Driving With No Insurance
It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle without an insurance policy providing you with at least third party cover. This is a strict liability offence which on conviction is punishable by the imposition of a fine and either endorsement of between 6 and 8 penalty points on the driving licence or disqualification for a discretionary period. The police will commonly issue a fixed penalty of 6 points and £300 in order to avoid having to refer the matter to court.
It is also an offence to permit the use of a vehicle without insurance and the sentence on conviction of this offence is identical to that of the driver.
When accused of an offence it is important to consider whether the Police and insurance database are both accurate and complete as drivers can often be covered to drive vehicles under policies that they were unaware of at the time. This can result in the successful conclusion of such cases without the necessity of a trial.
A person can be guilty of driving without insurance if the policy is in in place but invalidated by some other action, i.e. failure to update records, errors in the policy or even the commission of other road traffic offences.
It is also crucial that you ensure that your policy provides the cover that you require as there can be situations when a certain activity is not covered (such as a commercial journey or driving someone else’s vehicle).
In instances when a person is not covered it is not a defence to be unaware that you did not have the appropriate insurance. However, it is often the case that special reasons apply which can result in the avoidance of the accused driver’s licence being endorsed with any penalty points. This is however subject to the Court’s approval after hearing the evidence and thereafter the court deciding to exercise of their discretion to forego endorsing the licence. This issue is discussed further on our page on Special Reasons.
Given that the number of points associated with the offence are so high if someone is accused of driving without insurance it is crucial that appropriate advice from a specialist road traffic solicitor is arranged at the earliest opportunity.
Maximum: Level 5 fine
Must endorse and may disqualify.
If no disqualification, then 6-8 points to be endorsed.
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