Surge in learner drivers caught without insurance linked to pandemic

Some 14,618 learners were prosecuted for driving without insurance in 2020, up from 12,583 in 2018.

10 February 2022

Banning driving lessons and tests during coronavirus lockdowns sparked a surge in uninsured learners on Britain’s roads, new figures suggest.

Some 14,618 provisional licence holders were prosecuted for driving without insurance in 2020, up from 12,583 in 2018, according to data obtained by the RAC.

The ages of non-licence holders caught driving while uninsured in 2020 ranged from 13 to 70.

The RAC warned that offenders put “everyone else on the road in both physical and financial danger”.

It believes the coronavirus pandemic may have driven the increase in the number of prosecutions.

Driving lessons and tests were banned for several months during lockdowns.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “The fact the number of provisional drivers caught without insurance increased in 2020 may well be a symptom of the onslaught of the pandemic and the impact it 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.

“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 figures were obtained by a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

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