MIB Data Shows Estimated 25,000 Uninsured Learner Drivers on UK Roads

Data from MIB’s Police Helpline has revealed an estimated 25,000 unqualified drivers are using Britain’s roads without valid car insurance.

In the past 12 months MIB received thousands of enquiries from police officers at the roadside where a provisional licence holder was suspected to be driving without insurance. In most instances when a learner was found to be uninsured the car was immediately seized by police, and one in every two uninsured learners faced further penalties as they had also been driving without the legally required supervision.

In cases where learners had taken out car insurance, many faced news that their cover was invalid as they were driving outside of the terms and conditions of their policy, with examples ranging from daily commutes to using a car for business purposes. Many more were also found to be breaking the law by failing to display L plates on their car.

Neil Drane, MIB’s Head of Enforcement, said: “We understand car insurance can be expensive but it’s there to protect all road users in the event of an accident. We’re urging learners to do the right thing and drive insured or the police will seize their car, which in turn could prevent them from obtaining a full driving licence and could impact their independence.”

Uninsured driving is a problem that seriously affects the lives of innocent victims and costs millions of pounds every year. Motor insurance is a legal requirement, and like any other road user, learner drivers must ensure they have a valid policy in place and meet all licence requirements. Those found to be driving without insurance can have their car seized by police, receive six points on their licence, a £300 fine and face further penalties.

Advice for learner drivers to insure their car

All learner drivers require a valid provisional licence. If a learner is taking lessons with a qualified driving instructor in a car they provide, their insurance will cover the learner as it should be included in lesson costs.

If a learner driver wants to drive their own car or one that’s provided by a friend or family member, they must always display two L plates and be supervised by someone who is 21 or over and has had a full driving licence for at least three years. There are a range of insurance options:

  • Insuring an owned car: A learner who wants to practise in their own car can take out an insurance policy with the person who will be supervising them listed as a named driver. This also gives the learner a chance to build up their no claims bonus.
  • Being insured on a family member or friend’s car: Learners can take out learner driver insurance on a friend or family member’s car.
  • Being a named driver on a family member or friend’s car insurance policy: It’s also possible to be a named driver on the insurance policy belonging to the family member or friend who is going to be supervising in their own car.

MIB recommends learners speak directly to an insurer or a broker as they will be able to help them find suitable insurance for learning to drive. Further advice can be found at www.mib.org.uk

Insurance Edge Comment;

Perhaps the future for younger, or learner drivers is PAYG car cover, with a simple app-based menu offering commuter, parcel/food delivery, passengers, night driving etc as clear options. The confusion tends to arise when people cannot understand the detailed T&Cs within the policy. 

We also think the old template of offering Third Party Fire & Theft or Fully Comprehensive ( which ISN’T actually comprehensive at all) is simply outmoded and doesn’t make sense in today’s multi-vehicle, multi-job lifestyle.

Car and van insurance should be defined via three separate categories; Basic Third Party/Theft, Social & Leisure Driving, (with optional night use) and finally Business Driving, with regular commuting coming under Business Driving.

That way everyone would have a much clearer idea of what kind of driving lifestyle is being covered and this is the crux of the matter because usage defines the risk, for both parties. Please sort it insurance industry.

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