Uninsured drivers

How many uninsured drivers are in your area?

We've found that more than two thirds (68%) of motorists have driven a car they didn't own. And of those, almost one in five (17%) assumed they'd be insured so didn't check before setting off.

Make sure you check before you put the keys in the ignition, as it's illegal to drive without insurance. In fact, a whopping two in three (69%) people driving without insurance end up getting caught.

187,897

uninsured drivers were caught in United Kingdom between 2019-2020

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Select a region on the map to see the number of offences

North East North-West Yorkshire East-Midlands West-Midlands East-Anglia London South-East South-West Wales
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How many uninsured drivers are caught in the UK?

Between 2019 - 2020, the number of motorists caught driving without insurance shot up by 16%.

One in four (25%) of drivers think that a comprehensive policy means you're automatically covered to drive any other car - this is a myth and isn't true.

If you're caught driving uninsured, even if the owner of the car is with you, you'll face a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points.

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Police seized 198,666 cars in 2019-2020 due to no insurance

The police can seize the vehicle on the spot if you're driving it uninsured. Close to a staggering 200,000 cars have been confiscated by the police in the last two years.

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Drivers paid more than £11m to release their cars

Drivers have 7 days to pay the £300 penalty as well as buy their insurance to then get their car released by the police. Surprisingly, only two in five (40%) of drivers who have been caught paid to get their car back.

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But that meant 56,090 cars were destroyed

If you don't buy and show proof of car insurance to release the car, or you don't collect your car within 14 days of paying, then the police have the right to destroy it. More than a quarter (28%) of seized cars were destroyed between 2019 and 2020

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= 1,000 cars

2019

27,364

2019 = 27,364

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15 percent tag

2020

28,726

2020 = 28,726

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And 9,445 cars auctioned off

Not all cars get destroyed, some get auctioned. Just under 5% of seized cars were sold at auction.

Year Cars sold Total amount made from sales
2019
4,590
£2,970,534
2020
4,855 6%
£3,245,388 9%

How do I know if I'm insured to drive other cars?

Unless you're a named driver on another car policy, or have multi-car insurance with the cars you have access to listed on there, it's safe to presume you're not insured for other cars.

A third (33%) of drivers still believe having comprehensive cover means you can drive any car, but this is no longer the case.

Double check with your insurer if driving other cars is included with your cover or see our guide on driving other cars for what to check in your policy. Or if you need short term cover, take a look at temporary car insurance.

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Methodology

In April 2021, Confused.com issued a Freedom of Information request to UK police forces, requesting the following information:

1. The total number of motorists caught driving without insurance in your force area broken down by year for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 to date.

2. The total number of cars seized for not being insured in your force area broken down by year for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 to date.

3. The amount paid by drivers to release seized cars (for not having the correct insurance) in your force area, broken down by year for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 to date.

4. The number of cars destroyed after being seized for not having the correct insurance, broken down by year for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 to date.

5. The number of cars sold / auctioned after being seized for not having the correct insurance, and the total amount of money made through sales, broken down by year for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 to date.

All figures stated are for 2019 and 2020 only.

Of the 45 forces contacted, 33 responded with information within the given timeframe.

Additional research figures taken from an online survey of 2,000 UK drivers. This was carried out by One Poll on behalf of Confused.com between 27 May and 1 June 2021.

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