Uninsured driver numbers double

Young drivers convicted of driving without a valid licence has more than doubled in two years amidst escalating premium prices.

New research carried out by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has revealed that 6,316 British drivers aged from 17-20 were convicted of driving without insurance in 2023.

That is up from 5,486 in 2022 and 2,902 in 2021.

Insurance premiums

The dramatic increase coincides with extortionate motor insurance premiums, with average prices up by 25% from 2022 and 2023, according to data from the Association of British Insurers.

However, for younger drivers the increase has been even more severe. According to Confused.com, the average motor policy quote for a 17-year-old was £2,919 at the end of April and £3,145 for 18-year-olds .

IAM RoadSmart director of policy and standards Nicholas Lyes said: “It is legal requirement to have the correct insurance to drive, so it is deeply concerning to see a surge in young drivers breaking the law in this way. Unless there is intervention, we risk an epidemic of uninsured younger motorists taking to the roads.

“Sadly, this is likely a consequence of the soaring costs of insurance premiums over the last 18 months. For young drivers who have recently passed their test, the cost of learning to drive, getting a vehicle, taxing it and then insuring it is becoming an extremely costly process. While the insurance sector believes we may now be over the worst of price increases, falling premiums will feel like a lifetime away for newly qualified drivers.

“Perversely, young drivers are also disproportionately paying more tax when insuring their vehicle because insurance premium tax is levied at a standard 12% rate on already costlier premiums, meaning something of a windfall for the Treasury.”