Driving without insurance
All drivers are required to ensure that the vehicle that they are driving is covered at least by third party insurance. It is also an offence to use, cause or permit someone else to use a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, without a valid policy of insurance in relation to the user and his carries the same penalties as if you were driving the vehicle yourself.
Penalties can include:
• Six penalty points imposed on your driving licence or the Magistrates can impose a discretionary driving ban of up to 12 months. The length of the disqualification would be dependent on the aggravating or mitigating features of the offence.
• An unlimited fine
• If you are a “New Driver” (i.e. the offence was committed within the first two years after you passed your full driving test) and six points are imposed, the DVLA will revoke your licence and you would have to apply for a provisional licence and go through the process of retaking your full driving test.
• If you already had at least 6 points on your licence prior to the commission of this offence, you would become a “totter” and you would fall for consideration of at least a 6 month disqualification from driving. A driving ban can be avoided if there are “special reasons” in law not to impose the penalty points or if a disqualification would cause “exceptional hardship” to you or those around you.
Employees – Special Defence
Have you been accused of driving without insurance when you have been stopped by the police while driving a company vehicle in the course of the company’s business? In that situation you would have a full defence, if you can show that at the time of driving:
• you didn’t own the vehicle;
• you were using the vehicle as an employee in the course of your employment;
• The vehicle was not in your possession under a hiring contract or on loan to you and that you didn’t know, and had no reason to know, that you were not insured to drive the vehicle.
Policy small print
The fine print of motor insurance policies can be very confusing. There is a complex body of ever evolving case law governing the interpretation of these clauses and we are experts in this area.
• Where the driver does not have a current driving licence but we have successfully argued that under the policy terms, the insurance remains valid.
• In certain situations we successfully argue that even thought an insurance company has cancelled a policy, it remains valid until that cancellation has been communicated to the driver.
• We successfully argue that the purpose of the driving is covered by the policy.
Special Reasons to avoid points or a ban for driving without insurance
Even if there is no defence in law, we can persuade the court that you should not receive the usual punishment for driving without insurance, if we can demonstrate that:
• you had an honestly held belief that you were insured to drive
• there was good reason for that belief
• but that you were misled in some way into believing that you were insured.