Beware Motor Madness - Uninsured Drivers Rife on the Roads

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33 per cent uplift in uninsured drivers from 2008. Every fifth car being driven on the UK roads could be uninsured.

The number of motorists getting behind the wheel uninsured has risen by a third (33 per cent) compared to 2008, according to research from moneysupermarket.com*.

The survey by the UK's leading price comparison site found a fifth of motorists (20 per cent) admit breaking the law by driving uninsured, compared to 15 per cent in 20082; almost a tenth of motorists (nine per cent) have disregarded the law and driven their own car without insurance, while eight per cent admit to getting behind the wheel of someone else's car when not adequately insured. A further three per cent say they have driven their own car uninsured in between renewing their insurance policy.

Men are more likely to drive uninsured, with one in four (23 per cent) admitting to it compared to 16 per cent of women. The poll also exposes younger drivers; 37 per cent of twenty-somethings say that they have driven without cover, compared to just seven per cent of those in their sixties.

Steve Sweeney, head of car insurance at moneysupermarket.com, said: "How disappointing to see so many Brits have taken to the roads uninsured - it's a worrying thought every fifth car we see isn't covered, and year on year the research reveals a staggering 33 per cent increase in the number of people driving uninsured**. The onset of recession may mean more motorists are unable to afford the cost of their insurance but, if hit by an uninsured vehicle, only motorists with a fully comprehensive policy will be covered by their insurer to pay for the car to be repaired, and even then they may face losing their no claims discount. Organisations such as the Motor Insurers' Bureau offer advice on how to make a claim under the Uninsured Drivers' Agreement***."

"Whatever the distance driving without insurance is illegal. Anyone caught doing so could face hefty penalties which include a £200 on-the-spot fine and six points on their licence. There's also the possibility of the car being impounded - involving a £150 collection charge and £20 per day charged for storage. If Brits are forgoing their car insurance for cost reasons it clearly is a false economy and something I would recommend avoiding.

"Uninsured motorists cost the industry £500 million each year in claims, and cause the cost of cover to rise by £30 for more responsible motorists****. By covering yourself to drive a car, you are not only protecting yourself in the event of an accident, theft or damage, but you are also safeguarding yourself against other less cautious motorists as well. The cost of running, and insuring, a car can be expensive - especially for younger drivers - however it is has never been quicker or easier to find a cheap motor insurance quote.

moneysupermarket.com's top tips to reduce the cost of motor insurance:

  • Keep it safe

Insurers look at the risk every driver presents, so you'll get a better deal if you can reduce that risk. By keeping the car off the road at night in a garage or on a drive you make it safer, meaning your premiums will come down.

  • Pick a smaller engine

If you're struggling to pay your insurance then give some thought to the car you're driving. The bigger and faster the vehicle, the more it will cost to insure.

  • Shop around

This is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don't assume that your current provider is giving you the best renewal quote but look at other insurers using the moneysupermarket.com car insurance comparison tool and see if you can save.

  • Pass Plus

If you're a new driver then you're going to be the worst hit by rising prices. Take the time to sit your Pass Plus and insurers will see that you're safer, helping you reduce your premiums by as much as 36 per cent.

  • Up the excess

Agreeing to pay a higher excess, such as £500 instead of £100, can reduce your premiums. Don't forget that this is what you will need to pay in the event of a claim, so be sure you can afford it.

  • Reduce your mileage

When applying for insurance, you estimate the number of miles you'll do each year. If you aren't travelling much then you'll usually pay less. That means that if you car share with a colleague or decide to take the train a couple of times a week, you can bring down the price.

  • Add an older driver

If you have a partner or parent who is more experienced behind the wheel, adding them to the policy can sometimes reduce what you pay. Whatever you do, don't make them the named driver, though. This is called fronting and could invalidate your insurance.

  • Ensure it's adequate

As you look for the lowest price, don't be tempted to scrap things you really need. It might cost more to have a courtesy car or legal fees paid, but if you need it then include it. Skipping extras that you can't do without will be a false economy if you do need to claim.

  • Don't commit fraud

When you're trying to reduce what you pay, it can be very tempting to avoid telling the whole truth, but this is a dangerous tactic. By misleading your provider, you are committing insurance fraud. That means your cover isn't valid and if you caused an accident you could be responsible for all the costs yourself.

Notes to Editors:
*Research undertaken by Opinium Research based on an online poll of 2,386 British adults between 27 February and 03 March 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. http://www.opiniumresearch.com

**Research conducted by Opinium Research in an online survey of 2,001 UK adults between 12 and 15 February 2008. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

In 2008 15 per cent of motorists admitted to the offence compared to 20 per cent in 2009.

*** Motor Insurers' Bureau: http://www.mib.org.uk/Customer+Services/en/Accidents+in+the+UK/Uninsured+Drivers+Agreement/Uninsured+Drivers.htm

**** Motor Insurers' Bureau: http://www.mib.org.uk/Media+Centre/en/Key+Facts/Default.htm

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Nicki Parry
moneysupermarket.com
01244370318 ext. 2399
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