New data suggests that the primary reason why 11,000 newly qualified drivers had their license revoked in 2019 was due to not having a car insurance policy in place.
In the United Kingdom, it is a legal requirement to have a car insurance policy in place when driving on public roads, any motorist caught without cover could face a fine, receive penalty points or even a driving ban. Last year, around 5,503 newly qualified drivers were caught driving without the minimum level of cover, representing just under 50% of the total license revocations. In total, 11,125 motorists had their right to drive taken away within just two years of passing their practical test.
Police officers across the country face increasing pressures to improve road safety, which meant that nearly 30 newly qualified drivers were affected by the above each day.
Sarah Rees from the AA Driving School stated: “The amount of people who are caught without car insurance is staggering. It’s a legal requirement not only for new drivers, but drivers of all experiences."
Although this was the primary reason, other related offences included speeding and becoming distracted when behind the wheel, for example, use of a mobile phone. Over 25%, or 2,871 revocations were for speeding motorists. Additionally, more than 600 drivers received a ban for distraction offences.
Furthermore, 115 new drivers failed to stop after being involved in an accident, and 96 were banned for drink driving. When put into perspective, these are staggering numbers, especially when you consider that road safety is one of the most important aspects of any driving theory and practical examination.
Normally, any driver who receives 12 penalty points on their license will receive a ban, although new drivers can receive the same sanction with only 6 points.
Unsurprisingly, with road safety taking priority, the government has previously proposed tougher restrictions for those who are newly qualified. The Department for Transport has indicated that a graduated licensing system should be implemented to ease in young drivers before they can benefit from the same freedoms as those with more experience.
Some of these restrictions include a limit on the number of passengers a new motorist can transport along with an overnight curfew. Other restrictions that have been suggested include a limit on the car’s engine size and having a minimum learning period before an examination can take place.
Sarah Rees goes on to say that: “Statistics showing licence losses under the New Drivers Act are often used as a means to call for stringent graduated drivers licencing to be brought into the UK”.
“But these figures show insurance is actually the single biggest barrier to new drivers staying legal and keeping hold of their licence. More must be done to educate people on the risks of driving when uninsured, as well as improve education around other risky driving behaviours, such as speeding and using handheld mobile phones.”
After looking at the most current data from some of the major online comparison sites, we can see that young drivers will normally be expected to pay the largest premiums for their policies. Some standard car insurance policies will start at more than £2,000 per year. For many youngsters, this will be prohibitively expensive as they may not have the means to support this transportation method. This will also hinder those employees that live in a town or city without a robust transport network.