One in ten motorists under 35 has driven without insurance

1st July 2011

Churchill launches uninsured drivers promise to protect customers' NCD

Nearly two million motorists (six per cent) have driven without insurance on public roads, with this rising to more than one in ten motorists (11 per cent) amongst 18 - 34 year olds*, reveals research from Churchill Car Insurance.

Three in ten motorists (28 per cent) who admit to flouting car insurance laws say that they took this risk when they were young and weren't aware of the consequences. This suggests it's often the most inexperienced drivers who are failing to take out proper insurance to protect other motorists on the roads.

Some motorists who have run the gauntlet of driving without insurance did so because it was an emergency situation (22 per cent) or to take the wheel for a friend who was too intoxicated to drive (20 per cent). However, a significant number of motorists who have driven without insurance did so when they shouldn't have been on the road at all:

  • Seven per cent drove without insurance when they didn't have a licence
  • Six per cent drove without insurance when they were banned from driving

Following the introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement legislation last month, it is now an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, rather than just to drive when uninsured. The new legislation has come into force to tackle the estimated 1.4 million uninsured drivers that are currently on the road**. These uninsured motorists pose a real threat to other road users - it is estimated that 23,000 people are injured and 160 are killed every year by uninsured drivers***.

From Monday 20th June 2011, the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) will be writing to registered keepers of uninsured vehicles to advise them what action they need to take to avoid receiving a fixed penalty from the DVLA.

If a vehicle does not have insurance, the registered keeper will now be liable for either a fixed penalty of £100, or could face having their vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded, or destroyed or could face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum fine of £1000.

Churchill launches its uninsured drivers promise

From 1st July 2011, Churchill's comprehensive car insurance policy will become one of only a small proportion of motor policies in the UK to provide cover for losses due to uninsured drivers****. Churchill will cover the excess and protect a comprehensive policy holder's No Claims Discount if, by no fault of their own, they are hit by an uninsured driver.

The feature will be available to both new and existing comprehensive policies*****.

Tony Chilcott, head of Churchill Motor Insurance, commented: "Under the new legislation, motorists who drive without insurance will have nowhere to hide and will be subject to repeated fines or prosecution if they continue to flout the law. Uninsured drivers already add an average £30 to every car insurance premium in the UK***, so we believe that motorists who abide by the law shouldn't be left out of pocket if they are hit by an uninsured driver."

Facts about uninsured drivers

  • There are an estimated 1.4million uninsured drivers in the UK
  • 23,000 people are injured and 160 are killed every year by uninsured drivers
  • In 2009, 164,000 people were convicted for driving without insurance***
  • The cost of uninsured motoring in the UK is estimated to be around £500 million. The MIB charges a levy on all motor insurance companies to help fund the cost of uninsured driving in the UK. That amounts to £30 for each law abiding driver in their annual motor premium***

For further information, please contact:

Vicky Bristow
PR Manager, Churchill
Tel: 0208 313 5741

Notes to editors:

  • *Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,013 UK adults between 10th and 12th November 2010 on behalf of Churchill Car Insurance. The sample is representative of all UK adults. 6 per cent of motorists admit to having driven without insurance (6 per cent of 33million motorists nationwide (source: ONS) is 1.98 million motorists.
  • **MIB (Motor Insurers' Bureau), May 2011
  • ***MIB Stay Insured Report, 2009
  • ****Defaqto Research (June 2011), commissioned by Churchill, found that only 16 per cent of motor policies in the UK provide cover for losses due to uninsured drivers.Defaqto is an independent financial research company.
  • *****If you make a claim for an accident that is not your fault and the driver of the car that hits your car is not insured, you will not lose your No Claim Discount or have to pay any excess if you can provide:
    • The vehicle registration number and the make and model of the car
    • The driver's details, if possible


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting