Police forces around the UK are stepping up action to identify and seize uninsured cars this week as part of a national crackdown.
All 45 forces around the country are taking part in Operation Drive Insured, which will see officers increase vehicle checks in an effort to track down uninsured drivers and vehicles.
Uninsured drivers are thought to cost the insurance industry £400 million a year in compensation, costs which are then passed on to other drivers. Estimates put the wider impact of collisions caused by them at as much as £2 billion.
According to the independent Motor Insurers’ Bureau, every 20 minutes someone is injured by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, and uninsured drivers are shown to be more likely to be involved in other road offences.
If police identify an uninsured vehicle, the driver can be fined £300 and handed six penalty points and their vehicle can be seized. They then have to pay storage and recovery fees, plus prove they are insured, before the car is released.
In 2020, around 100,000 vehicles were seized from drivers without insurance and more than 50,000 were eventually crushed.
The MIB is working with the National Police Chiefs Council’s (NPCC) road policing arm to help identify uninsured vehicles. MIB’s chief customer officer Ben Fletcher said: “Put simply, uninsured motorists are very dangerous. They cause a worryingly high level of collisions and are frequently involved in wider crime.
“By using MIB’s motor insurance fatabase police can easily see if a vehicle appears to have no insurance and will take swift action to remove the threat. Operation Drive Insured serves as an important reminder that no one is above the law and illegal motorists will be caught.”
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, NPCC lead for roads policing, added: “Police officers take action against the users of uninsured vehicles every day, this national week of action really highlights how we work with all of our partners to take these vehicles off the road and prosecute offenders.
“We know those who are unwilling to insure their vehicles present more risk to other road users than those who do insure their vehicles.
“We have sophisticated systems to help identify offenders and we will use all of our powers to take appropriate action against offenders and make our roads safer.”
According to MIB data, while uninsured driving is a problem across the UK, the worst areas for offending are Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Greater London.