What is the penalty for driving without car insurance?

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Driving without insurance is on the rise. Since 2005, police have had the power to seize and impound uninsured vehicles and this has led to a 50% drop in the number of uninsured drivers on the road.


But following a decade of decline, new figures from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) show an alarming increase in the number of drivers taking to the road without insurance – claims against uninsured drivers went up by 10% between July 2014 and July 2015. And if you’re under the age of 30, you’re statistically more likely to get behind the wheel without adequate car insurance.

Under 30 and uninsured

To help tackle the problem, the MIB has launched Gone in Seconds, a national awareness campaign aimed at young drivers to highlight the consequences of driving without cover.

Ashton West, Chief Executive at MIB says, “Our biggest concern is getting the message across to drivers under the age of 30. We know that for these drivers, their car is an important part of their social life and gives them credibility. The Gone in Seconds video tackles these issues and the role of the Police in seizing uninsured cars. “Worryingly, this year we have seen the number of claims to MIB rising week on week. Every year, thousands of people are injured and killed by uninsured drivers. They pose a real threat to other motorists and road users. To address this, we are working proactively with police forces across the UK.” So, aside from being on the receiving end of some stick from your mates, what are the consequences of being caught without cover?

The cost of being caught without car insurance

Since the law on continuous insurance enforcement (CIE) took effect in 2011, it’s been against the law to keep a vehicle without insurance unless it has been declared off road via a DVLA SORN – even if the car is kept in a locked garage and doesn’t touch a public highway, it must still be insured under CIE rules. And here’s what you can expect to be hit with if you’re caught without cover…

Driving without insurance – the consequences

  • A £300 fixed penalty and 6 points on your licence
  • A £20–per day storage charge and a £150 collection fee to recover your car
  • A crushed car if it’s not reclaimed within 14 days
  • Risk of losing your car if it’s seized by the police
  • PLUS: you’ll need valid insurance to get your car back

Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme – the consequences

  • Warning letter – more than 4,000 keepers are notified each day
  • A £100 fixed penalty
  • Having your car clamped, seized and crushed
  • Court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000

Failing to stop after an accident or report an accident within 24 hours

  • 6 months maximum in prison
  • £5,000 maximum fine
  • 5-10 penalty points
  • Disqualification – discretionary

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