Do I really need car insurance?

We sometimes feel that we could do without the expense of car insurance. Whether you are struggling to keep a business in the black, or pinching every penny at home the cost of driving without car insurance could be much worse.

Most of us manage to get through a year without having a car crash, so it is easy to feel that you are paying for nothing. However, if you take a closer look at the consequences of driving without insurance, you will understand why it is so important to be fully insured on the roads.

If you get caught
If you are caught behind the wheel without insurance, the consequences can be tough. A fixed penalty of £200 and six penalty points is bad enough, but it can get a lot worse. The maximum fine is a staggering £5000 and the courts can disqualify you from driving. The Road Safety Act 2006 allows for even harsher sentences for anyone who kills or injures anyone or who is simply involved in an accident while driving without insurance.

What are the chances of getting caught?
The police have an automatic number plate recognition system built into their cars, which means that they can find out if a vehicle is insured in a matter of seconds. The truth is, if you are driving without insurance, you have to be very lucky not to get caught.

If you don’t pay, others have to pay for you
One of the main reasons for annual increases in car insurance premiums is the cost that insurance companies incur in dealing with claims made against uninsured drivers. If you are uninsured, you are effectively making it more expensive for everyone else to get insured.

According to Direct.gov, uninsured drivers cost other motorists around £380 million a year, which is roughly £30 added to every insurance premium.

Changes to the law
In June 2011, the law regarding car insurance changed in order to clamp down on uninsured drivers. This new law means that you have to declare your vehicle as being off the road if you do not wish to insure your vehicle.

So even if you are not driving your vehicle, you can still be prosecuted for not having car insurance. If your vehicle isn’t insured, you could be on the receiving end of a fixed penalty of £100. Your vehicle could be impounded, destroyed or clamped, and you could even face a court appearance resulting in a £1000 fine.

Both the DVLA and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau have indicated a desire to work together in order to identify anyone flouting these new laws. Comparing the DVLA’s registered keeper records alongside the Motor Insurance database highlights anyone not insuring their vehicle correctly.

Protect yourself and others
Driving without insurance is unacceptable for so many reasons. If you are an uninsured driver and have any sort of crash or accident you make life complicated for others in terms of their own insurance claim. You can cost other road users their hard-earned money every day of the year and you run the risk of being disqualified as well as having your vehicle taken away.

To some people car insurance is expensive. But to anybody who wants to do the right thing rather than risk losing their car and their licence, it is worth every penny.

Guest Blog from – Sainsbury’s Finance blog, Money Matters

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