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Motor premiums soar due to uninsured

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Written by:
08/09/2008

Uninsured drivers cost British motorists £500m a year, but the average fine imposed for this offence is a mere £185, according to Direct Line.  

The insurer has called for an urgent review of penalties for uninsured drivers as average fines have fallen from £224 to £185 over the last decade. However, uninsured drivers add around £30 to insured drivers’ premiums, amounting to a total financial burden of £500m.

Despite the fact that accidents involving uninsured drivers kill around 200 road users every year, Direct Line has pointed out that the £185 average fine is in stark contrast to the maximum penalty for other acts such as failure to pay your TV license fee (£1,000), smoking in a smoke-free place (£200), conviction for graffiti (£5,000), fare evasion on a London buses (£1,000) or overfilling your bin (£110).

According to Direct Line, almost a fifth of uninsured drivers are under the age of 20. Uninsured drivers are 10 times more likely to have a drink driving conviction, six times more likely to be driving an unsafe vehicle and four times more likely than other drivers to have a driving without due care and attention conviction.

Maggie Game, head of car insurance at Direct Line, said: “With uninsured drivers costing British society around £500 million each year, the severity of penalties must act as a deterrent to those considering driving without insurance.

“Uninsured drivers cause accidents which kill around 200 people each year and seriously injure hundreds more. The fact that the average penalty for driving uninsured is less than a quarter of the potential fine for not owning a TV licence is alarming.

“As the credit crunch tightens household budgets, the last thing drivers need is the prospect of losing their No Claims Discount and a whopping excess if they are hit by an uninsured driver.”

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