Warwickshire Police remove record number of uninsured vehicles from the roads

Seized car during anti speeding campaign July Aug 21

Warwickshire Police seized a record number of 1,425 uninsured vehicles across the county between January and December 2023 – an average of four vehicles every day – and a 9.4% increase in seizures over the previous year.

Uninsured vehicles pose a significant risk to other road users because if you are involved in a collision with someone who is not appropriately insured, it could leave you significantly out of pocket should you require medical care, property repairs, or other support.

All police forces submit monthly vehicle seizure statistics to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), the UK entity responsible for reducing levels of uninsured driving and compensating individuals involved in a collision with an uninsured driver or a driver who fails to stop.

Officers can use Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, built into police cars, to detect vehicles that do not have insurance. They also have access to data on uninsured vehicles predicted to be in specific locations within short timeframe windows, based on previous activity, allowing them to target known individuals. If a stopped driver is then unable to provide any proof of insurance, the vehicle is seized.

Other consequences could include six penalty points on your licence, a fixed penalty of £300 or an unlimited fine should the case go to court, a fee to have your vehicle released and potentially being disqualified from driving.

Vehicles will only be released back to the owner once they have bought valid insurance, now at a premium due to their record of uninsured driving. Failure to comply with these conditions could result in it being crushed.

Inspector Simon Paull of Warwickshire Police said: “Removing uninsured vehicles from the roads is a priority for police and Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership to protect the vast majority of law abiding drivers using our roads.  Whilst these numbers clearly demonstrate the size of the issue, the 9.4% increase in vehicles seized shows the commitment from our Patrol Officers to making our roads safer.

“Whilst there are criminals who knowingly drive a car without insurance or who withhold information or lie to get a cheaper quote, some insurance offences are committed unwittingly. To drive a car both you and the vehicle must have the correct insurance.  This means that even if you are insured to drive any car the vehicle needs to be covered in its own right.

“To support the victims of uninsured drivers, £53 is added to everyone’s car insurance premium every year towards the £506.6 million national annual levy needed to pay for injuries or damage caused by an uninsured or ‘hit and run’ driver.

 “We will continue to target uninsured drivers as part of our regular patrols of Warwickshire’s road network because uninsured drivers are significantly more likely to cause a collision on the road and are also often involved in wider road crime.“

Paul Farley, National Law Enforcement Manager at MIB, said “We work closely with the police throughout the year, including our colleagues in Warwickshire to get dangerous uninsured vehicles off the road.

“Tackling uninsured driving isn’t just about getting people to pay premiums – data shows us that those who deliberately drive uninsured cause more frequent and, often, more catastrophic collisions too, so it’s about making roads safer and fairer for everyone. Our message is simple: drive with adequate insurance, or you will be caught.”

If you know someone who is driving uninsured, please report them to the police on 101 the non emergency number or report anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.