Car insurance evaders targeted

It will soon be an offence to not only drive without insurance but to also keep a car which is not insured.

Motorists could be handed a £1,000 fine and the vehicle may even be seized thanks to a new database.

The aim of the new ruling is to target the 6% of motorists who drive without insurance. Legislation will allow the Motor Insurance Bureau to cross-reference its records with the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency to find uninsured drivers.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "This is about people who are driving, who are endangering other road users, who are killing and seriously injuring people on our roads.

"We are intending to try to make sure we can stop them from doing that. The 150,000 cars that were seized by police last year, that number will grow as a result of the powers we are taking."

Plans will see uninsured vehicle owners issued with a letter asking why they have no cover.

Exemptions will be made for car enthusiasts who keep their vehicles off the road in collections or for tinkering in the garage, but they must have applied for a Statutory Off Road Notice (Sorn).

If they have no reasonable explanation, they will be liable to a fixed penalty fine of £100, rising to £1,000, and possible court action to seize their vehicle.

Copyright © Press Association 2009