Driving without Insurance
All car owners are required to have a minimum level of insurance cover in place for their vehicle. This means a minimum of third party insurance must be in place for all vehicles used on the roads in England.
You do not have to actually be driving your vehicle to be charged with an offence. If you allow another person to drive a vehicle which is registered to you whilst the vehicle is uninsured, you can be charged with an insurance offence.
In England the penalty for driving without insurance is between 6 and 8 penalty points and a means tested fine of up to £5000.
Common driving without insurance offences
Does the car have to be insured if it is parked and not being used?
Yes. If a car is parked on a road, even though it may not be in use, it is still required to be insured.
Cancelled or lapsed insurance
Driving without insurance is as an absolute offence, meaning that either you have insurance in place or you do not. The responsibility for ensuring cover is in place always lies with the owner of the vehicle.
When someone has had insurance cover in place on a vehicle and it has been cancelled or has not been renewed, either due to a mistake or an oversight, this can often lead to the offence being committed.
It may be possible to show ‘special reasons’ in mitigation and therefore attempt to reduce any penalty imposed by the Court.
Friends driving your car
Many people mistakenly think that because they have fully comprehensive insurance on their own car, that they are insured on other vehicles. This is rarely correct. You can be prosecuted for permitting another person to use your vehicle without insurance.
If you lend your vehicle to someone else, it is your responsibility to check that they have valid insurance cover to drive your vehicle, or that your insurance covers them to drive it.
Defences against driving without insurance
Defences do exist for driving without insurance. These types of defences are known as special reasons. Special reasons means that although you admit that you have technically committed the offence, you can show a reason or mitigating factors in your defence as to why this has happened. For example if you were misled into believing that insurance was in place for the vehicle.
This type of defence may be used to try and minimise the sentence imposed by the Courts, for example to avoid receiving a driving ban or penalty points.
If you are arrested or charged with driving without insurance please contact us at your earliest opportunity.
Legal Advice and assistance in a Police Station is free of charge. We recommend that you say nothing to the Police until you have spoken directly with us.
We have a 24-hour emergency advice line so that we can respond immediately to your situation. Our 24 hour number is 07850 012 366.