Seizure of uninsured vehicles doubles
According to the AA, the number of uninsured vehicles seized by the police in 2007 was almost double that compared with 2006.
The AA added that there was a growing number of top-of-the range cars that were being seized. This was probably due to the fact that owners could not afford to insure them or chose not to.
The total number of cars seized increased from 78,000 in 2006 to 150,000 in 2007, with 40% of cars seized not reclaimed. Unclaimed vehicles are crushed or sold at auction.
The AA said the increase in seized cars is due to the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras by the police.
The ANPR system is relatively simple, a camera takes an image of the number plate and those details are then input into a system which checks them against sources such as the Police National Computer (PNC), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Local Force Intelligence systems and motor insurers databases. If the number plate is matched to one of the sources, the ANPR equipment will sound an alert.
Edmund King, president of the AA said the more widespread use of ANPR cameras means that the net is closing in on uninsured motorists. However, some motorists are using foreign number plates to try to avoid detection.
Mr King added that the need for checks on foreign registered vehicles needs to be increased – plates from a left-hand drive eastern European country on a right-hand drive car are often a sign.
The AA also said that claims for accidents with uninsured drivers were down from 36,340 in 2006 to 34,239 in 2007.