IT’S A WORRY, that despite the Government reforms to reduce access to justice for victims of road accidents so to pass on those savings to motor insurers’ customers, quite the opposite is happening.  The premiums are going up.  No surprise there.

But the premiums are disproportionately hitting younger drivers.  The financial burden of driving, particularly for young motorists, is reaching unsustainable levels, with the average cost of fully comprehensive car insurance for drivers aged 17-24 now exceeding £2,000 annually. This steep increase in premiums is pushing an increasing number of young drivers to take the risk of driving uninsured.

Recent statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency show a worrying trend: in just one year, the number of 17-20-year-olds penalised for driving without insurance jumped by 28%, and there has been a staggering 200% increase since 2021. Currently, uninsured young drivers caught in the act face severe penalties, including fines and points on their license, which only adds to their financial strain.

The total cost of owning and operating a car for young drivers now averages £3,043 per year for a young driver. Other running costs  include fuel (£799), road tax (£180) and MOT (£55).  This is an increase from last year, when the average running cost was £2,436.a 25% hike in expenses, making the freedom of driving less accessible for many.

Experts like Nicholas Lyes from IAM RoadSmart highlight the growing epidemic of uninsured young drivers as a direct consequence of these soaring costs. The situation calls for urgent intervention to prevent further escalation. Proposals from motoring organizations like IAM RoadSmart and the AA include reducing the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) for drivers under 25 and even abolishing it for those who undertake additional driving courses to enhance their skills and safety awareness.

This issue has broader implications as well, affecting young people’s independence and their ability to access educational and employment opportunities which often require travel that public transport cannot adequately support. With the high risk associated with young drivers, as evidenced by the frequency and severity of claims, insurance costs are unlikely to decrease without significant changes in policy or support mechanisms. Thus, it is essential for government action to help mitigate these costs and support young drivers, ensuring that driving remains an accessible and safe option for all.

What if you are hit by an uninsured driver?

There is a quasi insurance scheme that is set up to compensate victims who have sustained personal injury following a road traffic accident to someone who does not have insurance, young or old.  The MIB scheme will help compensate victims.   However in more complex or serious injury claims you will need to instruct an experience solicitor like our firm who will help you claim for your injuries and losses.

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Other Statistics

The Government website has also provided the following updated figures:

Comparing 2023 with 2022, in the UK, there were:

  • 2,535,000 vehicles registered for the first time, an increase of 16% (VEH0150)
  • 342,000 vehicles registered for the first time that were zero emission, an increase of 17% (VEH1153a)
  • 314,000 cars registered for the first time that were zero emission, an increase of 18%

At the end of December 2023, compared to December 2022, in the UK there were:

  • 41.2 million licensed vehicles, an increase of 1% (VEH0101a)
  • 1,015,000 licensed zero emission vehicles, an increase of 47% (VEH1103a), including 931,000 zero emission cars, an increase of 48%

At the end of 2023, zero emission vehicles accounted for 2.5% of all road using vehicles, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from the end of 2022.

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