Half a million motorists driving without insurance because fines 'are cheaper'
New figures reveal that nearly 500,000 UK motorists have received penalty points for driving without insurance over the past three years.
The shocking statistics show that some 473,564 drivers were handed penalty points for driving without insurance between 2010 and 2013, according to analysis of a Freedom of Information request by Churchill Car Insurance.
Some motoring groups are blaming the comparatively low court costs for the flippant attitude to correct insurance – with court fines averaging just £300 compared to high risk or young driver policies that can cost as much as £3,500 per year.
The Churchill report notes: "Being uninsured on the road is a huge danger to other road users and unfair to law-abiding motorists.
"Yet the maximum court fine for driving without insurance is just £5,000, in contrast to a maximum court fine of £2,500 for littering and £1,000 for failure to pay for a TV licence.
It goes on to say: "Although uninsured drivers could be issued with a fixed penalty of £300, this is unlikely to deter the persistent uninsured driver. Previous research found that motorists would support a higher fine of £900 to deter uninsured drivers."
The analysis also uncovered that the average fine issued by the courts for uninsured driving in 2012 was just £322, excluding fixed penalties issued by the police at the time of the offence. Courts can currently issue a maximum of £5,000 in fines.
Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill said: "A number of improvements have been made to tackle the issue of uninsured drivers over the past couple of years but there are still a shocking number of irresponsible motorists taking to the roads without mandatory cover."
He added: "Untraced and uninsured drivers cause 130 deaths and over 26,000 injuries every year, so more must be done to stamp out this problem."