The AA says the penalties for drivers not taking out insurance are just not severe enough.

Put simply, it's still cheaper for drivers not to bother insuring their motor and take the risk of being caught and taking a court fine.

Research from Direct Line released last month revealed that there are 1.5 million uninsured drivers on the UK's roads. Now the AA say fines for uninsured drivers averaged £182 in 2006, while the majority of car insurance policies cost in the region of £1,000. Low-cost second-hand cars also make driving without insurance an attractive option to motorists.

A spokesman for the AA said: "There is a lot of car confiscation and car crushing that goes on for uninsured drivers." But, he added, that the prospect does not appear that bad "when you can pick up a car for £500 or £600 pounds which is cheaper than the insurance policy".