Car Dealer Magazine can reveal that the police have launched an intelligence-led operation, dubbed ‘Rogue Trader’, to clamp down on car dealers who are misusing their insurance policies.
‘A startlingly large number of people are under the misconception that a motor trade policy provides insurance cover for the vehicle and that anyone can then drive it,’ said a spokesman for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in an exclusive interview with Car Dealer.
‘This is not the case and anyone caught driving a vehicle who is not covered by the policy is deemed to be breaking the law.’
The punishment for misusing a motor trade policy is as severe as driving with no insurance. Police can seize the vehicle, issue a £300 fixed penalty, charge £150 to recover the car and £20 per day for storing it, and place six points on the offender’s licence.
Proof of insurance is needed before the car can be collected and seized vehicles that are not claimed in 14 days are sold or crushed. Not very handy if you happen to be driving a customer’s car…
The MIB spokesman said: ‘To comply with the law it is important that dealers using motor trade policies understand the limitations of their policy. They stipulate exactly what motor use is and isn’t covered under the terms of their policy and if they’re unsure they should check with their provider.’
Dealers should regularly submit information about the cars that need to be covered on their policy so they’re on the Motor Insurance Database. The police use this information to check which cars are covered.
‘Perhaps the most shocking fact for motor traders, affecting their business and their customers, is that if their vehicle is seized by police for no insurance, the penalties and recovery are the sole responsibility of the motor trader,’ added the MIB spokesman.
‘The message to those who are using motor trade policies and who may not be familiar with insurance law is: know the limitations of your policy. These are the legal conditions for using a motor trade vehicle.’