Big drop in uninsured drivers caught on UK roads

Last year saw the lowest number of uninsured drivers caught on the road since 2012, even though 2017, by contrast, saw the most

Fewer drivers were caught behind the wheel without insurance in 2018 than in any year since 2012, new figures have revealed.

Police apprehended 79,713 uninsured motorists last year – the lowest number in the last seven years – compared with 118,698 in 2017, which was the highest number since 2012, according to a Freedom of Information request made to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) by the RAC.

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The figure for 2018 represents a 33 per cent drop from 2017’s high, or a 27 per cent decrease from 2012, when 108,616 people were caught driving without insurance, the penalty for which is six to eight penalty points being placed on the offender’s licence for four years.

Year

Number of uninsured drivers caught

2012

108,616

2013

108,486

2014

102,417

2015

92,804

2016

113,502

2017

118,698

2018

79,713

Of the offenders caught last year, 872 were under the age of 17 and therefore not even of legal driving age. This is 47 per cent fewer than 2017, when 1,644 under-17s were caught and 31 per cent less than the 1,255 in 2012.

The youngest offender in 2018 was 11 years-old, but the youngest recorded since records began in 2012 was a 10-year old who was caught in 2016. In contrast, the oldest offender on record is a 96-year-old found behind the wheel without insurance last year.

Some 3,309 24-year-olds were caught driving uninsured last year, the highest total of all the age groups in 2018. The largest number of offences by drivers of a single age, however, occurred in 2017, when 5,052 23-year-olds were caught.

In 2011 the Department for Transport – along with the DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau – introduced Continuous Insurance Enforcement, which sees uninsured drivers receive warning letters and Fixed Penalty Notices if they fail to take out insurance.

RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey believes this policy contributed to the overall decrease in uninsured drivers from 2012 to 2018, while attributing the increases in 2016 and 2017 to the rising cost of insurance premiums.

What do you think are the reasons behind the fall in uninsured drivers caught in the UK? Let us know in the comments…

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