Fleet News

Provisional licence holders caught without insurance increases

UK driving licence

The number of provisional driving licence holders caught behind the wheel without insurance increased by 16% to 14,618 in 2020, compared to two years earlier, according to new data seen by RAC Insurance.

A Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) showed that provisional licence holders accounted for 14% of the 105,641 uninsured drivers recorded in 2020 – 2% more than in both 2018 and 2019.

As many as 15,933 people (15% of all those uninsured) found to be without insurance did not even have a licence.

The data also reveals 23 were aged just 13 years old, 121 were 14 years old and 215 were aged 15. The oldest uninsured non-licence holders were 70.

There were also five 68-year-olds with provisional licences who were found not to be insured.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams says the increase may be a symptom of the impact the pandemic had on learning to drive and people’s finances.

“The shortage of available driving tests due to Covid is also likely to be a significant factor behind the high numbers,” he said.

“It’s also the case that younger drivers, who are more likely to have provisional licences, pay a disproportionate amount of tax when they buy car insurance which makes their already expensive policies even harder to afford.”

The vast majority of those who didn’t have valid insurance (39,894 – 38% of all those uninsured) were full licence holders. This was 11% down on 2018 when there were 44,705 drivers (41%).

A further 33,015 (31% of all those uninsured) had expired licences – this is a 4% increase on 2018.

Some 2,182 uninsured drivers held non-GB licences – 9% more than the 2,011 recorded in 2018, but still only 2% of all those without insurance.

In the midst of the world’s fight against coronavirus, there were just 6% fewer uninsured drivers in 2020 than there were the year before – 105,641 compared to 112,557 in 2019. This was only 2% lower than in 2018 (108,248).

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee