The government has been accused of failing to tackle uninsured driving after it emerged that almost one in five driver details held by the DVLA is wrong.

According to figures, uncovered by the Conservative Party, personal details held by the DVLA are wrong for 7.8 million people, which equates to 18% of drivers on Britain’s roads

The Conservatives accused the government of failing to tackle the problem of uninsured drivers saying that if data is wrong there could be no definitive figure for how many there are on the roads.

Shadow Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling said: “This is a startling figure which has worrying consequences for the safety of people on Britain's roads and raises questions about the bigger issue of identity fraud. It also makes it much easier for the rogue drivers on our roads to keep on driving without the right tax, licence or insurance.”

The Tories said the inaccuracies would jeopardise claims with wrong information being stored and could lead to many truthful drivers paying more in premiums after having no third party to claim from.

Grayling added: “There is a huge problem with rogue drivers on our roads and the DVLA database is inadequate for tracking down these drivers. How can the government possibly be regarded as credible at dealing with uninsured drivers, if they can’t even keep the DVLA database up to date.”

Ashton West, chief executive of the Motor Insurers Bureau said that the police used a number of different databases to target uninsured drivers.

“Under new powers the police can stop and seize any vehicle they suspect as being uninsured. Last year tens of thousands of vehicles were seized by the police and around 40% of these were destroyed,” he said

A spokesman for the ABI said: “It is important that data is accurate. The police must have confidence in the system.”

A spokesman for the DVLA said: “The result of the DVLA’s accuracy survey for 2005 indicates that a vehicle keeper can be traced in 97.4% of cases. The current keeper name and address information is sufficiently accurate to enable 92.4% of vehicle keepers to be traced directly from the information on the record, with a further 5% able to be traced following further enquiries with neighbours.

“This is a significant improvement in traceability compared to the results of the 2003 survey, when traceability was 90%.”