In Britain, it’s now illegal to keep uninsured cars, even if they aren’t being driven. Unless you declare your vehicle as ‘off the road,’ you could have your motor seized by police and crushed.
This rule applies across the United Kingdom, except in Northern Ireland. But owners of a Statutory Off Road Notification will be glad to hear that they won’t be affected.
Driving, while uninsured, is completely illegal in Britain and, if caught, you could find yourself with a fine of up to £5,000 and six to eight points on your licence.
The wrath of the law now extends punishment to non-driving, uninsured cars, which will be monitored through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The owners will be contacted and given a deadline in which to insure their vehicle, otherwise they’ll receive a £100 fine. Even if you do pay this fine, your car could still be seized and crushed.
In 2009, more than two million motorists were said to have driven uninsured. Sadly, uninsured drivers kill 160 and injure 23,000 people every year. This adds almost £30 a year to every driver’s insurance premiums, at a financially difficult time for most families.
If you own a car that you do not wish to drive for a period of time, you can declare the vehicle ‘off the road’ and you’ll be protected from the new law.
What’s worse is that these two million motorists are getting behind the wheel unintentionally with an out-of-date driving licence. This could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Why is this happening?
Many drivers mistakenly think their photo identity lasts them a lifetime. In actual fact, it has to be renewed every decade. This could render insurance policies invalid. According to studies, one in seven drivers are unaware that their drivers licence becomes invalid after ten years. One in twelve confess to not updating their drivers licence and one in six has no idea when their drivers licence runs out.
If you’re part of a minority that still uses paper licenses (that are no longer issued to the public), this will remain valid until your 70th birthday. One quarter of drivers retain the old licenses and in 2015, the photocard will become mandatory, when the paper versions are phased out.
Over the space of two years, more than 734,000 drivers have been caught with an out-of-date licence, and collectively, these motorists have paid out £41 million in fines (£56 a pop!). The confusion is over the small expiry date and its lack of clarity. There’s no information available that says the card must be renewed, and so drivers mistakenly think they’re lawfully driving – contact motoring lawyers, if you’re not sure when your driver’s licence expires.
Of course, that’s not always the case, and some motorists do knowingly get behind the wheel when their driver’s licence or insurance becomes invalid. The government hopes that this new law will put an end to this practice and protect law-abiding drivers.
With these LAPSO reforms in place, you’ll find the more affluent partner taking advantage of the more financially vulnerable party, because there’s very little support available. It’s a bleak future indeed, and certainly a step back to an antiquated approach to justice.