A simples guide

Penalties for driving without car insurance

It’s safe to say that nobody would skydive without a parachute just to save a few quid – some risks just aren’t worth taking. Other risks might not be so clear cut – like driving without car insurance, after all, what’s the worst that could happen? But it is a legal requirement and more than 26,000 injuries and 130 fatalities** are caused on UK roads every year by uninsured drivers – so it really isn’t worth it.

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Who needs car insurance?

If you drive a car, then you need car insurance – there’s no escaping it – unless you’ve declared your car off the road and made a SORN (statutory off road notification). It’s all part of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement requirement which was launched in 2011 and means that keeping an uninsured vehicle without making a SORN, is illegal.

What’s the point of car insurance?

It isn’t simply another way of getting you to part with your hard earned cash. It’s there to protect you, your car and other people. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that the average claim was £2,160 and that 99% of all claims made, were successful. So whilst you might grudgingly fork out for insurance every year, it’s clear that it’s a worthy safety net if something does go wrong and it could help you get back on the road. The alternative can lead to serious consequences and leave you seriously out of pocket.

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What are the penalties for driving without insurance?

At best you’ll get a fine (fixed penalty notice) for £300 and six penalty points on your licence. If you end up going to court, then you could face an unlimited fine and also be disqualified from driving altogether. The courts will decide how long your disqualification will last but anything longer than 56 days means that you’ll need to apply for a new licence and may need to retake your test.

But it doesn’t always end there, if you’re caught driving without insurance, it’s not just your licence that can be revoked – your car could be seized too. Around one third of all cars seized are crushed regardless of their condition so think twice before splashing out on a fancy new engine if you can’t afford the insurance. It’s not worth the risk. In the first six months of 2016 alone, 72,000 cars were seized.

How much do uninsured drivers cost us?

It’s estimated that uninsured drivers cost the rest of us at least £380 million each year, adding £33 to our car insurance policies, and that doesn’t include the cost of utilising emergency services, the courts or the cost to the families affected.

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) records the details of all insured cars (around 37 million), together with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) technology so it’s becoming harder to get away with driving without insurance. The police can also check in seconds whether you’re covered so don’t take the risk of driving without insurance.

But insurance is expensive isn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be. Although there are some elements affecting insurance that you can’t change such as your age, where you live or your claims history, there are other factors worth considering when it comes to driving down the cost of car insurance:

  • Your choice of car – as a general rule the more powerful, pimped up and desirable your car is, the higher your insurance will be..
  • Keep your car secure – a secure garage or parked on a drive are ideal but if that’s not possible then invest in an approved security system or immobiliser. You may need to speak with your insurance provider to get the savings reflected in your premium.
  • Pay your premium up front – if you’re able to do this, it could save you any additional charges for paying monthly.
  • Increase your voluntary excess – but make sure you can realistically afford to pay both the compulsory and the voluntary excess it if you do make a claim.
  • Think about your optional extras – choose wisely and only opt for what you might need; European cover might sound tempting but if your holidays are more about Bognor than Biarritz then leave it off the policy. 

Start a quote today

It’s fair to say that the consequences of driving without insurance simply aren’t worth the risk. And car insurance doesn’t have to be a chore, choosing a policy has never been easier – if you search with us, we’ll give you a choice of trusted insurance providers based on your needs. All you need to do is tell us what you want and we’ll do the rest, so start comparing today.

**http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-2596859/Half-million-motorists-driving-without-insurance-fines-just-fraction-cost-premium.html

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