Skip to content

Hotspots for uninsured driving revealed

Sarah Tooze
Written by  Sarah Tooze
Donna McConnell
Reviewed by  Donna McConnell
5 min read
Updated: 12 Mar 2024

Leeds city centre is the area in the UK most affected by uninsured driving, according to the latest data from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). But where are the other hotspots in the UK for uninsured driving and what happens when you’re involved in an incident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance?

Every year thousands of drivers either knowingly or accidentally drive without car insurance. Drivers may mistakenly drive without valid insurance because they assume their car policy has automatically renewed or they drive someone else’s car and they don’t have the appropriate cover but it’s often criminals or people who can’t afford to insure their car and decide to take the risk.   

MIB, which supports victims of uninsured and hit-and-run driving, expects the number of uninsured drivers to rise this year as cost-of-living pressures make it more likely that drivers will choose not to renew their policy or take out a new one, even though it’s illegal to drive on a public road without at least third party insurance.  

There are parts of the UK where uninsured driving is rife. For more than 10 years, Birmingham was the biggest hotspot but the latest data from MIB found Leeds to be the worst affected area. Even so, four Birmingham postcodes still feature in the top 15 hotspots for uninsured drivers.  

Top 15 hotspots for uninsured drivers*  

Rank 

Location 

Postal area 

Leeds 

LS1 

Bristol 

BS1 

Salford 

M3 

Manchester  

M8  

Birmingham  

B10  

Birmingham  

B18  

Birmingham 

B6  

Stoke-on-Trent 

ST1 

Manchester  

M12  

10 

Thurrock 

RM18 

11 

Sandwell 

B70 

12 

Southend-on-Sea 

SS1 

13 

Birmingham 

B11  

14 

Bradford 

BD4 

15 

Iver 

SL0 

*Hotspots analysis based on more than 18,000 MIB claims received nationally from victims of uninsured drivers between November 2021 to October 2023. Hotspots are based on an index, which compares volume of claims with local population. 

What happens if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? 

After any accident it’s important to gather as much information as you can, such as the date and time of the accident, and the make, model, colour and registration of the other vehicle.  If possible, try to find witnesses, and take photos or videos of the scene and vehicle damage as further evidence.  

Ideally the other driver should provide their name, address and phone number but if their vehicle is uninsured they may refuse or drive off.   

You can check if their vehicle is insured by paying £10 to search the Motor 

Insurance Database (MID), the central record of all insured vehicles in the UK, which is managed by the MIB and is used by the police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to enforce motor insurance laws. 

You should report the accident to the police and contact your insurance company. If you have fully comprehensive car insurance you should be able to claim through your provider. It’s also worth checking to see if your policy includes an uninsured driver promise, which means that your no-claims bonus is protected from uninsured motorists.  

If you have third-party, or third-party, fire and theft cover, you won’t be able to claim through your insurance provider but you can apply for compensation through the MIB.  

It says that every 20 minutes someone in the UK is hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver and tragically, each day at least one person suffers injuries so severe they need life-long care.   

It helped out around 30,000 people in 2023, paying out more than £375 million in compensation to victims.  

Ultimately, this is paid for by honest premium-paying motorists through their insurance policies. MIB says that an average of £53 is added to everyone’s annual car insurance premiums to help compensate victims.  

young driver

What are the penalties for driving uninsured? 

If the police catch you driving a vehicle without insurance you could receive a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on your driving licence.  

But if the case goes to court you may be given an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.  

The police also have the power to seize the vehicle and, in some cases, destroy it.   

In 2022 more than 76,500 drivers were sentenced for driving without insurance, while 40,150 drivers were convicted of keeping a vehicle without valid insurance, according to analysis carried out by AA Insurance Services of figures produced by the Ministry of Justice.  

More than nine out of 10 cases (94%) resulted in points being issued on a driving licence and 2,140 drivers were disqualified. The average fine issued by the courts was £352. 

Find the right level of insurance cover 

You can find affordable cover by comparing car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket. You just need to provide a few details about yourself, the car you’re insuring and your driving history, and we’ll put together a list of quotes tailored to your needs.