Uninsured driver numbers soar

The number of uninsured drivers on UK roads has increased by a ‘worrying’ 10 per cent in just a year, according to worrying new figures released today.

According to figures from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), compensation pay-outs because of accidents involving uninsured drivers increased from 21,972 in July 2014 to 24,213 in July this year.

That represents a year-on-year monthly increase of 2,241 or 10.2 per cent.

The rise in uninsured drivers is a dramatic change as up until this point, uninsured driver numbers had almost halved over a decade.

The sudden change is being attributed to the soaring cost of insurance, with policies costing anywhere between £1,000 and £2,000 for a high risk young driver. This may be tempting younger drivers to risk it and drive without a proper policy in place. A third of all uninsured drivers are aged under 30.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is so concerned about the reversal of the downward trend that it is launching a new national awareness campaign in conjunction with the police, in a bid to stop the rise.

The full year figures suggest the rise started modestly in around 2013-14 but has since accelerated significantly.

Based on the number of claims it has received, the MIB estimates that the total number of uninsured drivers on UK roads rose in 2014 to 1.03million – up 20,000 or 1.98 per cent from 1.01million in 2013.

This also reverses a steadily downward trend since 2005 when the total stood at 1.72million uninsured drivers.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau report concluded, ‘Our figures show a worrying increase in the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads.’

‘There has been a 10.2per cent increase in the number of claims received by MIB in the past year between July 2014 and July 2015.’

‘This follows a decade of declining levels of uninsured driving since 2005.

‘So we are launching our first national awareness campaign for three years.’

Ashton West, chief executive at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau said, ‘Worryingly, this year we have seen the number of claims to MIB rising week on week.’

‘Every year, thousands of people are injured and killed by uninsured drivers. They pose a real threat to other motorists and road users. To address this, we are working proactively with police forces across the UK.’

‘Our biggest concern is getting the message across to drivers under the age of 30. We know that for these drivers, their car is an important part of their social life and gives them credibility.’

The Bureau and the Metropolitan police are launching the new campaign outside new Scotland Yard in London where they will be screening a new video called ‘Gone in Seconds’ which highlights the problem and the role of the police in seizing and often crushing uninsured cars.