Britain-A Nation of Uninsured Drivers

Editor’s Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Uninsured drivers are rife on our roads, according to research by moneysupermarket.com.(1)

Britain’s number one comparison site found one in six (15 per cent) motorists have broken the law by taking to the road without an adequate car insurance policy in place. Four per cent have admitted breaking the law by driving their own car uninsured, while nearly one in ten (nine per cent) have admitted to driving someone else’s car without insurance cover. An additional two per cent say they have driven their own car uninsured in between renewing their insurance policy.

Of those who admit to driving uninsured, an astonishing 36 per cent say it was because they didn’t know they needed insurance when behind the wheel. One in eight (12 per cent) just haven’t got round to renewing their policy, and worryingly almost one in ten (eight per cent) can’t afford car insurance. Others say there is no point having insurance as they won’t crash, or just can’t be bothered to get covered (seven per cent each).

Steve Sweeney, head of car insurance at moneysupermarket.com, said: “Motorists beware! A staggering number of drivers are prepared to hit the roads without insurance – a practice that is not only illegal but highly dangerous. While we’re all looking to tighten our purse strings, car insurance shouldn’t be an area to cut. There is absolutely no excuse to be on the roads without adequate cover and I am very surprised to see the number of motorists who aren’t aware that they need insurance to drive a vehicle on the public highway. Clearly there is a need for better education.”

Men are more tempted to chance the law than women, with nearly one in five (18 per cent) having taken to the roads without any insurance (compared to 10 per cent of female drivers). In addition, younger motorists are the biggest risk takers, with 28 per cent of 18-34 year olds admitting to driving a vehicle they weren’t insured to compared to just seven per cent of over 55s.

Steve Sweeney continued: “No matter how safe you think your driving is, if you are involved in a crash and you don’t have insurance, you could face thousands of pounds in liability, a conviction including six points on your license as well as the headache of charges up to GBP 5,000.(2) According to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), uninsured drivers pay GBP 380 million a year for causing damages to other motorists(3) – the facts speak for themselves, it really isn’t worth taking the risk, and for those who are foregoing car insurance for cost reasons, it is clearly a false economy.

“Driving uninsured does not only have monetary implications for those breaking the rules, but it also costs every other motorist on the roads too. Uninsured drivers cost the industry GBP 500 million each year and as a result adds an average GBP 30 to every motorist’s premium.(4) By covering yourself, you are not only protecting yourself in the event of an accident, theft or damage, but you are protecting against other less cautious motorists on the road. While car insurance can be expensive, shopping around for the best deal to suit your needs you can save a considerable amount, leaving you to drive with the peace of mind that you are covered at all times.”

moneysupermarket.com’s top tips for getting a cheaper car insurance quote: — Fit an alarm: Fit an approved alarm and immobiliser, such as a Thatcham 1 or Thatcham 2. All improvements to security should help to lower your car insurance costs. Some insurers could even insist on sophisticated tracking devices before they will insure expensive cars. — Change your excess: Change the excess you are prepared to pay on any claim to reduce the premium. With voluntary excess the more you are willing to cover yourself in the event of an accident the lower your premium. — Check your mileage: Check your mileage to make sure you are not paying extra for miles you are not covering in your car. If, for example, you change jobs and have a shorter commute to work you could be saving money. Try and work out how many miles you will genuinely cover – but don’t get it wrong as inaccuracy could jeopardise your claim. — Minimise your optional extras: Only select to have a courtesy car or legal expenses if you really need them, as they may increase your premium. The less your motor insurance company has to provide in the event of an accident, the lower your costs. — Be careful where you park: Keep your car parked in a locked garage overnight if you can – this can help reduce the premium. More than 50% of vehicle thefts occur during the night so if your car is safely locked away it makes sense that your insurance costs will be reduced as a consequence. If you don’t have access to a garage, then parking on a driveway is generally considered a lower risk than parking on the road. It’s less likely that vandalism, theft or accidental damage will occur when you’re off the highway. — Pass Plus: If you’re a new driver looking to get your first car and car insurance we’d highly recommend that you take your Pass Plus in order to reduce your premiums. The Pass Plus certificate can only be obtained within the first year of passing your practical driving test.

Notes to editors:

(1) Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 3,013 British Adults between 2nd and 5th October 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

(2) http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_068756.pdf

(3) http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/Motorinsurance/DG_067639

(4) http://www.mib.org.uk/Media+Centre/en/Key+Facts/Default.htm

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Contacts: Moneysupermarket.com Nicki Parry PR Officer (Financial Services) 01244 370318 nicki.parry@moneysupermarket.com

SOURCE: Moneysupermarket.com