As humans we’re naturally forgetful. Yes, you may get a letter through the post telling you something has to be done by a certain date. More often than not, it gets left on the side and buried under a myriad of other ‘to do’s’. Life’s busy enough as it is.
In the same vein uninsured drivers are on the rise. Whether it’s down to negligence, ignorance or just flouting the law. In July last year the Police seized the 1.5 millionth uninsured car in the UK. According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau seizures rose by a huge 19.83% in 2016. To put that into context, the previous year on year stats saw a rise of just 4%.
The most probable cause of this is a 16% increase in premiums over the last 12 months. Confused.com have helpfully kept a price index since 2006. This year you’re average driver will be paying £847 for their insurance, an increase of £110 from 2016.
We’re nearly seeing prices above the peak in 2011 of £858. With rises set to continue, experts are warning of the average cost creeping over the £1,000 mark as soon as next year.
That’s not the only angle though. Everyone used to get a nice little circular disk that you placed in your window, allowing your car to use the roads. Since October 1st 2015 everything has gone digital. It’s a money-saving scheme to ditch paperwork on the government’s side.
Often it was a physical reminder that you needed to spend money and book appointments at garages to continue to use your car on the public highway. Normally people would tie in their tax, MOT and insurance to be close together, so it was all done and dusted in the same month. In just two years clamping for non-payment of road tax has risen by 80%, to around 9,000 cars a month.
It’s easy to sign up for online reminder services for your car tax. Now that there’s no paper ‘poke in the side’ being delivered through your door, it seems an ever growing percentage are simply forgetting this legal requirement.
Tax flouters are meant to be caught through ANPR cameras, but cars are slipping through the net with up to 1.2 million plates being misread per day according to The Telegraph. This leads to lost revenue for the government, not to mention the cost of DVLA ANPR vans and third party clamping firms that are being hired to do the dirty work.
It gets worse. The number of uninsured drivers being caught with no MOT is also on the up. If you aren’t bothered about insuring your car, there’s no way you’re going to take it for its annual MOT check. Thanks to the advent of social media, Police forces up and down the country have been shaming these motorists to the world. Time and time again the story is the same, no insurance, no tax and no MOT.
The only way you can get away with all three, is by registering your car as SORN and parking it off the public highway before hanging up the keys.
It seems the government and the DVLA are burying their heads a little on the situation. Tougher regulation on insurance premiums and personal injury claims is needed, along with some sort of mandatory online MOT reminder service that ties itself in with road tax. Maybe joining the two together, no MOT, no tax renewal.
Alternatively, the insurance industry needs to change. Tying in MOT, tax and insurance all in one. If you don’t have tax and an MOT you can’t insure the car. Granted that would create a separate issue for SORN and stored cars, possibly a ‘static’ policy needs to be devised.
Until then uninsured drivers will keep costing us all an extra £30 a year, the number of villains we unknowingly share our roads with will increase…along with everyone’s premiums to compensate.