behind the desk assuming it has been lifted in by helicopter and not on the road. That said, appreciated they are doing something.
Interesting fact which I learned a few years back: In order to drive a car with owners permission and be insured, the car itself must also be insured. I had a right go at Direct Line about this. My docs say that I can drive a card with owners permission, and I’ll be covered 3rd party. It says nowhere in there that the car must have its own insurance policy too. When I confronted them about this, the admitted the small print didn’t say that but that “everyone knows it’s got to be insured”. I don’t believe they ever clarified the documentation.
This means that even if the driver is insured to drive other cars, if the car itself has no policy, then the driver isn’t insured either.
Not true of all companies, tends to be the direct writers only who again look to introduce wriggle clauses, ALWAYS check the actual policywording each year. Good insurance does not do this. Also drive under this 3rd party clause (always very unwise anyway except an absolute emergency, if you park and lock the car and its stolen its not covered by any ones insurance!!! As the last person in charge was not an insured person. I can drive ANY car FULLY COMP cover as I have the best insurance in the UK from Chubb Insurance.
You still can’t drive a uninsured car unless you have trade insurance
Not true it wholly depends on the policy wording of your specific insurance, you can’t generalise like this and be accurate, as stated I can drive fully comp ANY car. Insurance Broker with over 40 years experience.
Always been the way
People are insured. A driver has to be insured – think about it. Cars cant get their own insurance.
That is true in the UK, not the USA for example where the car is insured and it then covers anyone behind the wheel (I think, not guaranteed!)
You can drive only other cars if not insurance by trade insurance only like a mecanic has trade insurance.
NOT TRUE. Chubb private car insurance covers the policyholder in any motor car fully comp, its wrong to generalise like this
Our company (autofindreplace) provides a service to people who have had their vehicles written off after an accident (Total Loss). Many drivers do not realise that, if they have been hit by an un-insured driver, they have to pay for their own repair costs even if the accident was not their fault.
I have reported a car being used on the roads of Essex 7 days a week(1st reported June 2018) that has no tax no insurance and no m.o.t I have reported to dvla essex police crimestoppers and yet nothing done the car even has a big dent in rear where they have probably reversed into something and run.
Maybe when they kill someone something will be done. Even given address of where the drivers live.
I had the same problem, so a formal complaint to the Chief Inspector by old fashioned proper hand delivered letter making then deal with and trace the owner as it was not even registered at the DVLA so they could never be caught!!! They decided to deal with it properly eventually. PRINCIPAL!
Typical of the police pick and chose policy. If they do not feel like doing something, they just don’t do it. It is law abiding lottery.
what police ,thanks to cut backs we don’t have any
There’s always plenty to work overtime for some poxy remoaners rally !
Done exactly the same myself reporting several pickups collecting (stealing) scrap metal. Obviously the traveler law applies also here.
A lot of these have gone round here in Lancashire, because police are taking their vehicle for not having a waste permit.
They don’t give a f**k, time to take justice into our own hands
I do not think it is fair or right that drivers are uninsured. It should be an automatic system of prosecution.
As a result of this crackdown I’m expecting my insurance to reduce.
Join the wait! It’ll be years yet!
The dropping of the requirement to show a tax disk means that it is possible for drivers to forget to re-tax their vehicle, but also removes the ability of the public to report untaxed vehicles.
In many countries you also have to display an insurance certificate. If we had police on the beat and vehicles were untaxed and or uninsured they could be reported and removed. At present, police chase these vehicles often resulting in dangerous driving, other cars and property being hit whilst everyone else has to pay for the damage. It strikes me that if police held road blocks, they could stop and remove these cars relatively safely.
It is an indictment of our current system that so many motorists can flout the rules and drive untaxed and uninsured.
The police tell me they cannot remove or do anything about uninsured vehivles unless seen being driven. I thought they can sieze uninsured cars in any instance.
not if the Vehicle is on private land. they can if it is parked on a public area.
If it’s taxed it’s got to be insured. However probably also not taxed so can be ciesed in either case if on a highway. It does not have to be driven
That’s not true anymore. All you need is MOT.
Should not be allowed to get an MOT unless registered and taxed, or the garage should have to verify identity and get evidence and report back on the MOT system at the same time!!
You must have insurance to drive your vehicle to a testing centre, but unfortunately, you can’t tax a vehicle over three years old unless it has a valid MOT, so if your tax had expired, and you needed the vehicle to be taxed to get an MOT, you would never be allowed to take it for an MOT.
No you don’t have to have insurance on the car for an MOT, the driver needs to be insured and as stated elsewhere on good insurance the car does not need to be insured for the driving other cars clause to be active, it could of course also be driven on a motor traders policy or even put on a trailer. There are alternatives, accepting if its a failure you could find no insurance technically works if its deemed not to be in a roadworthy state, so often you cant legally drive home after a failure. Note its also tax from when you buy the car not when made as tax is no longer transferable.
I would suggest that you look up Continuous Insurance Enforcement, which has been in place since June 2011. Unless a vehicle has a valid SORN registered with the DVLA it must be insured.
You are allowed to drive a vehicle without an MOT to a test station, provided you have the test booked.
You can tax a vehicle without mot. You would tax it, then book mot to cover your journey to mot centre.
How to tax it without an Mot?
No you can’t !
Most have no Tax or insurance so they don’t bother with an mot
Simon R . You need an mot test in order to tax your vehicle ! ….
It also is easier to use clone number plates.
The criminals should be made to pay for any damage they cause
I was a country bobby retiring in 1990, l cannot understand the DVLA doing away with the tax disc, they knew it would lose revenue and its millions more than they expected! I would stand at the local T junction, spotting disc free motors, if the did not have a disc, they had NO insurance many NO licence. And many disqualified, There has been a massive increase in Hit And Run accidents, sadly including fatal accidents, DVLA needs to wake up.
“Police crackdown on uninsured motorists to save law-abiding citizens millions”, a somewhat misleading headline, I dont query the Police reference but I do query the rest. How are law abiding motorist being saved millions, despite shopping around over the years my insurance premium still keeps increasing, despite the fact that I have been driving since 1958, both cars and PCV vehicles, never had an accident in all those years and have “Safe Driving” awards. Insurance companies are generally at liberty to do as they please and just like MP’s they should never be trusted.
Yes Pete and once you turn seventy years of age you are classed as just as much an insurance liability as the average 25 year old, just another excuse to put premiums up.
Most of them are better drivers than the average 25 year old!
Blatantly ignoring the law requires a heavier penalty than at present. I would suggest at least 9 points and a heavy financial penalty comensurate with proven income.
I imagine people do have Insurance for several reasons. 1. They think its too expensive. 2. The vehicle is stolen. 3. they have not passed their Driving Test. 4. The car is to dangerous to have an MOT.
The list is long but in all the cases it should be a prosecution. Fines for people with no money are pointless and putting them behind bars serves only to get the a criminal record and make getting a job harder.
I am no Liberal but this issue is not a simple one. Motor insurance is a joke! It is there to serve insurance companies not he public. I recently had a car written off by a driver who ignored traffic law. The Police did not prosecute and made it clear to me that there was no case as neither of us was injured. My car was 14 years old with only 80,000 miles driven. It always passed an MOT and was regularly serviced. Because of its age It was written off as too expensive to repair. The car was in near perfect condition, but it was written off. I got under £2000 from the insurance company which was enough to buy another old car in worse condition than mine was. Very unfair as I now had a choice of a tatty old car that I had no idea of its safety or to go down the new car and personal lease route. very expensive. I can see why driving uninsured is attractive. Insurance if you have been involved in an incident, even if not your fault goes up each year and can easily be more than the very small £300 fine
9 points no good as they either don’t have a licence or will still drive anyway. Heavy financial penalty no good as they don’t have a job. Stick em in jail to stop them driving!
Right, it’s the only effective deterrent. And especially appropriate when caught offending a second time. Some of the police interceptors programmes mention offenders having been caught many times driving without licence or insurance. Clearly whatever punishment they have been getting is ineffective and you also have to wonder just how they are caught so often. I suspect their standard of driving is so poor that the police notice them and pull them.
What about drug dealers, burglars, thiefs etc they don’t work but have money, not proven income !
The deterrent is way too lenient. The car SHOULD be crushed, preferably in front of the offender, (supposing they are the owner) and the fine should be at least the amount it would have cost to insure the vehicle, if not double! If it is worth the risk of not getting caught then it isn’t going to stop it. It should be an instant ban not just giving out of penalty points. Not sure that prison would work in this instance, perhaps shock therapy by taking them in to hospitals to see the result of car accidents, injured and paralysed patients who have had life changing injuries due to the inconsiderate owners who drive dangerous vehicles. NAME and SHAME although some do-gooder would shout it’s against their human rights. If you do the crime you deserve to be punished.
I agree, crush it there and then!
I’d agree with crushing, but a better idea, which would probably mean a change in the law, would be confiscate and sell it. Money could go into an uninsured drivers fund.
I don’t think that any form if shock therapy would work on these callous individuals, unless the shock was financial, and greatly affected their life.
The fines should start at £1000, the car should be crushed and the offenders licence taken away with a retest to get it returned, draconian? yes!! but p***y footing with the offenders is none productive.
Would it be a good idea to stop drivers at the thames crossing who are uninsured. It would be simple to have a place to route cars off the road and stop them.
Oh no that’s too nice, exit to the nearest cliff edge, bit like lemmings!
Does it really need a special imitative to catch those with no insurance? If 1 in 100 cars is uninsured and I can see 100 cars at any one time on my journey then at least 1 is uninsured so any police car with ANPR should only need to wait 5 minutes for another customer?
Is it the Police’s intention to only investigate other crimes for one week a year too; if so, it may be a good idea not to let the criminals know which week that is?
This policy re insurance should be enforced at all times to really clamp down.
That’s it from me as I’m about to book a week’s holiday…any suggestions Officer?
Costa De Sol is nice
While this is a good idea unless the courts apply the maximum fines it won’t deter the habitual non insured drivers as the fine handed out are usually between 10 and 20% of what it would cost to insure the cars.
Yes, this is the trouble with the courts. It’s often cheaper just to try and get away with it and just pay the fine if u do get caught!
It make no difference on are motor insurance as if you have been doing it from 2011 why has the motor insurance gone up over the last 4 years for people who have never had a accident. It’s a joke
It make no difference on OUR motor insurance… 😉
When the Police catch people without insurance, the courts should fine them double what it would cost them to insure their vehicle. This money should then be used to pay for any damage caused by uninsured drivers. If they won’t pay the Bailiffs are sent in, if can’t pay, they pick litter and dog poo up for 8 hours everyday till they come up with the money. The money the council would have spent goes into the insurance fund instead.
automatic disqualification of driving licence
No Terry, that might create problems.
Punishment is not severe enough as most fines imposed are much less than the insurance premium, and I wonder just how many fines are actually paid. If a vehicle I uninsured crush It or sell it and put this money into a fund to pay for damages incurred to to insured by the uninsured.
I all for a crackdown on cars that are not insured, but i dont agree in crushing all cars they should be checked for road worthyness and if suitable they should be sold and the money used to reduce potholes on our roads
The points on a nonexistent licence, £50 fine, 30 hrs community service, and scrapping the cars don’t stop them, what will ? Ban them from driving for 2 years with 10 points on their new licence, £200 fine minimum, 100 hr community service over 3 weeks, and scrap the car who ever it belongs too.
There can’t be a single right minded car owner in this country who does not agree with this operation by the authorities.Its about time these selfish people were made to insure their vehicles David
Sounds great, but just watch the many police programs on TV and you’ll see it doesn’t work.
They repeatedly stop uninsured, untaxed vehicles, usually with licence less drivers, and what do the courts do, £50 ‘victim surcharge’, 30 hours community service, another 6 points on non-existent licence, what a deterrent.
Next week, same driver, different car, same conditions, similar penalty.
It’s just a joke and the offenders know it
It’s about time but I thought the ANPR camera’s where on all Motorways especially the M25 M6 ECT so it seems you’re shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. With today’s technology there should be better results.
There are several cars in my area driving around without front number plates. I have reported them to the police several times but it seems nothing has been done as they are still offending. How will these people get caught by ANPR cameras?
an automatic minimum 6-month driving ban should accompany any other punishment for driving without insurance
Could anyone tell me how you enforce a driving ban because if you went to court at 10am was banned
From driving at 10.15am fo 12 months when you leave court you can get in a car and drive off chances of getting caught only if car is not taxed or insured.
Driving bans don’t stop people driving these days. Better to combine it with an orange jump suit and a job working on the roads tidying up the rubbish for 8 hours a day for three months.
It is not fair that law abiding citizens have to fork out extra fir those who flout the law. When someone is caught and they have their car seized, it should be sold off if they can’t afford to insure it. The fines imposed by the court should also include a charge for court costs. The actual fine should then be split between the Motor Insurance Board and the Police Authority and not go to the Treasury. The MIB can then use that money to offset the costs of membership of all the Insurance companies, which in turn would enable them to reduce their premiums to all drivers.
Just a thought, the 20.000 police officers this Tory government has deemed not required, should all be reinstated on full time car crime, at all levels.
If one considers the money generated by traffic wardens, the extra officers would be self financing?
Police in my area are akin to the DODO? or near enough.
Extra police time would be better spent on real crime …. theft and burglaries and assault !
Very funny, can imagine dodos with police helmets on lol that big beak would do away with the police truncheon!
ANPR apparently can’t check Foreign Registered cars against databases. So how many euro cars on UK roads have no insurance. I spoke to an Traffic officer in Birmingham and he said 2 in 3 Euro Registered cars stopped have issues. No insurance/ driver not licensed and defects on the vehicle. They have to do manual checks by phone to see if documents are correct.
I think the police should do a lot more to catch uninsured drivers. I myself have reported a person who drives around in a uninsured car. This car was seized and so now he has bought another and drivi g that uninsured.
About time there was a major crackdown! Way overdue! Put more fixed anpr cameras on roads, then go and visit owners of flagged cars, if they can’t produce insurance there and then, crush the car!
Of course its not fair, I am wondering how those avoiding paying insurance, will be caught if they simply change the car number plate to that of an insured one!
Now if you are in an accident with a uninsured driver insurance company want the name and address of other driver, as if they are going to give this information. The police will not intervene unless some one is injured and then take up to six month to investigate rendering your claim invalid, having you to claim off your insurance. Been there, done that, family bought tee-shirt with mug logo on it.
About Time……..If it works. Too often ideas like this are only tigers with paper teeth.
WHY NOT ADD COMPULSORY THIRD PARTY INSURANCE TO THE COST OF FUEL AS THEY DO IN AUSTRALIA
THEN THERE ARE NO UNINSURED MOTORISTS. ALSO SCRAP RFL AND ADD THAT TO THE COST OF FUEL. IT WOULD BE FAIRER AS YOU PAY ACCORING TO YOUR USE OF THE ROADS
Bit late for that when by 2040 they will be plugged into the lampost
No, coin meters on the lamp posts, and traffic jams to use them lol.
Good idea but that’s too simple for our stupid government ministers! They’d rather just drag out Brexit debates all day long and throw rotten eggs at eveyone hehe.
I reported a vehicle via the 101 number and 3 months later guess what! same vehicle still no insurance. Vehicle now has insurance but its MOT expired 02 Nov 18, reported this and guess what yep still being driven around. Should he be invovled in a RTC I will have to be a witness for the prosecution and against the police authority for capability allowing driver to continue after being reported. Funny how the police need our help if witnessing an accident though.
I have been driving for the last 40 years and i see more and more people forgetting how to drive never mind no insurance, no tax and no MOT. Drivers are becoming less well mannered more aggressive and hostile. People need to remember driving is a privilege not a right. Also immigrants need to renew their licence to UK licence which also has a high number of failure to do this. If you pay for insurance on Direct Debit the extra you pay goes directly to the government who still think we are cash cows and out of order.
The police policy towards traveller owned vehicles will remain unchanged.
All vehicles belonging to travellers will be given a darn good coat of looking at.
On a good day!
stop as many as possible why should me and other people who pay there ins have to pay for un insurance drivers jail them for a month min 1000 pound fine also wipe lash claims why should my ins go up .
Would this include all the travelers and gypsies with their expensive caravans and large cars that plague our verges and parks, many of whom are not insured ?
What are they doing with ANPR Cameras the rest of the time. Some are in permanent locations so why are numbers of uninsured so high.
As for Humberside they only interested in speed cameras
I would crush any and all cars caught without insurance but a £1,000 fine would be a massive inconvenience for me but devastating for a single mum who could not afford the insurance in the first place. Fines must be linked to your ability to pay.
Are we trying to say that the police previously have not bothered with uninsured drivers? Maybe the problem here is the lack of police enforcing the rules…
We need dodos plenty of them!
You mean it was legal to drive without insurance because they can’t be bothered
Police should be doing these checks 365 days of the year. Soon get these cars off the road and safer and cheaper for the majority
POLICE should do the same against insuracne companies who commit fraud by increasing premiums for no-fault drivers even if claim is made by a named driver on their own car NOT the car for which they are named driver. moreover, named driver c…. should be abolished so we can share driving i.e. when going for a long business trip with other co-workers and data to be provided for policy should include only NCD, how long and what kind of license is held and car data. excluding job, mileage, points (these should be strictly matter between Police and individual concerned), marital status, etc.
I hate you for being right!
road tax on NG06 OZV is let off by someone high up in of Warwickshire police, please check and report it for having no road tax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! disgraceful Police corruption!
Just checked, you’re right. But at least it does have an MOT! What’s the police connection? Have you an axe to grind?
When has any inititative to save honest tax payers money actually given any thing back to honest tax payers, they apparently save milllions, billions. But tax payers never see a return. They f?’ck you in thr drive thru…