Are you one of the one in twenty motorists who regularly drive without insurance? You'd better watch out - your car could be heading for the crusher and shipped to the world's largest scrap smelter in China!
New powers now allow the police to seize, impound and crush any car found on the road without insurance. Pilot scheme was introduced in Durham last spring. Since then, police have seized more than 1,200 cars. People around half have been crushed into cubes and packed for smelting.
Takeaway known operations such as pilot schemes has been so great success, those police forces throughout the UK enthusiastically polishing up their tow truck. The scheme is now supported by a new police database that is supported by the insurance industry. It allows police to check the status of every car insurance in the UK while they were sitting in their patrol car.
Now if you are caught red-administered without car insurance you are forced to hand over your keys to the police at the roadside. There are no exceptions - this applies to everyone; it does not matter if it's just a forgetful mistake or conscious driving without insurance.
Then you have to get a skate on! You have only 14 days to produce an insurance policy that applies to the police and collect your car. And other costs mount up. Before you can collect your car, you have to pay the cost of curbside recovery (around £ 105) and the safe storage costs - and that can easily reach £ 15 per day. So, if you leave your car to collect the 14th day, you can bill for £ 315.
And if you do not reclaim your car, go to the crusher it goes!
During the pilot scheme, the cost of destroying the car was partially funded by Direct Line. They estimate that the operation Takeaway prevent accidents by 2000. And many of the cars were seized by police who found un-roadworthy.
A police spokesman said, "Insured drivers are often guilty of another offense. It's like having a driver's license or MOT certificate. We did everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers from our streets".
Indeed, uninsured drivers are much bigger problem than many of us expected. Department of Transportation recently reported that a motorcyclist 1 in 20 regularly driving without insurance. In addition, research from the Association of British Insurers found that drivers insurance is among the most dangerous on the road. On average they cause one accident every six months and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention.
And who pays for the insured accident? We do! Car insurance premiums on average loaded by £ 30 to cover damage caused by uninsured motorists. In the UK that adds up to an extra £ 500 million paid each year by the driver obey the law!
But that was not the end of our financial pain. If the insured vehicle collided into your car, is still listed as a "fault claim" on your policy. This means you have to pay the excess when your car is repaired and unless you have a protection claim on your policy; your no-claims bonus will take a knock. For two years, a reduction in claims bonus you cannot easily cost £ 275 in higher premiums.
Steps to take cars off the road and destroy them have been warmly welcomed by the Association of British Insurers. ABI has long criticized the generosity of the punishment given by the court for motor vehicle insurance but they still want tougher penalties. Offenders are usually fined just £ 150 to £ 200 - with time to pay - and this is much less than the average car insurance premium average. Surely this cannot be true justice!