Official figures reveal the extent of unlawful driving and how the courts deal with offenders. Around 500,000 motorists picked up points on their licences for driving without insurance from 2010 until 2013.
Out of that number, 1,414 have valid licences despite having at least 12 penalty points, of which some were issued for driving without insurance.
Hefty potential fines, penalty points and driving bans seem to do little to deter drivers without insurance.
Offenders face a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on their driving licence.
If the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £5,000 and disqualification from driving, but magistrates and judges seem reluctant to impose significant fines.
The average fine for a no insurance offence is £322 – but how much a driver is fined can depend on where they live. For instance, courts in Warwickshire dished out average fines of £385 for drivers without insurance, while those in South Yorkshire set average fines of 3260 for the same offence.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) makes keeping an uninsured vehicle on the road an offence.
While the number of uninsured drivers caught has decreased by 34% since the law was introduced in 2011, uninsured driving remains a problem, claim car insurers.
“A number of improvements have been made to tackle the issue of uninsured drivers over the past couple of years, but there are still a shocking number of irresponsible motorists taking to the roads without mandatory cover,” said a spokesman for Churchill.
“Untraced and uninsured drivers cause 130 deaths and over 26,000 injuries every year, so more must be done to stamp out this problem.
“The average motorist prosecuted for driving without insurance is fined only a fraction of the maximum penalty. Higher fines, especially those that exceed the cost of the average motor insurance premium, will undoubtedly help discourage offenders.”