At any one time, one in 15 motorists on the road is uninsured, according to new Government figures.

Two million vehicles in Britain do not carry insurance so new measures are being introduced to curb repeat offenders. From the start of 2008, insurance companies must register customers’ details on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) within seven days, rather than the current requirement of 14.

The theory is that those drivers that don’t renew their cover before expiry of their existing policy, for whatever reason, could be stopped by police on suspicion of being uninsured. Police use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology which instantly cross-checks registration numbers against the MID. If a checked vehicle is not on the database the equipment alerts police who can then stop it. If the driver can’t prove they are covered, the car could be confiscated.

Drivers that allow their cover to expire before attempting to renew will find their insurer has no choice but to immediately update the expiry to the MID to ensure they comply with the new rule.

It’s estimated that 5% of drivers deliberately avoid paying insurance.