Uninsured drivers leaving themselves at risk of penalties
Many car owners across the UK could be inadvertently breaking the law by remaining unaware of new regulations that require a car to be insured, even if it is no longer driven, according to research from Post Office Car Insurance.
In June 2011 the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) was introduced to help tackle the number of uninsured drivers. However, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of drivers are unaware that insurance is required unless a car is registered as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), potentially putting themselves at risk of incurring a hefty fine.
Gerry Barrett, Head of Insurance at Post Office, said: "It appears that many drivers are still in the dark about the new regulations since the introduction of the CIE. Previously, it was not unlawful for a motorist not to have car insurance if they didn't drive their vehicle. However, this has changed and you are no longer allowed to keep an uninsured vehicle unless your car is declared SORN.
"Motorists can face a fixed penalty of £100 if a vehicle does not have insurance and receive a possible maximum fine of £1000, plus they could have their vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded or even destroyed. Motorists should ensure they are aware of the rules to avoid incurring penalties."
Uninsured driving costs the industry £500 million a year and even though some people flout the law deliberately, Post Office's research reveals that some are simply disorganised.
Of those drivers surveyed by Post Office just over 10 per cent (over four million drivers) admit to having driven their car without insurance at some point. .
Topping the list of reasons for driving uninsured was being between insurance policies (35 per cent). This was followed by forgetting to renew insurance policies (21 per cent) and not being fully aware of their insurance policy details (14 per cent).
Gerry Barrett said: "It's clear many people find themselves accidentally uninsured, so we want to encourage drivers to tackle this problem by carefully checking insurance policy details and setting-up reminders to ensure they are aware when their policy is up for renewal."
Among those that have driven without insurance, men are prepared to take more risks - nearly one in five (19 per cent) believed they would not get caught when driving uninsured, compared to just nine per cent of females.
To find out more about Post Office Car Insurance, visit postoffice.co.uk.