East London tops UK’s uninsured driving hotspots

7th July 2016

  • Analysis reveals East London has the highest number of uninsured vehicles in the UK as a percentage of all vehicles in the area
  • Half of the top ten UK areas for uninsured vehicles, as a percentage of all vehicles in the region, are located in London
  • Estimated to be over 55,000 uninsured vehicles in Birmingham
  • Across the UK there are estimated to be over a million uninsured motorists

New analysis1 from Churchill Car Insurance reveals the East of London comes top in the list of the UK’s uninsured vehicle hotspots. The research shows that 13.4 per cent of vehicles in this area have no insurance. This means that if a motorist was involved in an accident with a car in this area there is a one in eight chance the other vehicle would not be insured.

Five of the top ten UK uninsured vehicle hotspots, as a percentage of vehicles in the area, are located in London. As well as East London, North, South East, North West and East Central London are all plagued by uninsured motorists. At least one in 15 vehicles in each area in the UK’s top ten uninsured vehicle hotspots is uninsured. This means drivers involved in an accident in each of these areas face the significant risk of finding the other driver has no legal or financial protection.

Table one: League table of the UK’s top 10 uninsured vehicle hotspots

Area Percentage of vehicles that are uninsured Chance of vehicle involved in an accident being uninsured
East London 13.4% 1 in 8
North London 9.3% 1 in 11
South East London 9.1% 1 in 11
Liverpool 7.9% 1 in 13
Bradford 7.6% 1 in 13
Manchester 7.4% 1 in 14
North West London 7.4% 1 in 14
Oldham 7.2% 1 in 14
Ilford 7.1% 1 in 14
East Central London 6.6% 1 in 15

Source: Churchill Car Insurance analysis of Motor Insurers’ Bureau data 

Mark Chiappino, Honest Motoring Champion at Churchill commented: “The number of uninsured vehicles on the roads is alarming. Car insurance is a legal requirement but hundreds of thousands of motorists continue to flout the law. Drivers across the UK are paying higher premiums as a result of unscrupulous drivers that fail to insure their vehicles. We are calling for a greater recognition of the risks of uninsured motoring in the UK and far tougher penalties for those convicted of this offence.”

“If motorists are involved in an accident it is vital to capture as much information as possible, especially as it could help trace the other driver if they have no insurance. We believe that people shouldn’t be penalised if they are hit by an uninsured driver. If a motorist is involved in a collision with an uninsured vehicle that isn’t their fault, we will protect the policyholders’ no claims bonus and pay the excess.”

In absolute terms the highest number of uninsured vehicles in the UK is estimated to be located in Birmingham. The UK’s second city is estimated to be home to 55,142 uninsured vehicles. Manchester (37,167), Belfast (30,504) and Liverpool (27,364) also rank in the top five for the highest number of uninsured vehicles. It is estimated there are over one million2 uninsured drivers on the road, so being involved in an accident with one of these motorists driving illegally is a very real possibility. Indeed, Department for Transport data shows that around ten per cent of road traffic accidents, where an injury has been sustained, involved a ‘hit and run’ driver.3

Table two: Top locations in absolute terms for uninsured vehicles

Area Estimated number of uninsured vehicles
Birmingham 55,142
Manchester 37,167
East London 34,436
Belfast 30,504
Liverpool 27,364

Source: Churchill Car Insurance analysis of MIB data

Ashton West, CEO at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, commented: “Churchill is a key partner of MIB in the fight to tackle uninsured driving. Over the past decade they’ve supported us in our work with police forces to take the number of uninsured drivers from two million to one million. But as this research shows there is still a long way to go. Only four years ago, East London was the home of the Olympics, a focus of immense pride. Today it’s been given a less welcome title; that of the home of uninsured driving. But actually it’s a nationwide issue and affects many other key UK cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds. MIB is committed to raising awareness about the problem and driving down levels of uninsured driving.”

On a regional level London leads the way for uninsured vehicles, followed by the North West and West Midlands. The lowest number of insured vehicles is found in Wales, but as a percentage of the vehicles on the road Scotland and Home Counties have the lowest proportion of uninsured vehicles.

Table three: Uninsured driving by region

Regions Estimated Uninsured Vehicles Total number of vehicles Percentage of cars that are uninsured Chance of vehicle involved in an accident being uninsured
Greater London 215,970 3,932,057 5.5% 1 in 18
North West 175,625 4,083,301 4.3% 1 in 23
West Midlands 110,337 3,349,283 3.3% 1 in 30
Yorkshire & Humberside 69,572 2,496,204 2.8% 1 in 36
North East 58,138 1,645,789 3.5% 1 in 28
South East 56,334 3,381,834 1.7% 1 in 60
East of England 52,329 2,720,730 1.9% 1 in 52
South West 52,098 3,798,438 1.4% 1 in 73
East Midlands 50,303 2,120,780 2.4% 1 in 42
East England 46,169 3,055,754 1.5% 1 in 66
Wales 43,665 1,858,267 2.3% 1 in 43
Scotland 38,956 2,764,042 1.4% 1 in 71
Northern Ireland 30,504 1,038,109 2.9% 1 in 34

Source: Churchill Car Insurance analysis of MIB data 

Churchill Car Insurance is launching a new advertising campaign highlighting the risks associated with uninsured motorists to highlight the scale of the problem in key regions. Churchill is establishing digital advertising boards in London, Manchester and Birmingham that will dynamically register passing vehicles and display how many of the cars that have passed the precise location are likely to be uninsured4.

If a driver is involved in an accident with another motorist, to avoid issues later and to help trace the other driver if they are uninsured, they should capture as much information as possible. Ideally they should take note of:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Make and model of the car
  • The driver’s contact details
  • Names and addresses of any independent witnesses who can help confirm who is at fault

Churchill’s uninsured drivers promise

With over one million uninsured drivers on the road, getting hit by one of them can send your stress levels into overdrive, but at Churchill we don’t see why you should be penalised. If the collision isn’t your fault, our comprehensive car insurance protects your claim free years, we’ll repair your car and we’ll even cover your excess too.

Notes to Editors

  1. Churchill car insurance analysis of Motor Insurers’ Bureau data on the estimated number of uninsured vehicles in the UK. Total vehicle population figures by outcode provided by Experian. Please note all data is based on specific UK outcodes: East London correlates to the ‘E’ outcode area, Birmingham ‘B’ etc.
  2. Source: Motor Insurers’ Bureau 2014 (most recent available data)
  3. Source: Department for Transport
  4. No specific vehicle or driver data will be captured during the campaign. The technology installed will only measure the volume of vehicles on a stretch of road for the duration of the campaign.

For further information, please contact:

Antonia Green
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2967
Email: antonia.green@citigatedr.co.uk

Chloe French
PR Manager
Direct Line GroupTel: 01651 831 715
Email: chloe.french@directlinegroup.co.uk

Michelle Nelson
Communications Controller
MIB
Tel: 01908 443224
Email: mnelson@mib.org.uk

Churchill

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 www.churchill.com

MIB

MIB (www.mib.org.uk) aims to significantly reduce the level and impact of uninsured driving by working closely with partners across government and the insurance industry. The Bureau provides compensation to innocent victims involved in accidents with drivers who have no insurance or failed to stop. www.mib.org.uk