Drivers warned of having their car seized for not having insurance

DVLA manager explains the importance of taxing your vehicle

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More than half a million (542,370) uninsured cars have been seized since 2018 according to information collated by AA Insurance. A Freedom of Information request to all 46 police forces across the UK discovered that so far this year 64,682 cars have been taken away from drivers for not having insurance.

Despite the lockdowns and restricted travel throughout 2020, it saw the most uninsured vehicles seized with more than 129,652 cars taken off the road.

Of all police forces across the UK, the Metropolitan Police took the most cars off the road with 62,900.

West Midlands came second with 44,056 taken away and West Yorkshire completed the top three with 33,829 cars seized.

More than 33,000 drivers in Scotland had their cars seized, compared to 22,700 Welsh drivers and 9,360 drivers in Northern Ireland.

Dyfed-Powys Police have made the least seizures since 2018, with just 2,541 in five years, including 218 this year.

Aside from the Met Police, who have seized 8,337 vehicles since the start of the year, West Midlands Police have taken away 5,496 uninsured vehicles.

Gus Park, managing director for AA Insurance Services, warned drivers of the consequences they face if they don’t insure their car.

He said: “Every driver is worried about being involved in a collision, but worse still is the other party being uninsured.

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“With approximately a million uninsured drivers on the road each year, we believe it is right to protect our members with our Uninsured Driver Promise. 

“This gives peace of mind to our customers should they be involved in a crash with an uninsured driver.”

Kent Police did not respond to the request, while Cheshire Police advised that their systems could not easily determine how many cars had been seized for driving without insurance.

AA Insurance estimates there are approximately one million uninsured drivers on the road each year.

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However, as the cost of living crisis deepens, some drivers may be lured into driving without insurance.

Mr Park continued, saying: “Sadly, we know that when times are hard some people try to cut their costs, and one area people are tempted to chance it, is cutting out their motor insurance. 

“However, these figures show that forces across the country are on the lookout and will take uninsured car away.

“Don’t take the risk. Not only is there the chance of having your car seized, but the criminal and financial hardship is not worth the gamble.”

Since 2018, the British Transport Police has seized just 39 vehicles, with 28 of those coming since January 2021.

The DVLA has been taking steps to ensure that drivers are abiding by the rules of the road when it comes to car insurance and car tax.

In February, it launched the “tax it or lose it” campaign to ensure drivers are paying the tax on their vehicle or risk having it seized.

Motorists must tax their vehicle even if they don’t have to pay anything, including those with exemptions.

The DVLA also urges drivers to ensure they meet all the legal obligations before they tax their vehicle and use the roads.

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