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Car Insurance – Get Insured Or Say Goodbye To Your Car

Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, but one in twenty drivers persist in driving uninsured. The police are cracking down, and it’s not just an idle threat – if you’re not insured, your car could be in a crusher near you very shortly!

The police now have the power to remove, impound and crush any car found to be uninsured on the road. Last Spring, in Durham, the scheme coined ‘Operation Takeaway’ was piloted to great success. Over 1,200 cars have now been impounded – 50% of those have already made it to the crusher.

Operation Takeaway was such a big success that it’s being rolled out nationwide. A new national police database that’s supported by the insurance industry has given the police the ability to verify the insurance status of every car in the UK. They don’t even need to get out of the car to do it.

If you are caught on the road with a car that is not insured, you will have to give up your car keys there and then. It doesn’t matter if it’s an accidental mistake or you have been driving uninsured for years, the penalty is the same – your car gets impounded.

What happens next? Well they give you two weeks to produce an insurance policy certificate and take your car away. There’s a few costs involved too – you’ll have to pay around £105 to cover the cost of the tow truck, and charges for keeping your car impounded often reach £15 a day. Leave collecting your car to the last minute and you could be facing an overall bill of £315.

If you can’t produce the insurance certificate and pay the charges, you can say goodbye to your car.

The pilot scheme in Durham was funded in part by Direct Line, who helped cover the costs of crushing the cars. According to them, up to 2,000 accidents were avoided thanks to Operation Takeaway. Since a large proportion of the cars found to be uninsured were in fact un-roadworthy, the roads were a considerably safer place without them.

As the police said, “Uninsured drivers are often guilty of many other offences such as not having a driving licence or an MOT certificate. We are doing everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off our roads.”

It is a shocking fact

that 5% of all drivers are uninsured, a criminal offence because it is a legal requirement. Extra research carried out by the Association of British Insurers has found that uninsured drivers are a dangerous presence on the roads, each uninsured driver causing an average of one accident every six months. They are also three times more likely to receive a conviction for driving without due care and attention.

Those of us who do have car insurance cover the costs of these uninsured accidents. On average, £30 is added to every car insurance policy to cover the costs to the industry due to uninsured motorists. That means law-abiding motorists pay a whopping total of £500 million each year for those who can’t be bothered to pay up.

There’s another bitter pill to swallow. If you have an accident that’s not your fault with an uninsured vehicle, it will still go down as a “fault claim” on your insurance. So you’ll have to pay the excess on your car repairs and you’ll lose your no-claims bonus unless you’ve got claims protection. Over a two-year period, you could pay an extra £275 in premiums thanks to a reduction in your no-claims entitlement.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is in full support of this new scheme to rid the roads of uninsured cars. The ABI has been a critic of the way the British courts deal with uninsured drivers for many years now, but they still don’t think this scheme is enough. Offenders usually only get a fine of £150-£200 and they don’t have to pay immediately – which really doesn’t compare to the extra costs incurred by motorists who do have car insurance. We agree – something needs to be done!

About The Author

Michael Challiner writes for Brokers Online who offer Life Assurance and most UK financial services including car insurance Visit our family finance blog for useful tips on uk finance
Written By: Michael Challiner