The cost of living crisis has been engulfing our lives for well over a year now.
UK households have had to tighten the purse strings to contend with the hike in food costs, petrol prices and bumps to mortgage repayments as a result of the increase in interest rates.
Inflation rates in the UK were still at a difficult 8.7 per cent as of June 2023, meaning many are still feeling the squeeze.
People are having to make cutbacks at every turn, and unfortunately many are considering risking driving their vehicles uninsured as a result.
The British Motorcyclists Federation wrote in October 2022 that there are one million uninsured drivers in the United Kingdom.
The risks to doing so are plentiful. You could receive a fixed penalty fine worth £300 and six penalty points on your licence. If the case goes to court, it could be even worse as you face an unlimited fine and a ban from driving.
A ban totalling over 56 days would mean you will have to apply for a new licence before driving again and you could have to retake your driving test.
And if you are stopped by police, you risk having your vehicle seized and in some cases even destroyed.
Car insurance up 20 per cent
The difficulty motorists are facing is the average hike in insurance prices.
Sky News reported in April this year that the average cost of insurance is £637, representing a 20 per cent bump on the same period 12 months earlier.
It marks the highest average cost in 12 years and 55 per cent of people responding to a survey by One Poll were quoted a higher renewal price than if they shopped around.
Drivers in London (23 per cent), Northern Ireland (22 per cent) and central Scotland (21 per cent) were the worst affected, while drivers aged 21 were quoted the highest average at a whopping £1471.
The advice to people given higher renewal quotes is to shop around and compare the quote to see if the costs can be driven down.
What motorists can do to protect themselves
To protect yourself against damage caused by uninsured drivers you should consider taking out gap insurance.
Basically, if your vehicle is a complete write off then most policies from insurers will only pay out the value of your vehicle at the time of the incident.
However, gap insurance ensures that you receive the difference between the amount you originally paid for the vehicle and how much your insurer has valued it at.
Gap insurance, then, is particularly useful for if you have purchased a brand new car outright, or if you have taking out a finance option or leasing deal to acquire a vehicle.
The cost of living crisis is affecting all of us, but first and foremost never take the risk of driving uninsured.
More importantly, if you are worried about a rise in uninsured drivers then you should take out gap insurance to give yourself a little more peace of mind when you hit the roads.