MORE than half a million cars have yet to be registered on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), prompting the industry body to give a final warning to fleets that they should sign up or face prosecution.
Companies had to ensure that details of every vehicle on their fleet were on the database as part of the Fourth EU Motor Insurance Directive by January 20 this year. Almost eight months on, three and half million fleet and motor industry vehicles have been registered on the database but executives at the Motor Insurers' Information Centre (MIIC) – the body that runs the MID – say there is still a shortfall of about half a million vehicles, many of them fleet cars.
Donald Martin, MIIC programme manager, said: 'Time is running out for fleets. Although we have not set a deadline, we formally write to the policyholder asking them to register and why they have not already done so. Depending on the circumstance we may consider prosecution.'
Fleets could be subject to fines of up to £5,000 for not registering vehicles on the database, which was created as part of a major anti-crime initiative.
It aims to reduce the problem of uninsured driving which the MIIC estimates costs UK motorists about £600 million a year.
Martin added: 'We are allowing insurers a reasonable time to sign up to the database but we are getting to the stage of looking at samples of those who have not yet registered to identify those not making an effort.
'The last ones failing to sign up could be fined if we decide to take action. However, we have a process to follow and we want to ensure that we have given fleets a good opportunity to sign up.'
The MID database encountered problems when it was first introduced. The final legislation appeared a few days before the January 20 registration deadline, fleets failed to contact their insurers early enough and there were problems registering vehicles on the database.
Prior to its publication it was thought that fleet operators would have 14 days to notify the MID of changes of details of fleet vehicles, but when the Government finally published its interpretation, this had been changed to 'immediately'.
At the time, the MIIC said the move had taken it by surprise but warned against panic in the industry. The associated problems caused a surge of people to supply their vehicle data immediately before and after the deadline.
The MIIC has produced an internal report on the number of fleets signed up to the database and figures from this research will be released shortly.
As well as a hefty fine, fleets not yet signed up to the database face administrative headaches as records must span several years to meet the demands of the legislation.
For further details, visit the Motor Insurers' Information Centre website at www.miic.org.uk