Continuous Insurance Enforcement or CIE
Crackdown on uninsured driving gets underway
There can be few classic car enthusiasts who do not agree that the scourge of uninsured drivers should be tackled and rigorously but for a seasonal classic car user it is very easy to overlook the insurance if the car is parked up and off the road in a garage for several months. Under the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) requirements being applied by the DVLA, there are concerns that owners of seasonally used vehicles may park them up in a garage or barn and then, because they are not intending to use the vehicle on the public highway for some months, may forget when their motor insurance cover expires.

Law has changed regarding motor insurance
Under the CIE a vehicle owner that has not declared a SORN (statutory off road notification) for a vehicle must have active motor insurance cover for that vehicle even if the car is garaged or in store off the public highway. The law has changed - it is now an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle that is not on a current SORN as well as the former offence of using an uninsured vehicle on a road or other public place.

New DVLA systems using vehicle and insurance databases to identify uninsured vehicles
The DVLA now has systems which enable it to run checks on both their vehicle records database and the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and by comparing the data from the two databases they can very easily identify vehicles that are uninsured but not on a SORN. Firm action is promised in those cases. From June 2011 registered keepers identified as having an uninsured vehicle which is not on a current SORN will be sent a letter telling them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning them of the consequences if they fail to take action. Those who do not act on this warning - either by taking out insurance or declaring their vehicle off the road - will receive a £100 fixed penalty and could have their vehicle clamped, seized and destroyed if it is found on the road. They may also face a court prosecution if the fixed penalty is not paid. The DVLA has released a two page fact sheet with guidance and advice for owners of vehicles used on a seasonal basis so they can comply with the tougher requirements of the new regime. DVLA fact sheet

What are the costs of uninsured drivers?
The costs of the scourge of uninsured drivers were set out in a DVLA press release in June. The latest estimates are that around 4% (around 1.4 million) of motorists in the UK drive uninsured. The penalty for driving without insurance is a maximum fine of £5,000 and 6-8 penalty points or possible disqualification. Around 200,000 offenders are convicted for uninsured driving every year. Currently every responsible motorist pays an average of £30 each year within their premiums to cover crashes involving uninsured and untraced drivers. It is estimated that uninsured and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 every year. Measures already introduced in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 gave police improved access to the MID and powers to seize vehicles driven without insurance. In 2009 around 180,000 uninsured vehicles were seized.

Increase in insurance database checks using askMID
The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), which launched a national advertising campaign in June to raise awareness of the new law, has seen a 20 per cent rise in the number of successful searches by motorists who have checked their insurance details are recorded on the Motor Insurance Database (MID). When motor insurance cover is processed by insurers, details of the vehicle are posted to the MID so the current insurance status of the car is recorded on that database. All vehicle owners and drivers can check their vehicle insurance details are recorded correctly for free at - and a check is very worthwhile doing as the accuracy of the database relies on your insurers putting details of your insurance cover there. There have been cases where either data for a driver's insurance cover had not been recorded or a mistake in the record had been introduced. In those cases an askMID search for the vehicle would have produced an uninsured record - "X No- your vehicle is NOT showing as insured on the MID" - which would put you on notice there is a problem. Unless that mistake is spotted in good time, when a DVLA database comparison is run that car would show up as "uninsured" and trigger the warning letter system for you!

Need a reminder of the key road tax/SORN, MOT and insurance dates?
Keeping the key data for your car in a safe place for easy reference seems a good idea, so we have produced a set of credit card sized forms on which you can make a note of the tax/SORN renewal date, MOT expiry and the insurance renewal date for your car. Just download the PDF document , fill in a form and then cut out the form and pop it in with your debit and credit cards where it will be a useful reminder. That document can be downloaded on the Club's website where there are links to a gateway webpage providing links to several useful websites for a DVLA vehicle enquiry, an askMID insurance search, records of MOT test results together with links for online taxing and SORNing. Download a card

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Posted 060711
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