More than 250,000 ‘fleet vehicles’ still not added to new motor insurance data base

Road safety campaigners warn some of most dangerous drivers will be harder to detect if gap remains

A significant gap in a new database allowing roadside gardaí to determine if a motorist is insuranced has yet to be closed with more than a quarter of a million fleet vehicles still not uploaded to the system.

A leading road safety group has expressed concern at the information deficit roadside gardaí are dealing with and warned it will make it harder to detect some of the most dangerous road users until the issue is resolved.

The Irish Motor Insurance Database (IMID) started being rolled out last November and is designed to detect some of the riskiest drivers on Irish roads including those using forged insurance discs and lapsed insurance policies.

It provides details for three million vehicles and five million drivers to the Gardaí daily with the data including names and addresses of policyholders, policy numbers and validity dates, vehicle registration numbers covered by the policy, details of named drivers and other key elements uploaded to the database daily.


It is maintained by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and when it was launched last November it was thought fleet vehicle details would be added alongside privately registered cars early in the new year but that has yet to happen.

About 8 per cent of vehicles have policies allowing for the transfer of cover from one to another within a specific fleet with such policies typically used by car dealers, taxi firms, haulage and transport companies and retailers.

At an Oireachtas hearing last week Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hillman acknowledged the role of the MIBI in the establishment of the IMID and said gardaí “have live access to at the moment private car owners [and] we will have fleets going forward”.

The details of the fleet vehicles have already been collected and added to a separate database and Susan Gray of the road safety group Parc expressed concern at the apparent delay in merging the two information sets and pointed out that the vehicles excluded from the central database include many using Irish roads on an almost continuous basis including haulage vehicles and taxies

“We were told last November that there would be nowhere for uninsured drivers to hide any more and if you were uninsured Gardaí would know,” she told The Irish Times.

“But this database that needs to be complete is actually still missing 257,000 vehicles and all these owners have uploaded all their details on to the fleet database so it should all be fully accessible to the gardaí by now,” she said

A spokesman for the MIBI said that in order to “ensure there is a strong and robust system in place, the NFD has been subjected to the same stringent IT testing processes that were used for the rest of the IMID data. This allows Gardaí to easily identify all uninsured vehicles on Irish roads. It is expected that the data for all fleet vehicles on the NFD will be part of the daily data transfers to An Garda Síochána before the end of the month.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor