Latest analysis of government figures by Kwik Fit revealed that, in 2018, more than 73,500 drivers in England and Wales were taken to court for having a vehicle which does not meet legal insurance requirements.
Despite the fact that drivers committing this offence will first receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, the average fine for drivers going to court over the last year was £205, meaning that fines for this offence amount to more than £12.4 million.
One of the main explanations for these penalties is drivers keeping their car off the road but not registering it as such. A vehicle must either be insured or registered with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
If the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) doesn’t have a SORN documented for a vehicle, then it must be insured, whether it is only used on private land, parked in a garage or undergoing long term repairs or restoration.
Government figures analysed by Kwik Fit found that, overall, more than 169,000 motorists were taken to court in 2018 for insurance-related infringements – a 26% rise compared to the 134,000 in 2013.
Last year, more than £52 million in fines were given to the 96 per cent of defendants who were ordered to pay fines as a result of insurance infringements.
The average fine amount was £353, while nearly a third of penalties (29%) resulted in a fine of more than £500.
This is an increase of £20 million compared to five years ago.
Roger Griggs, Communications Director at Kwik Fit says:
“Many drivers may assume that the offence of not meeting insurance requirements is due to making unapproved modifications or not maintaining their car properly, but in the majority of offences this is not the case.
“Drivers who decide not to use their car and take it off road temporarily, for whatever reason, must ensure that they register a SORN with the DVLA.
“It is also vital to note that SORNs need to be renewed each year to ensure drivers keep within regulations.
“Registering a SORN is free, and as we have seen from our analysis, failing to do so can prove very costly.”
The overall insurance infringement hotspots across England and Wales are:
Metropolitan – 26,801 cases (16%)
West Yorkshire – 19,482 cases (12%)
Sussex – 18,495 cases (11%)
West Mercia – 12,270 cases (7%)
Avon and Somerset – 10,951 cases (6%)