Getting scum off the roads .

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The ownership records may be out of date - but I'm pretty sure the VED records will be accurately recorded as it has had to be in order for the tax disc to be issued for the last couple of years .

I , too , have had SORN reminders for cars I scrapped/sold on in the past and notified at the time ( I just renewed the SORN online to avoid it escalating any further at the same time as writing to correct the error ) . It only happened the once in each case and I got an acknowledgement letter both times as well .
The biggest objection everyone seems to have is accuracy of the MID database - some have mentioned figures of up to 30% - is there hard fact to support this contention ? Anytime I have insured a car ( and I buy a fair few older cars - many of which are on SORN at the time of purchase ) and can categorically say that every single one was on the MID database the following day after I insured them - some more or less instantly as I checked just after taking out the policies - I have used a variety of insurers and have yet to find one who drags their heels in this respect .

I said above - all 4 of my old MBs took 1-2 weeks to get on the database. They were on modern classic policies. Until the paper certificates came through, no-one would have believed that I was insured. When I called one company up (Lancasters or Flux, I can't remember which) I was told 'up to two weeks'.

As it happens I bought a car yesterday (an Accord), insured it (Swiftcover), collected it (complete with the seller's obligatory 1/8th tank of petrol), and today it's not showing up on the askMID database. Luckily I can fill it up without hindrance. I'll keep checking the MID each day and let you know when (if!) it appears. (As the A12 here has frequent parked-up camera cars, I'll be keeping the printed-off certificate with me.)

This should be fairly simple to achieve by requiring ALL insurers to log new business onto the database at the time of granting cover

Speaking as a businessman (albeit rather smaller than Aviva/etc), I really hate the casual way that fans of big government are blase about inventing inefficient laws and pushing the costs of enforcement said laws onto business.

a cost that the insurance companies will have to incur , but they (along with the rest of us) will save in the long run by eradicating uninsured/MOT'd/taxed vehicles from the roads .

Why aren't you listening? The uninsured can and will simply use a friend's/relative's legally insured car to get the fuel and then syphon it into the uninsured car well away from the forecourt's ANPR system.

Plus, you've just invented a new black economy: enterprising and legally insured drivers will buy petrol and sell it on at a profit. So you'll have to make that illegal and enforce that, too.

It really is a daft idea. Sorry - you're a nice chap and all :)
My latest W124 didn't appear on the database Adrian Flux was using. My E500 Elegance estate couldn't possibly exist according to my then insurers who stated only Avantgarde 500 estates existed. Congestion charging failed to transfer my new W124 to my existing discount thereby ensuring that in two weeks of use I now have five penalty charges which have been a right PITA to sort out, all because the person at the other end of the telephone didn't get it right. None of this was remotely as difficult however as sorting out the Inland Revenue when they got my tax wrong two years in a row. Imagine the joy I would have if they got the information wrong and I had to spend three months sorting out the ability to get fuel while every single phone call was ignored, letters not replied to, and bailiffs sent round to harass, simply because the data entry person missed out a box.

Anybody who says their database is a 100% right is either a fantasist or a politician. There are a whole variety of reasons why this will not work, and this is the principal one.
The VED database is not so clever either.. despite actually haveing a new disc for my XM in my hand, applied for online.. the car is still untaxed aparently!
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I say the other idea was far far superior. That of using fuel tax revenue to fund third party cover for anyone that buys fuel, and any extra cover you arrange yourself. And scrap the VED. No databases, accurate or otherwise, no beaurocracy no extra cost. If you bought fuel you are coverd.. end of
To my mind there is a much simpler solution to law breaking on the roads.
Put an end to this nonsensical 'prohibititon' aka as 'the war on drugs'. If people want to take drugs - let them. The harm to others is a consequence of their illegality, and some are less harmful than alcohol even. It is moralising - and nothing more productive than that.

Now, with the police freed up in massive numbers, proper policing can be enacted.
A driver of an uninsured/untaxed car may spend a few minutes on a garage forecourt - but many hours on the road - visible to the police.
It is for the police to police. Not the general public. Apart from the dangers posed to said public from retribution, I for one do not want to go about my life forever looking for badness - which is how a snooping grass ends up behaving.

It is also a very dangerous first step towards vigilantism - no thanks.

Dispense with the absurd laws that protect no one and free the police to police with our safety in mind.
As someone who works in the insurance industry in my opinion the fines imposed by the courts for driving without insurance need to treble or quadruple.

Virtually always the fine for a driving without insurance conviction is a fraction of the cost of the premium that the convicted driver should have paid as required by law.

Until this happens we the number of uninsured drivers will continue to rise year on year.
The insurance companies are part of the problem! :doh:
My friends wife has just past her driving test at the age of thirty years old. To put her on his insurance for a ten year old V-Class 2.2 Cdi would be £1200 more than what he is paying now!
In my humble opinion there needs to be two types of insurance- one along the lines of fully comprehensive and another along the lines of 3rd party only and you aren't allowed to drive a car with an engine bigger than say a 1.2cc until you have had your licence for two years.
This whole insurance debate, for me, is hiding the real problem that is driver education, but because there are no spivs that can make enough money out of it, nothing gets done.
It's ironic that they only send you to these driver education programmes when you have broken the law! I always thought that prevention was cheaper than the cure?
I'm not trying to say that I have all the answers, but I felt the need to reply to some of the comments on this thread, that seem a bit draconian.
I'm sure that somewhere George Orwell will have a wry smile on his face...;)
How would your idea prevent this?


It wouldn't - but it would stop the chav single mum who drove her uninsured ( possibly un-MOT'd or unTAXed as well ) beat up old Corrolla through my garden wall , writing off my W124 .

I acknowledge that there are determined criminals who will find a way round any law - BUT , I suspect the majority of uninsured/MOT'd/TAXed cars are being run by those who can ill afford to be legal , but would still not resort to more serious crime if prevented by this scheme from running their illegal cars .
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Since most petrol stations now have ANPR cameras that record vehicle details before dispensing fuel ( and , I thnk , refer to a local 'hit list' of numbers reported for fuel theft already ) would it not be a good idea to tie them into the national databases so that they check for MOT/INS/VED and do not dispense fuel if any vehicle shows up as not having any of the three in place ?

We should have less cameras/databases not more, as it is we are the most spied upon nation on earth.

What next, tattooing "FELON" on people's foreheads, and chopping off peoples hands?
It wouldn't [work].
So it's irrelevant to the argument you're making other than to add in some emotional emphasis in place of logic? Why mention the stolen car in a debate about fuelling legally owned cars?

So it's irrelevant to the argument you're making other than to add in some emotional emphasis in place of logic? Why mention the stolen car in a debate about fuelling legally owned cars?


The debate is about stopping people from using cars illegally , and causing harm to others . Having no insurance is just one of the offences which could be detected in this way , but arguably the worst offence since an uninsured driver who cripples an innocent third party has no insurance to cover the cost of ongoing treatment and care - therefore the rest of us end up paying ever higher premiums to cover it .

My point in mentioning that I have suffered no fewer than three times at the hands of uninsured drivers was to emphasise just how common this offence is . I have read various figures , the most conservative being that one in five cars being driven on the road is uninsured .

Any measure that makes life more difficult for people prepared to take , and inflict this risk on others , is worthwhile in my opinion .

I like the idea of tatooing FELON across their faces , too , BTW . :D

Amputation of the right foot for persistent offenders would work quite well , too .
emphasise just how common this offence is . I have read various figures , the most conservative being that one in five cars being driven on the road is uninsured .

1 in 5 ! :eek::eek:
If that is true, then that is frankly ridiculous that so many people are getting away with it. Why are the Police not able to do more spot checks?
One thing that has exascebated the problem is the odd devaluation of used cars that seems a UK phenomenon. Nowhere else in europe are second hand cars so cheap. So the persistance offender who gets his car confiscated just goes out and finds another £50 spares or repairs car and proceeds to proceed in that, so crushing uninisured cars really does not help much. A return to the days when anything that ran was worth siginifaicnt money would put a stop to that, although how to do this I don;t know, I suspect the end of company cars and cheap new car credit would do the job (both are near unheard of in europe)...
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There is a very high percentage for sure, and i have no doubt that it is probably higher than any of the official figures
1 in 5 ! :eek::eek:
If that is true, then that is frankly ridiculous that so many people are getting away with it. Why are the Police not able to do more spot checks?

The police/authorities do loads of spot checks. Is the car - registration number - taxed and insured? Computer says YES.

It may be cloned plates trivial to do with a cheap colour printer and clingfilm, or a pool car (legal, but owned and used by several illegal drivers) or just fiddled databases.

Its an automated system, looking at just a subset of of easily bypassable transgressions.

It catches the careless, forgetful and stupid, not the brighter lawbreakers, who evolve ways of avoiding detection. It gives the public a somewhat false sense of security.

You can't actually beat a good old fashioned copper and their instinct. Infinitely cleverer than a camera and a database.

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