New car insurance rules take force

If you own a vehicle and it is registered in your name then you must keep it insured at all time. From the 20th June 2011, the law on motor insurance is changing and all motorist caught without insurance could face penalties...

Clare Francis: Uninsured drivers are a major problem here in the UK and new rules aimed at tackling this growing issue have come into force and they’ll affect all drivers.

There are 1.4 million people on our roads driving without insurance and they are involved in accidents resulting in around 30,000 claims a year.

And these claims impact the rest of us who abide by the law and pay for car insurance.

Ashton Weston: Well, the total cost of uninsured motorists, which includes the hit and run claims and the claims that some insurance companies have to pick up themselves is an amazing half a billion pounds a year, which translates to you and I as adding about £30 of our premium going to fund this every single year.

CF: Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) aims to combat the problem of uninsured drivers and there will be stiffer penalties for all of those who don’t insure their vehicles.

What is CIE?

David Hancock: CIE – Continuous Insurance Enforcement – is an automated system that compares the records held by the Motors Insurers’ Bureau and DVLA to determine whether a vehicle has insurance.

This is from the record as apposed to on the road and therefore there is no place to hide.

What should I do?

AW: you need to check that your vehicle is on the motor insurance database and the place to do that is

DH: An important thing for customers to understand is that you do not always have to have your vehicle insure, it is possible to declare the vehicle off road.

So, if you are not using it you do have to insure it, but it is absolutely vital that the keeper of the vehicle makes what we call a SORN declaration – A Statutory Off Road Notification.


AW: So, as of late June this year everyone who appears to be uninsured will receive a letter advising them that they are listed as not having insurance. If that advice is ignored then the details will be passed to the DVLA for further enforcement.

DH: The penalties that apply in the CIE enforcement area are firstly there will be a fixed penalty notice – a fine – of £100. If the customer then fails to respond it is possible that DVLA will initiate court proceedings and a prosecution will take place – the penalty there could be a fine of up to £1000. And if it is still uninsured, DVLA will be using its wheel-clamping facilities in order to potentially clamp a vehicle or impound a vehicle or – in a worst case scenario from the customers point of view – crush the vehicle.

Chief Superintendent David Snelling: If we as the police catch you and you are driving uninsured, we will give you a fixed penalty notice which will cost you £200, we will seize your car – which will cost you £150 to get back plus a minimum of £20 a day storage –and you will get 6 points on your driver’s licence.

CF: Continues Insurance Enforcement is now law so make sure you don’t let your car insurance cover lapse. And remember, don’t stick with your existing insurer year after year. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the right level of cover at the best price. Drivers who use save an average of £291 on the cost of their annual policy.

Chief Superintendent David Snelling: Our advice to you is, if you cannot afford to drive: do not drive.

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