Running a car is expensive and the annual costs continue to rise each year. The price of insurance and fuel is always on the up and there’s always that unexpected repair (which usually crops up at the time of the month when you have the least money or just after you’ve received your hooker invoice). Of course, there’s other running costs such as oil, tyres, servicing etc but at least road tax (or “vehicle excise duty”) and the cost of an MOT don’t tend to rise much each year, so that’s one less blow to the wallet.
Running costs can be even greater if you don’t maintain your car or if you’re involved in an accident. Paying the excess and then having to swallow the increase in insurance premiums in the event of a blame-worthy accident is a real pain in the arse, especially if the person you crashed into is an utter bastard and claims for whiplash.
My last blame-worthy accident was during 2002 and I received 3 points during 2003 and again during 2004. The combination of these three problems resulted in me paying more in insurance for the next few years, but it also made me more sensible when it comes to driving.
I’m not going to come over all self-righteous and tell you that I don’t speed occasionally, because the majority of us do that from time to time. Admittedly, I’ve gone a few MPH over the limit on the odd occasion and although it’s not an excuse, I’ve only done this when it’s safe and when by doing so, I don’t put others in danger. However, this is by no means a regular occurrence and if something happened or I was caught speeding, I would only have myself to blame.
Generally though, I drive economically, my road tax is only £180.00 (this used to be considered cheap, but by modern standards, it’s quite expensive), my car is good on fuel and I shop around every year when my insurance is due so that I get the best (cheapest) price. Cars with far cheaper running costs are more common now but although the premise of only paying £30.00 a year for road tax and getting 70MPG is appealing in many ways, a car which can only carry three passengers, a lunch box and a couple of smelly farts is of no use to me whatsoever.
I understand, accept and pay the associated costs of running a car. I know that owning or running a car isn’t my god-given right and that if I couldn’t afford to run a car, I shouldn’t own one. In fact, the same principle applies to having children, but I’m that’s an article for another time.
I was trying to find definitive figures to tell you how many uninsured drivers there are on the road and how much they cost us each year, but the figures vary wildly depending upon the source of the information. It would be far easier to find valid arguments and accurate data on the decision for the UK to leave the EU (we totally should leave the EU). Suffice to say, at least part of my annual insurance premium is the result of costs incurred by insurance companies due to uninsured drivers; I doubt anyone will dispute that.
This is exactly why I regularly report cars (mainly belonging to my neighbours) for having no road tax, MOT or insurance and I’d encourage you to do exactly the same.
For a car insurance policy to be valid, the car which the policy applies to should be taxed and MOT’d. The only time you can drive a car without an MOT is when you’re on the way to a pre-booked MOT test.
Car insurance covers a car, not the driver of a car. Most fully comprehensive insurance policies cover the policy holder for third-party costs whilst driving another vehicle with the owner’s permission, but that car needs to have an insurance policy taken out on it for this to apply.
Why should I do everything properly at considerable expense and cover someone else’s costs just because they can’t be arsed to pay out for the privilege of running a car?
One of my neighbours was telling me about a new car and explained that he was just waiting to tax it (is there a queue to tax cars??). A couple of months later, I checked online out of curiosity to see if he had taxed his car, but he hadn’t; it had no MOT (the last one had long-since expired) and it wasn’t insured.
To see if a car is insured, have a look at Ask MID (Motor Insurance Database). To report an uninsured car, you need to do this directly with your local police force on the non-emergency number.
I reported my neighbours car (reporting the uninsured aspect to the police is a pain in the arse because they want too much of your own information) and a few weeks later, a big yellow clamp appeared on his car. A few weeks after that, the car disappeared (presumably, my neighbour couldn’t be bothered to pay a release fee and tax his car).
I reported his next two cars and each one subsequently disappeared after a clamp was placed on one of the wheels. Remember this quote?
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
My neighbour seems to have gotten the message because his latest car (visibly more expensive than his previous cars) is taxed, insured and MOT’d!
There’s a cretin who lives down the road from me and I once checked out his car for two reasons:
- He drives around like a cunt
- He has a mullet-type haircut
This particular cretin cannot drive anywhere without wheel-spinning and screeching around corners. You can always tell when he’s going somewhere because of the way in which he drives in and out of our cul-de-sac. You’d be forgiven for thinking that our houses are on a race circuit and I can only assume that he has the world’s smallest dick. What’s worse is that most of the time, he has a young child in the back of his car when he’s playing race cars! What a prize wanker.
This guy has been through several cars recently and parks them on his driveway. None of his cars have looked road-worthy (bald tyres, smashed lights) and some of his recent cars have incurred damage (usually smashed wing-mirrors and scrapes along the side). You know full-well that if he’s hit something, he isn’t going to stop and exchange insurance details because he doesn’t have any insurance details to exchange. Also, people are more likely to want to crash into him simply because of his stupid fucking haircut.
This is why I do everything I can to, and why I won’t hesitate in, reporting a car which is uninsured, untaxed or which doesn’t hold a current MOT. These scumbags are putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, just to save a few quid. If one of these idiots ran someone over, do you think they’re going to stop? Of course they’re not- they’ll be too worried about getting caught with an illegal car.
I was under the impression that automatic fines were sent to the owners of illegal cars, so I can only assume that these cars are never registered when bought. It’s the previous owner’s duty to send off the logbook when selling a car, so either the buyer is giving false details or the seller doesn’t bother sending the logbook off (which is crazy, because they’ll end up getting the letters about their old car). If you sell your car, make sure you complete and send off the new owner section as it’s your responsibility!
Both of my neighbours mentioned above have young children and I can’t even begin to fathom why they’d carry their kids in a car which hasn’t had it’s annual, visual check (which is all an MOT is). If they’re not even doing this, is it likely they’re maintaining their cars in between the MOT due dates? Like bollocks are they. In the case of my neighbours, it’s bizarre that they can afford to walk around smoking weed and drinking lager yet they can’t afford to do something to minimise or eradicate the risk to their children.
Some may argue that not taxing or insuring your car is a victimless crime but this is complete bollocks. Lives are at risk (an uninsured driver is unlikely to stop and help if they run someone over or if a car isn’t mechanically safe and checked for defaults, any young passengers are at risk of serious or fatal injury) and it costs other drivers (as well as the economy). These morons are effectively driving around in a weapon, especially when they’re driving around like idiot mullet-boy. In addition to this, when uninsured or untaxed cars are pulled over by the police, the driver is usually linked to other crimes or offences (I know this from watching Traffic Cops).
If you believe that owning a car is a right and don’t see the harm in not having it road legal, your IQ is probably lower than the points you have on your licence (if you have one). I hope that if you do crash your car into someone and they realise you’re not insured, that they give you a good beating before calling the police. I’m happy that your car gets clamped and then taken away because you’d rather spend your money on alcohol and drugs. I hope that in the long run, the cost to keep replacing your piece-of-shit car outweighs the cost of buying insurance. I also hope that one day when you’re driving alone like a wanker, that you take a corner too fast, that your defective or unsafe car leaves the road, that it crashes, rolls and bursts in to flames whilst you’re trapped inside, slowly being cooked to death, just so that you’re no longer a danger to others and so that you can’t breed and spread your stupidity.
If you’re a responsible car owner, don’t think twice about checking the details and reporting any illegal cars so we can minimise the risk posed by scumbags.