Car insurance – Thousands drivers risking huge fines for this insurance error

New data has found that thousands of motorists are keeping cars which do not meet vehicle insurance requirements. The analysis of government figures by Kwik Fit found that more than 73,500 drivers in England and Wales were taken to court for keeping a vehicle which does not meet insurance requirements. This is a dramatic increase of 78 per cent over five years. Drivers caught flouting this offence will first revive a fixed penalty notice of £100. On average fines for drivers going to court over the past year was £205. This means the fines for offences could have totalled around £12.4million over this period of time.

One of the main reasons for motorists receiving a fine for this offences is for failing to insure a car when it is off the road.

A vehicle must either be insured or registered with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). 

If the DVLA has no record of a SORN for a vehicle then it must be insured. This includes even if it is only used on private land, parked in a garage or undergoing long term repairs or restoration. 

Last year, 95,000 cases were brought against motorists for using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks – up four per cent compared to 2013. 

Men account for almost two thirds (63 per cent) of offences (105,861) compared to women who account for 18 per cent (29,793) (the remaining 20 per cent comprises companies or unknown).

Last year more than £52 million in fines were handed down to the 96 per cent of defendants who were ordered to pay fines as a result of insurance infringements. 

The average fine amount was £353, while nearly a third of fines (29 per cent) resulted in a fine of more than £500. 

This is an increase of £20 million compared to five years ago.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit says: “Many drivers may assume that the offence of not meeting insurance requirements is due to making unapproved modifications or not maintaining their car properly, but in the majority of offences this is not the case. 

“Drivers who decide not to use their car and take it car off road temporarily, for whatever reason, must ensure that they register a SORN with the DVLA. 

“It is also vital to note that SORNs need to be renewed each year to ensure drivers keep within regulations.

“Registering a SORN is free, and as we have seen from our analysis, failing to do so can prove very costly.”

The overall insurance infringement hotspots across England and Wales are:

  • Metropolitan – 26,801 cases (16 per cent)
  • West Yorkshire – 19,482 cases (12 per cent)
  • Sussex – 18,495 cases (11 per cent)
  • West Mercia – 12,270 cases (seven per cent)
  • Avon and Somerset – 10,951 cases (six per cent)

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