Driving Without Insurance
This Page Only Deals With No Vehicle Insurance Driving Offences;
- If you have been caught driving without valid insurance
- If you have been accused of permitting no insurance
- Penalties for having use of an uninsured vehicle
- Possible legal defences for allegations of driving uninsured
- Using a special reasons arguments to defend allegations of no car insurance
- Latest figures show 1/2 million motorists prosecuted between 2011 – 2014 for no car insurance offences
Check If Your Vehicle Has Valid Insurance In Place Motor Insurance Database
Driving Offence Code: IN10
Driving Without Insurance Offence Video:
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 because of the implications were you to have an accident without having a valid policy in place to cover third parties.
In order for you to be found guilty of driving uninsured, all the prosecution need to prove is that you were driving a motor vehicle and were on a public road at the time of the alleged offence.
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 and 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, as they would have to contact every policy provider in the country and use their insurance database in order to establish that there was no valid policy of cover in place.
It is therefore up to the defendant to prove on the balance of probabilities that at the time of the alleged offence they were insured.
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.
One point that tends to catch out many people with respect to vehicle insurance related offences is that it isn’t necessary for you to be driving the vehicle at the time of the offence to be guilty of the offence.
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.
Lots of fully comprehensive policies don’t provide this type of cover automatically. This cover can also be dependent on the age of the policy holder and the vehicle being driven.
It goes without saying that you should read your policy carefully so that you understand any restrictions that may apply, so that you can 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. In the event that 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 a driver to drive without insurance.
Driving Without Car Insurance FAQs;
There are not very many legal defences for driving uninsured. The one real defence is to either argue that you were not driving at the time, or that you were insured.
It is not a valid defence to ‘believe that you were insured’ at the time of the offence.
Driving uninsured is a strict liability offence.
This 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 at the time of the offence, 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 that you believed that there was proper cover in place then you may well have a legitimate defence.
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 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 at the time.
If you can successfully argue that there are special reasons involved then the Magistrates have the discretion not to impose any penalty points on your licence.
In order to successfully argue ‘special reasons’, you would need to support your argument giving evidence under oath. It is also preferred to provide documentary evidence in order to support your defence. (see more about using special reasons arguments here)
You can establish ‘special reasons’ if you have been misled by your insurance company or somebody else regarding the nature and specifics of your cover if this led you to believe that you were properly insured at the time 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.
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)
If you need advice about uninsured driving offences please click here to ASK US A FREE QUESTION and find out how we can help you.
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