Vehicle seizures are at a record high due to increasing car insurance premiums. With car insurance costs having jumped more than five percent in a year more and more cars are now being clamped or towed way.

A report by Sainsbury’s Car Insurance Index has shown the average car insurance premium increased by 5.24% in 2007, and Admiral increased their average motor premiums by more than 5% over the course of 2007.

Motorists aged 40-50 suffered the worst with their premiums rising an average of 7%, with the under 25’s rising 6.59%, compared with the over 65’s who saw the lowest rise of 4.14%.

Men also continue to pay more for car insurance than women, with the index showing them an average of £535.35, compared with £435.38 for a woman.

Joanne Mallon, Sainsburys Car Insurance Manager, said “Premiums continue to rise, which makes it all the more important to shop around for competitive insurance.”

With the prices continuing to rise, another report from the AA has shown the number of vehicles seized by the police almost doubled over the space of one year. The total number rose from 78,000 in 2006 to 150,000 in 2007. Nowadays up to 9,000 cars a month are found to be uninsured and are being clamped or seized, with the figure expected to rise to over 100,000 a year.

The AA also said that there were an ever-growing number of top-of-the range cars being seized. Edmund King, AA president said: “Some motorists feel that driving top-of-the range cars mean they are less likely to be stopped. This may have been true a few years ago but cameras do not discriminate.”

The steep rise of motorists being caught has been due to the increased use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras by the police.

Vans equipped with ANPR technology can instantly spot any vehicle using the roads without up to date tax, with each van scanning up to 10,000 vehicles a day. Bethan Beasley, member of the DVLA’s wheel clamping unit, said “We routinely find such vehicles have no insurance or MOT and the best thing to do is to immobilise them or get them off the streets as soon as possible.”

Owners of clamped vehicles are subject to an £80 release fee, and impounded vehicles not claimed after seven days could be crushed. In 2007, 40% of cars seized were not reclaimed.

There are various factors behind the continuing rise in insurance premium prices. The UK’s road safety record has steadily declined since 2001, with an inevitable impact on prices, however the AA say road safety trends are not solely responsible for the increases. New cars designed to crumple on impact to protect passengers carry with them high repair costs, and also the number of motorists willing to make personal injury claims for minor injuries is increasing.

Despite the 5% rise consumers prepared to spend time finding the best quote, comparing prices from a range of insurers, can still save money. Some motor insurers offer large discounts to customers as they plan to increase their share of the market.

Author's Bio: 

Drew is an author of several articles pertaining to Car Insurance. He is known for his expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles.