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Proposals to remove insurance checks when taxing a vehicle

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The Government have proposed this week to remove the insurance check when taxing a vehicle causing backlash from motoring groups.

Currently when it comes to taxing a vehicle online, by phone or at a post office it is the law that a motorist has to prove their vehicle is insured. This is achieved by producing an insurance certificate or automatically being checked on a database.

Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVLA) have issued a consultation to remove the current check to provide improvements to customer experience and delivering sustainable, long term saving to correspond with the Government’s commitment to digital services and information sharing.

The Consultation paper stated: “Removing the insurance check would see an end to the amount of people who fail when attempting to tax their vehicles via Electronic Vehicle Licensing because of information validation errors.

“We have identified that the removal of the insurance check could generate an average saving of around £1.1m per year in public leisure time savings and £0.5m to businesses.”

The Government want a motor insurance check solely to be carried out through the Continuous Insurance Enforcement Scheme. The scheme provides a fixed penalty for people who ignore official reminders that their insurance cover has expired.

However experts have spoken about the possible outcome of removing the check which could see an increase in the amount of motorists that fail to insure their vehicle.

Simon Douglas, Director of broker AA Insurance, said: “This will send out entirely the wrong message and will undo much of the work carried out by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the Government and the insurance industry to tighten up enforcement of the law.

“To knock out a simple and almost fool-proof check that insurance is in place, once every year or six months, is madness.  It’s telling the public that it’s OK to delay or even avoid taking out cover.”

The consultation will be open until 26th November 2012 and if it’s agreed the changed will be made in 2013.

 

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By Amanda Bainbridge