Major Clampdown on Uninsured Drivers to Tackle the Cost of Motor Insurance

On average, there are about 150,000 uninsured cars on Irish roads, a deeply concerning number that has almost doubled in the past 5 years.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) warned that uninsured drivers face serious penalties which include an automatic court appearance, having their vehicle seized on the spot, five penalty points and a significant fine.

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If involved in any accidents, individuals without the proper documentation will also be pursued for costs under their right of recovery.

According to the MIBI’s figures, there are now 151,392 insured vehicles on the roads, meaning that 7.4% of the total number of private vehicles on the roads are not insured.

2016 saw a 33,000 increase in the number of uninsured cars on Irish roads from the previous year.

Gary McClarty, Managing Director of said these figures are “alarming” and “require a call to action.”

Chief executive of the MIBI, David Fitzgerald said: “Motorists need to understand just how significant a risk they are facing if they drive without insurance. If they were involved in an accident, the situation they face is even more severe.”

Plans are currently underway to introduce technology that will allow Gardaí to carry out roadside checks to see if drivers have insurance. The new database will provide all driver, car and registration details, as well as which company insurers them. Details about uninsured drivers would also be listed on the database.

Similarly, another database highlighting fraudulent personal injury claims is to be launched in a bid to cut down on false and exaggerated claims.

Likely to become known as ‘swindlers list,’ the database is thought to be funded by the Insurance Industry, however a decision is yet to be made regarding which State agency will be in charge.

The government believes the new database will help to identify repeat claimants and those engaged in staged accidents, and eventually bring the cost of motor insurance down.

Junior Minister, Eoghan Murphy prepared a report, that sets out 71 actions, as part of 33 recommendations, to bring motor insurance costs down. The cost of motor insurance has shot up by almost 70% in the past three years.

Mr Murphy recognised that the matter is not a quick fix and would take time to implement all measures and lower premiums.

Online insurers have welcomed the planned Government changes.

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