The Association of British Drivers (ABD) wants to talk to the Association of British Insurers about launching a crackdown on uninsured drivers.

A spokesman for the ABD said drivers were suffering badly under current market conditions, where premiums for motor insurance were rising sharply.

He added it was time insurers did more to rid the roads of uninsured drivers.

“There need to be stiffer penalties for uninsured drivers. I can't understand why the insurance industry has never lobbied against the paltry £20 and £50 fines that are slapped on uninsured motorists who are caught,” he said.

He admitted that, in the past, drivers have benefited from cut-throat competition by insurers and that drivers must take responsibility on themselves to shop around.

One in 20 cars in the UK is thought to be uninsured, one of the highest figures in western Europe.

The levy paid by insurers to the Motor Insurers' Bureau to cover uninsured drivers was £215m in 2000, adding around £25 to the cost of a motor policy.