Taxed but uninsured cars left on a public road could be clamped or seized under the new laws which are being unveiled by the Government.
The draconian new powers are intended to tackle an estimated two million uninsured motorists who, the Government says, are responsible for 160 deaths a year.
But the changes have angered civil liberty campaigners and also alarmed motoring groups who fear that law-abiding motorists could be penalised for innocent mistakes, such as allowing their insurance to lapse while they are on holiday.
At the moment, a motorist is only committing a crime if he or she drives while uninsured.
The new law will make it an offence to be the registered keeper of an uninsured car, whether or not the vehicle is being used and regardless of whether it has a valid tax disc or is kept on private property.
The only way to avoid a fine will be to go through the bureaucratic process of making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
This can only be done if the owner can find somewhere to store the vehicle. Uninsured vehicles left in the road would be clamped or seized, penalising those without driveways or private garages.
Some have voiced concerns the scheme will do little to stop unscrupulous drivers who never bother to insure vehicles, but could instead hit law-abiding motorists who unwittingly allow their insurance to lapse when they are working abroad or taking a holiday. It will rely on the motor insurance industry database that is currently used by the police.