The proposal by the DVLA to remove the insurance check when car owners apply for a tax disc is ‘absurd’, according to the AA.
Simon Douglas, director of broker AA Insurance, suggests it could “undo much the work carried out by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the Government and the insurance industry to tighten up enforcement of the law”.
He said: “To knock out a simple and almost fool-proof check that insurance is in place, once every year or six months, is madness. It’s telling the public that it’s OK to delay or even avoid taking out cover.
“It’s simply not good enough to rely on Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation which was introduced last year; and the police using automatic number plate recognition technology to identify uninsured vehicles after the event. Surely it is better to ensure that vehicles are insured from the outset.”
Currently, application of a tax disc online confirms that both insurance and MoT are valid.
If either has expired it is tangible reminder to the motorist to act promptly and alerts them if an error has been made.
Those buying their tax disc at a Post Office currently need to produce a paper insurance certificate and Douglas said: “It would be far better for Post Office counter staff to make an electronic check against the Motor Insurance Database, given that a paper insurance certificate is no longer a compulsory requirement."
He added: “One out of every 25 motorists on Britain’s roads is driving without cover, a significant improvement over five years ago. Even so, this is still one of the poorest uninsured driving records in Europe and now is not the time to knock out a legislative pillar that will take us back to square one.”