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Uninsured cars to be crushed under new laws
Nearly 5 years ago in 2006, Labour tried to enforce a law that would enable The Department of Transport (DfT) to seize all uninsured vehicles and have them crushed even though they are not being driven. The proposal never went through and the Road Safety Act remained the same - the new coalition government aim to change this and hope to save current motorists around £30 in annual insurance premiums. DfT estimate that around 160 people are killed every year from uninsured drivers and further 23,000 are injured.
You are allowed to keep a vehicle that is uninsured legally if you declare it as SORN (Statutory Off Road Declaration) but many people find that it is too much of a hassle and decide not to bother. By declaring a vehicle as SORN, you can also apply for a refund on the vehicle tax that you have paid. You can make a SORN online, through the post or over the phone and it only takes a few minutes to do if you have the correct paperwork and are the registered keeper of the vehicle.
Under the new proposal, uninsured vehicle owners will be given written notification that the vehicle will be seized by a certain date unless the £100 fine is paid and the vehicle owner get’s the vehicle insured by that date. Even if the fine has been paid but insurance has not been sought, the vehicle will be taken and crushed.
At present the DVLA do monthly checks to see whether owners are insuring their vehicle after car insurance expires. Those that fail to do so receive a warning and a possible fine of up to £5,000 unless they adhere to the law and get car insurance.
Many car owners who stop using their vehicles for whatever reason are mistaken in thinking that if they do not use it and it stays out of sight in a garage or on a private driveway that the vehicle does not need to be declared as SORN but the current laws state that it does.
Motoring agencies suggest that this new proposal will not work and will just catch out unsuspecting motorists that have been on holiday, admitted to hospital or other reasons that prevent them to renew their car insurance. There are many people mainly students that have a ‘summer car’ that they use only when they come home from university; this will mean that the car will either have to be insured for a whole year rather than the times you need it or declared as SORN each and every time that the car is not used.
As we know the new budget is very restricting and with even more budget cuts likely to be imposed, it's not sure whether or not the government will have enough money to publicise this new proposal.