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Carole Nash is warning bikers thinking of laying up their motorcycles for winter to make sure they satisfy new government rules – or risk having their bike seized and destroyed.

The warning comes as the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) prepares to launch a new crackdown on the estimated 1.5 million uninsured riders and drivers who cost the UK more than £500m a year – and add around £30 to every motor insurance premium. Working with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) the DVLA is launching the continuous insurance scheme early next year. This will introduce new penalties for riders who have not declared their bike as being off road – through a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) – or are uninsured.

The scheme will see letters being sent to registered keepers who, if they take no action, will then face a range of penalties. These start from a £100 fine to prosecution and fining of up to £1,000, with the ultimate sanction being the seizing and destroying of their bike.  Without the benefit of the new regulations the police are already seizing some 500 uninsured vehicles every day.

“Given the huge cost to the law abiding majority of the insurance dodging minority the DVLA’s uncompromising stance is entirely understandable. We all want to see those who flout the rules brought to book,” commented Simon Jackson, commercial director at Carole Nash which is the UK and Ireland’s biggest motorcycle insurance specialist. “However it is important that riders understand that under the new continuous insurance scheme they must respond if the DVLA contacts them.”

He added that riders laying up their bikes for winter should ensure they complete a SORN declaration, adding that just because their bike is off the road it doesn’t mean insurance is not required. “Nearly half of our theft claims occur between November and April, even though we actually cover fewer machines over winter. Most thefts are also from garages, car ports or driveways so keeping a bike off the road is certainly no guarantee that it’s safe from thieves.”

Mr. Jackson also advised bikers that they can check if their machine is on the MID by visitingwww.askMID.com. “It’s not a bad idea to do a belt and braces job and check your details on the database and, if they’re not up to date, to get on to your insurance provider. This could prevent you being contacted in error by the DVLA or, worse, being stopped by the police.”

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