RAC Cars News


New Drivers Not Bothering With Insurance

By raccars Published

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A Freedom of Information request, from Auto Express magazine to the DVLA, has revealed that over 40,000 newly qualified drivers have lost their licences over the last four years. But it's a failure to buy insurance that accounts for more than half of cases, rather than driving errors or bad behaviour on the road.

Not having insurance is the main reason for banning drivers within their first two years of qualifying to drive. The offence incurs an automatic penalty of six points on licences, which means a ban from driving within the first two years of holding a licence.

On average, some 10,000 drivers who have held licences for less than two years will be banned from the road every year. Since June 2010, that means 40,481 new drivers have had their licences revoked, and driving uninsured was responsible for 21,148 of these cases, according to DVLA data. In some of these cases, the charge may have been brought about for 'fronting,' which is when main drivers have themselves named as the second or third driver on a policy and use a lower risk driver as the main name, to reduce insurance premiums. While in theory the driver is insured, the practice is illegal and invalidates the insurance policy.

Overall, there are fewer uninsured drivers on the road now than ten years ago. In 2005, the Motor Insurers' Bureau estimated that of drivers in the 17-20 age group, one in five was uninsured. Currently that figure is estimated to be more like one in 17, thanks to the introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme, which means uninsured cars must also be declared off road (SORN), and the widespread use of automatic number plate recognition cameras, automatically checking vehicles against the insurance database.

Apart from the more than 20,000 new drivers banned for lack of insurance over the last four years, 7,220 lost their licences for speeding on public roads and 2,220 for failing to provide the driver's identity. There were 1,766 licences revoked for a failure to be in control of a vehicle, a charge that covers offences such as using a mobile phone while driving. 1,675 drivers lost their licences for driving without due care and attention, 1,249 for speeding on the motorway and 1,020 for jumping a red traffic light. 854 bans were given for drivers with defective tyres, 699 for other insurance offences and 665 drivers lost their licences for failing to stop after an accident.

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