bigstockphoto_Ignition_Key_1188893More than five million Brits have loaned their car to someone who isn’t on their insurance policy in the last 12 months.

The survey by Churchill Car Insurance revealed that 650,000 of these did not even bother to check that the driver was covered to drive the vehicle.

Car owners who lend their vehicle to someone who drives it without valid insurance can be convicted of an IN12 offence which is technically described as “aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks.”

Analysis reveals the financial penalties for drivers convicted of IN12 offences have increased by 45 per cent since 2013, with the average level of fine increasing from £187.60 in 2013 to £271.30 in 2015.

Steve Barrett, head of Car Insurance at Churchill Insurance, said: “The scale of uninsured motoring, as a result of people loaning their car to friends and family without checking they are insured, is worryingly high.

“In the majority of cases this is likely to be an innocent mistake, but whether intentional or not, it is your responsibility to ensure that others who drive your car are insured to do so.”

Despite the risk of financial penalties, the average number of conviction points remains static at six, despite courts being able to hand out up to eight points.

“People risk criminal conviction and losing their licence for loaning their car for someone to just ‘pop to the shops’,” added Mr Barrett.

“We are asking for people to ensure that they make the necessary checks before letting someone else get behind the wheel of their car, to help avoid severe punishment for something so preventable.”

To avoid the risks that uninsured driving entails, drivers are being asked to make sure they thoroughly check their policy.

Having comprehensive cover does not mean that other cars can be driven with the same level of cover.

Some policies include cover for ‘Driving Other Cars (DOC)’, which allows customers to drive other vehicles but will offer cover for third parties only, leaving the driver financially liable for any damage they may cause to the vehicle.

However, you can add someone with a clean licence as a temporary named driver, with comprehensive cover, for a nominal fee, which is not only safer than uninsured driving but also cheaper than receiving a fine.