I Have Been Caught With No Insurance On My Vehicle

Driving a vehicle without insurance is a serious offence. This guide explains what happens if you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle and the penalties you may face.

The police have stopped me and my vehicle is uninsured.  Will I lose my driving licence?

Although driving an uninsured vehicle can result in a ban from driving for up to 28 days, in most cases a first offence will only bring six to eight penalty points and a fine.

What is the Fixed Penalty for driving with no insurance?

The police can impose a Fixed Penalty of six penalty points and a £200 fine.

Can the police impound my car?

Yes, if you are stopped by the police on a road and they find you have no insurance they can take the vehicle off you and charge you for transportation and storage.  If you do not reclaim your car within 14 days, it can be sent for scrap.

I have been caught driving a car I thought was insured – can I be fined?

Unfortunately, ignorance is no defence when it comes to driving uninsured vehicles.  Drivers are expected to check that the vehicle’s insurance policy covers them when driving a car.

If you are caught the owner of the vehicle can also expect to face a fine for allowing their car to be driven when it was uninsured.

Can I face a summons for driving uninsured and for failing to provide an insurance certificate?

Yes, as they are two separate offences.  Not only does the driver need to have adequate vehicle insurance but they must be able to prove this by producing a certificate.  You have seven days from the time the police caught you without an insurance certificate to produce one at a police station, otherwise you may be charged.  

I allowed a friend to drive my car as I wrongly thought they were insured for it.  Will I face a fine?

You will be fined and have six to eight demerit points imposed on your licence as you are guilty of allowing someone to drive your car without insurance.

Are there any defences to the charge of driving without insurance?

Driving without insurance is a strict liability offence, meaning that the Prosecution only need to prove that you were driving on a public road at the time of the offence was committed.

There are very few defences available for driving without insurance.  If you can show that you were driving the vehicle in the course of your employment and you genuinely believed that your employer had the correct insurance in place you may succeed in getting off the charge.

You can also argue that there were ‘Special Reasons’ why you believed that the vehicle you were driving was adequately insured.  An example of this is if you can prove that your insurance company cancelled your insurance without good reason and without your knowledge.

If the Magistrate accepts your ‘Special Reasons’, then they have the discretion not to impose penalty points.

Driving without insurance is treated as a serious crime in the UK.  If you have been caught, then it is wise to seek experienced legal advice immediately.

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