More than half of new motorists are risking driving without insurance because of sky-high premiums, new figures have revealed.
Motoring journal Auto Express compiled the DVLA information by way of a Freedom of Information request, and found that since June 2010, more than 40,000 drivers have been banned within two years of passing their test. And in more than 50 per cent of those cases, lack of insurance was the reason.
As a newly qualified driver, just six point on your licence is enough to take you off the road, and driving without insurance results in an automatic six-point penalty, plus a fine. Nevertheless, some 21,148 of those banned had taken the chance, or risked the illegal practice of 'fronting', where a high-risk motorist appears as a named driver on a parent or older relative's policy.
Though driving without insurance was the number one cause of bans amongst newly qualified drivers, speeding was also a big problem, resulting in 7,220 bans since 2010.
Failing to give correct identification, vehicle control (including using a mobile phone while driving, and driving without due care and attention, motorway speeding and jumping red lights were also high on the list.
Overall, more than 10,000 motorists a year are banned within months of passing their test.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get away with driving without insurance, thanks to cameras that can instantly cross check number plates against a database, and the Department of Transport estimates that the number of uninsured drivers under the age of 20 has dropped from one in five in 2005 to close to one in 17.
However, some are still prepared to take the risk. AA president Edmund King told the Daily Express: "There is still a hardcore of drivers who are uninsured - usually young men who often have a string of offences to their names."
What do you think? Are exorbitant premiums to blame for young people risking driving without insurance? Leave your comments below...