MIB and police surveys reveal first drop in number of uninsured drivers

The number of uninsured drivers on the road fell for the first time in history, the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) said this week.

In 2006, 36,200 claims were notified to the MIB, 4% lower than in 2005 when 37,300 were notified.

"We generally see this as a lag indicator as opposed to a lead indicator, but we have still seen a significant fall in the claims reported," said MIB chief executive Ashton West.

Two other measures have also revealed a fall in the number of uninsured drivers.

The difference between the number of vehicles registered with the DVLA and the number of insured vehicles registered with the MIB has also narrowed.

In 2005 there was a 6.5% difference compared with a 5.7% difference in 2006.

A police roadside survey of 256 sites also indicated a drop in the number of uninsured vehicles on the road.

The fall in uninsured drivers has been hailed as a significant achievement by industry leaders.

They pointed to the greater co-ordination of police powers with the MIB for the success.

"The tide has turned. For the first time ever this figure has gone down," said Graeme Trudgill, Biba's technical services manager. "Well done to the insurance industry, but there is still a long way to go.

"We want to raise awareness about how drivers can look at the MIB to check that vehicles are registered correctly."

The ABI also welcomed the news, but echoed calls for more to be done to raise awareness of the MIB among drivers.

In 2006 police seized more than 50,000 uninsured vehicles from the road. There are thought to be around 1.5 million uninsured drivers in Britain.