No Insurance

driving with no insurance penalties

Driving Without Insurance

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Driving Offence Code: IN10

Driving Without Insurance Offence Video:

The Offence

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle without a valid certificate of insurance in place that covers you to drive that vehicle on that particular occasion.

Caught Driving Without Insurance

The Magistrates Court treats driving uninsured very seriously. This is because of the implications were you to have an accident without having a valid policy in place to cover third parties.

All the prosecution need to prove, therefore for you to be found guilty of driving uninsured, is that you were driving a motor vehicle and were on a public road when the alleged offence occurred.

The burden of proof passes to the Defendant (you) to prove that you were insured at the time you were driving. Because this is a documentary offence, you are expected to be able to make your policy documentation available.

It would be virtually impossible for the prosecution to prove that you were not insured.

This is because, they would have to contact every policy provider in the country. Additionally, they would need to use their insurance database in order to establish that there was no valid policy of cover in place.

Driving Uninsured

It is therefore up to the defendant to prove on the balance of probabilities that they were insured when the alleged offence took place.

The offence is one of the only road traffic offences where the defendant has to prove anything.

It is more normal for the prosecution to have to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt with the Defendant not being required to prove anything.

Most of all, one point tends to catch out many people with respect to vehicle insurance related offences;

It isn’t necessary for you to be driving the vehicle when the offence happened to be guilty.

The actual offence is ‘Using a Vehicle without Insurance”, where ‘using’ can mean “having use of” the vehicle.

Permitting No Insurance

Many people get caught out with the belief that their fully comprehensive insurance covers them to drive another vehicle owned by someone else, with their permission.

This is because, lots of fully comprehensive policies don’t provide this type of cover automatically.

Comprehensive cover inclusions can also be dependent on the age of the policy holder and the vehicle being driven.

Therefore, it goes without saying that you should read your policy carefully. You need to understand any restrictions that may apply.  Hence, you will be sure that every time you drive your vehicle or someone else’s that you are properly insured.

The law is written such that; As a vehicle owner, you are responsible for making sure that anyone who drives that vehicle is insured.

As a result, if an uninsured driver is caught driving a vehicle registered to you, not only will they receive points and a fine for the offence, but you will receive 6 points and a fine for permitting another driver to drive without valid insurance.

Driving Without Car Insurance FAQs;

Permitting No Insurance

A Foreign Friend Was Driving

I Thought Fully Comp Insurance Covered Me

Named Driver Terms & Conditions

Police Going To Scrap Our Car

Keeping Uninsured Cars In Public Places

See All Our No Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Possible Defences

There are not very many legal defences for driving uninsured.

The one real defence is to either argue that you were not driving, or that you were insured.

It is not a valid defence to ‘believe that you were insured’.

This is because, driving uninsured is a strict liability offence.

This additionally means that whether you meant to commit the offence or whether it was an oversight on your part – if you did not have a valid policy, you are guilty.

If you are driving in the course of your employment and can demonstrate that your employer was responsible for insuring you, and additionally, that you believed that there was proper cover in place then you may well have a legitimate defence.

Special Reasons Arguments

Special reasons arguments can sometimes be used to reduce the severity of your punishment.

Sometimes it can be argued that whilst being technically guilty, because you actually had no cover in place, you have Special Reasons.

This would normally be with relation to the circumstances in which you were driving a the time; Namely that you were driving under the genuine misapprehension that you were insured.

Magistrates have the discretion not to impose any penalty points on your licence if you successfully argue that there are special reasons involved.

So, in order to successfully argue ‘special reasons’, you will need to support your argument giving evidence under oath.

It is also necessary to provide documentary evidence in order to support your defence. (see more about using special reasons arguments here)

If you have been misled by your insurance company or somebody else regarding the nature and specifics of your cover, you can establish ‘Special reasons’.

Assuming of course that this led you to believe that you were properly insured when you were driving.

You may also be able to use a ‘special reasons argument’ if your insurance company cancelled the policy without good reason and failed to notify you in advance of the offence occurring.

Sentencing & Penalties

Points & Fines

Driving with no car insurance is viewed very seriously by Magistrates which is why there is a penalty of;

  • 6 – 8 penalty points
  • a discretionary ban
  • a fine of up to £5,000 (This is affected by the severity of the offence and your financial circumstances)

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