Between 21st and 27th November, 44 uninsured vehicles were seized by police officers across Northern Ireland, as part of a UK-wide Op Drive Insured campaign, which is supported by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

Of the vehicles seized, 14 have already been insured and released. Each driver detected will have received both a £200 on the spot fine and six penalty points on their driving licence. The other vehicles remain in storage. Drivers will need to arrange insurance cover and pay any recovery and storage fees before their vehicle is released.

Vehicles seized ranged from family hatchbacks to commercial vehicles, luxury cars, sports cars and two motorbikes.

Superintendent Gary Busch said, “We normally average 30 seizures for no insurance every week, so last week represents close to a 50% increase.

“As expected, we detected some drivers who assumed their insurance automatically renewed. Some had wrongly assumed comprehensive insurance policy covered driving other vehicles, while others claimed they had ‘forgotten’ to renew policies. It is critically important that all drivers check they have the appropriate insurance cover in place before they take to the road.

“Some uninsured drivers were detected last week as we investigated other incidents. As a result, ten people were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences which included fraudulent use of a registration mark, assault and possession of a blade or point in a public place.

“While the UK-wide operation has concluded, we will continue to remove uninsured vehicles from the roads. Any police officer can stop a vehicle and perform a series of checks at the roadside to see if it is insured. Where they reasonably suspect there is no insurance cover in place, they can and will seize the vehicle.

“We do not even need to stop a vehicle for the process to be used. If we see a car being driven and suspect insurance is not in place, we can track it down and seize it wherever we find it. If the vehicle is not claimed and the release fees paid within a fortnight, we have the power to sell or dispose of it.

“These are significant financial penalties and should bring home to offenders that it is not worth taking a chance.”

"Our message is very clear. Check you have the correct insurance in place before you take to the roads. When we detect an uninsured driver, the vehicle will be seized on the spot and they will face the full rigour of the law."