The Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was due to tell an Oireachtas committee today that Ireland may now have the highest level of uninsured vehicles in the EU.
The MIBI said the level of uninsured vehicles here is now three times that of the UK and four times that found across the EU and EEA.
One in every 12 private vehicles on Irish roads are uninsured, according to research recently published by the organisation.
Last year, there were just under 188,000 private vehicles driving without insurance in Ireland, an increase of 13,626 over the previous year.
The MIBI was due to discuss the issue when it appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications.
In its presentation, the MIBI told TDs and Senators that in Ireland in 2022 the level of uninsured driving reached 8.3%.
That compares to 7.8% in 2021, at which point Ireland had the second highest level behind Greece.
Of 29 countries across the EU and EEA including UK and Switzerland, the average level of uninsured vehicles was 1.8%.
"For Ireland to potentially be the worst country in the EU for uninsured vehicles should make everyone in this country concerned about the rule of law and road safety sit up and take notice," said David Fitzgerald, CEO of the MIBI.
"That is a startlingly high figure, and it shows how much of a problem uninsured driving has become in this country."
He added that it is not a victimless crime and every year the MIBI pays out in the region of €70m in compensation to victims of accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
In 2021, the average cost of each claim paid to the victim of an uninsured driver came to €78,736.
"Action is needed now and that starts with the complete enactment and implementation of the Road Traffic and Roads Bill which enables the full application of the Gardaí’s ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system," he added.