By the end of 2015, 118,500 uninsured vehicles will have been seized from UK roads, an increase of 2,500 from 2014 with the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) warning that those who do not insure their cars "will get caught".
The MIB, which is paid for by the insurance industry and by insurers, works with police forces and their database to target uninsured drivers. It had set a target of seizing 116,500 uninsured vehicles but this figure was topped on December 17.
This is still just over 10% of the uninsured cars on UK roads although the MIB estimates the number of uninsured vehicles on UK roads has halved over the last decade from two million to one million out of a total of 36 million cars.
Around one in three cars seized by police involves a call to check their database. Police also provide help to drivers wishing to claim against uninsured motorists or perpetrators who cannot be found. The MIB has the power to recover any payments made to victims as well as any costs.
Ashton West, chief executive of the MIB, said: "A great deal of effort and resource has been spent by government, the police and the insurance industry on promoting a simple message to the public about the compulsory nature of motor insurance, together with the reasons for insurance protection and its compulsion in the context of the use of motor vehicles. The public message has been: If you drive uninsured you will be caught, your vehicle will be seized, you will face financial penalties and your driving licence will be endorsed."
Uninsured drivers face a £300 penalty and six points added to their licence. Once seized by police the owner faces a £20-per-day police storage charge and a £150 fee to recover their car. If the car is not reclaimed in 14 days it can be crushed – between 30% to 40% of cars end up being destroyed. Referring to uninsured drivers, Mr West said: "Our message is that you will get caught."