Uninsured drivers

Driving without insurance puts other road users at risk

In 2016, around 3% of all cars on UK roads were uninsured. In real numbers that's just over a million vehicles. Driving without insurance is a threat to all responsible drivers in more ways than one.

Four cars driving on a motorway

The true cost of driving uninsured

Accidents with an uninsured driver can make turn an ordinary trip into a nightmare. The majority of UK drivers are footing the bill by paying higher premiums to cover the costs of those driving without insurance. But that's not all:

  • If you're hit by an uninsured driver, it could mean paying an insurance excess.
  • Depending on the insurer you may or may not lose your no claims bonus.
  • Without comprehensive insurance cover you may end up forking out for any car damage yourself.

That said, some policies – but not all – give protection from uninsured drivers, meaning your vehicle could be repaired without paying an excess or losing your no claim bonus.

What happens if I hit an uninsured driver?

If the collision is your fault, you may still be liable for the damage to the uninsured vehicle as well as damage to your own. While your third party insurance should cover the costs for the uninsured car, only comprehensive policies will cover repairs to your car as well.

What happens if an uninsured driver hits me?

If the driver whose car hits yours has no insurance, there's no one for you to claim against for any damage to your car, or for any injury suffered by you or your passengers.

Regardless of whose fault the collision is, if you only hold third party insurance then call the police if you suspect the other driver has no insurance, and contact your insurer who should help you get in contact with the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

They'll help you claim compensation if you've been in an accident with an uninsured driver when it wasn't your fault. There's no guarantee you'll get your money, but it's definitely worth a try.

What's the uninsured drivers law?

Although the cost of uninsured motorists is covered by higher insurance premiums, they aren't safe from prosecution. If you don't have at least third party insurance – then you're driving without insurance, which is a serious crime.

What's more, there's a high chance you'll be caught as the police use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, which automatically checks car number plates against the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and catches around 125,000 uninsured drivers a year.

If you're caught your car will be confiscated immediately, and unless you can prove that it's insured it'll be either crushed or sold – about a third of uninsured cars are destroyed. You're also looking at a fixed penalty of £300, 6 penalty points on your licence and you could be banned from driving. According to the MIB, it is estimated that uninsured drivers kill 120 people and injure 29,000 every year.

Can I report an uninsured driver?

We all have a right to feel secure on the road. If you suspect a car is being driven without insurance, or that the driver is not insured to drive it, you should report it to the police. If the number of uninsured drivers is lowered, you could see a reduction in premiums in the long run.

Find out more:

What's a SORN?

If you've got a car parked off the road – say in a garage or on private land – you'll need to make an application to the DVLA for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). It allows you to keep a vehicle off the road when it's not currently insured, taxed or you have no plans to drive it. Without a SORN, you'll be automatically fined £80 and face other penalties – even if your car's in storage.

Responsible drivers shouldn't have to suffer because of the actions of uninsured drivers. Getting the right insurance and understanding what can go wrong if you're uninsured can help reduce chances of fines, repair bills and higher premiums.

You can avoid unexpected costs by getting comprehensive cover. And don't forget we offer an Uninsured Driver Promise, meaning if your car is hit by a driver who isn't insured, you won't pay an excess and you won't lose your no claims discount.

Car insurance for £250 or less

That's what 10% of our new customers pay*

* Survey of new business sales from theAA.com, November 2023 to January 2024. Prices based on comprehensive cover only.