Driving Without Insurance
Driving Without Insurance
Very few people need reminding that driving without insurance is illegal, but it’s important to be aware of the full ramifications of having no insurance, or the wrong type of insurance in place.
Is There a Time When Driving Without Insurance Won’t Be an Issue?
The short answer to this is no, however there may be times when insurance is legitimately not needed. The only time when driving a vehicle without insurance will pose a problem is when the vehicle is being used on private land that can’t be accessed by the public at all. However, as these instances are rare, many vehicle owners will find that driving without insurance can come with some hefty consequences.
What Penalties Are in Place for Driving Without Insurance?
When driving without insurance, drivers can expect the minimum penalties being imposed on their driving licence, a fixed penalty for this offence is:
- 6 penalty points endorsing on your driving licence
- A Fixed Penalty fine of £300.
However should the matter be continued to Court the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines state the offender is at risk of:
- 6-8 penalty points endorsing on your driving licence
- Band C Fine
Should a driver be stopped and they’re not able to show they have insurance. If they cannot do so they will often find their vehicle is seized by the police until insurance is taken out. However, should the police believe insurance may be in place they will sometimes use their discretion and they will give you a ‘producer’ which you then have seven days to present insurance documentation. It’s important to note that the insurance will have had to be in place before the police stopped the driver, not after.
The use of number plate recognition means that police can often ascertain as to whether a vehicle is insured, driving without insurance is a ‘strict liability offence’ which means you either did it, or you did not. Knowledge you were not insured is not necessary for you to be charged. This leaves the enforcement of the law very cold and clinical, however there can be mitigating circumstances as to why someone is driving without insurance which would mean that although they re technically guilty of the offence, there is available to them a statutory defence, or in some circumstances a ‘Special Reasons Argument’ which would mean they are guilty of the offence, but they can show the Court reasons why the Court should not impose the penalty points for the offence. Some of these circumstances are:
- No insurance policy in place due to a fault on the insurance provider’s part .
- Driving in the course of your employment.
- An insurance provider has cancelled the policy without notifying the policyholder.
- A person being told by the vehicle owner or policyholder that they’re allowed to drive the vehicle and that person having a genuine reason for believing they are insured.
As well as the potential loss of a vehicle, penalty points and fines there can be other consequences of driving without instance, including a higher car insurance premiums in the future.
Vehicles Beings Used for a Purpose Not Covered by Insurance
Those using vehicles covered by comprehensive insurance may assume that they’re fully covered when driving other cars, but it’s important to ensure that this is checked. Simply assuming a car can be driven could mean that both the driver and the owner are falling foul of the law.
Other instances that could cause problems is using the vehicle for a purpose It’s not insured for. For example, those with domestic car insurance who operate a business with their vehicle could find that the consequences are the same as not having insurance in place at all.
Despite the clarity that exists in some scenarios, there can be other times where there is something of a grey area and given the seriousness of driving without insurance it’s important to ensure that legal representation is sought in the first instance.
Reasons as to why an insurance policy may not cover you are vast and varied, however there are circumstances in which the insurance companies cannot refuse to offer insurance cover. These reasons can often be complex and legal guidance is recommended should an insurance company not offer to cover you in a particular circumstance when you hold insurance on the vehicle.
Turner White Solicitors has dealt with a series of cases involving driving without insurance and can ensure that the right advice is given from the outset, as well as making sense out of a complex situation.
If you’ve recently been stopped by the police for driving without insurance and need to discuss your case in more detail, then why not contact Turner White Solicitors today for free advice.
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