The number of young motorists punished for uninsured driving more than doubled in two years amid a spike in premiums, according to new analysis.

Charity IAM RoadSmart, which conducted the research, warned there could be “an epidemic of uninsured young motorists” unless measures are taken.

It obtained statistics suggesting 6,316 British drivers aged 17-20 were convicted of driving without insurance in 2023.

That is up from 2,902 in 2021 and 5,486 in 2022.

The figures relate to the number of IN10 endorsements added to driving records during a calendar year.

These are given to motorists convicted of using a vehicle uninsured against third party risk.

Offenders also face a £300 fixed penalty and six penalty points.

The most serious cases are taken to court, where punishments are often tougher.

IAM RoadSmart said the increase in endorsements for young drivers coincides with a 25% rise in average motor insurance premiums between 2022 and 2023.

The charity urged the Treasury to halve the standard 12% rate of insurance premium tax (IPT) on motoring policies for drivers aged under 25.

It also called for IPT to be zero for licence holders in that age category who have completed an approved driving or riding course.

IAM RoadSmart director of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “It is a legal requirement to have the correct insurance to drive, so it is deeply concerning to see a surge in young drivers breaking the law in this way.

“Unless there is intervention, we risk an epidemic of uninsured younger motorists taking to the roads.

“Sadly, this is likely a consequence of the soaring costs of insurance premiums over the last 18 months.

“For young drivers who have recently passed their test, the cost of learning to drive, getting a vehicle, taxing it and then insuring it is becoming an extremely costly process.

“While the insurance sector believes we may now be over the worst of price increases, falling premiums will feel like a lifetime away for newly qualified drivers.”

Jonathan Fong, manager of general insurance policy at industry body the Association of British Insurers, said: “It goes without saying that motorists should never be tempted to drive without insurance.

“Doing so can result in a criminal conviction and significant costs against the driver if they’re involved in an accident.

“Insurance is always based on risk and our data shows that the average cost and frequency of claims is higher for younger drivers, which can impact premiums.

“In 2022, the average payout for drivers aged between 17-20 was 74% higher than for those aged 46-50.

“Sadly, young drivers are also more likely to be involved in crashes resulting in multiple serious injuries, which could lead to very high insurance payouts.

“Despite facing sustained higher costs, such as a 31% increase in the cost of repairs, insurers remain determined to keep motor insurance as competitively priced as possible for all motorists, including young drivers.”

A Government spokesman said: “The overall cost of insurance is determined only in part by Insurance Premium Tax, which contributes over £8 billion a year towards vital public services. The rate has been frozen since 2017, and the extent to which IPT is passed on to customers is a decision for insurers.”

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said “soaring inflation, pothole-ridden roads and rising car thefts” had driven up insurance costs.

She said: “It is time for ministers to call in the regulators, crack down on any unfair practices, and come clean on the causes of soaring costs for consumers.”


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