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Driving without Insurance

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or public place without at least 3rd party insurance. Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 creates an absolute offence, meaning that the prosecution does not need to prove any intention to drive without insurance, only that a policy was not in place at the relevant time. You must also ensure that you have the correct insurance for the specific purpose of your driving including commuting or business use.

Defences

There is a defence available to employees driving company vehicles if you can prove –

  • that the vehicle did not belong to you and was not in your possession under a contract of hire or loan.
  • that you were using the vehicle in the course of your employment, and
  • that you neither knew nor had reason to believe that there was not in force in relation to that vehicle, a valid policy of insurance

Special Reasons (to avoid disqualification or endorsement)

There may be circumstances which do not amount to a defence however, you may be able to establish a ‘special reasons’ argument. There are several circumstances in which you may be able to argue special reason including:

  • Your insurance policy may have been cancelled without the provider informing you,
  • You have been misled about the level of cover and you therefore genuinely believed that you were insured at the time of the alleged offence
  • You may have been misled by a family member who arranged the policy for you
  • There was a genuine emergency requiring you to drive the vehicle without a valid policy of insurance

An argument of ‘special reasons’ follows a Guilty plea and there are strict criteria which must be satisfied. It is therefore important to seek specialist advice if you think you have a ‘special reasons’ argument. If successful, the Court has the power to endorse no penalty points at all.

Permitting use of a motor vehicle without insurance

It is an offence to ‘permit’ or allow someone to use your motor vehicle if they are not covered by a valid policy of insurance.  If you are charged with an offence of ‘permitting use of a motor vehicle without insurance’ the penalty is the same as if you yourself were driving the vehicle.

Our specialist lawyers have years of experience defending clients charged with this type of offence. If you have been charged, make a free enquiry using our contact form below and one of our experts will contact you for an initial free consultation.

Penalties

If you have been accused of driving without insurance, you will usually be offered a conditional offer of fixed penalty by the police which is 6 penalty points in addition to a fixed £300 fine.

If convicted or entering a Guilty plea to driving without insurance before a Court, the range of sentencing is between 6-8 penalty points in addition to an unlimited fine which will be means tested (based on a calculation of your income). The Court also have the discretion to consider a period of disqualification in the most serious cases in place of any penalty points in addition to a fine.

New drivers

If you are a new driver and accumulate 6 penalty points or more within the first 2 years of driving, your licence will be automatically revoked. You will not be able to drive again until you have re-taken the theory and practical driving tests which can have devastating consequences on your personal and professional life.

If you are a new driver and have been charged with an offence of driving or permitting use of a motor vehicle without insurance our experts can advise you regarding any potential defence or special reasons argument and help you stay on the road.

Make a free enquiry in complete confidence by calling 0161 930 5151 or email crimeandregulatoryteam@gorvins.com

Alternatively please complete the contact form on this page and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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Meet the Crime and Regulatory team

  • Paul Reddy

    Partner & Co-Head of Crime and Regulatory
    Crime and Regulatory

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  • Amanda McIntosh

    associate
    Crime and Regulatory

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