Driving Without Insurance
Driving without insurance is a serious criminal offence. Luckily, our specialist team of motoring defence lawyers have the expert knowledge and experience needed to defend against a driving without insurance charge. There are a number of defences that you could take, and can help you to reduce the amount of points and the fines you receive – or avoid them altogether.
Penalties for driving without insurance
Driving without insurance is dealt with seriously by the Magistrates’ Court and carries a penalty of between 6 to 8 points and a fine up to £5,000.00. The Court also has the discretion to impose an immediate driving disqualification of up to 12 months.
If you have been charged with driving without insurance it will be as a result of the police national computer check. However, it is not uncommon for the police computer make a mistake and to show no insurance when there was in fact an insurance policy. This is especially so where the driver has fleet insurance cover or a motor trader policy.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your case, call 0151 422 8020, or click the button below.
Avoid conviction for driving without insurance
There are a number of ways in which you could avoid conviction for a driving without insurance charge. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common defences that we’ve used to assist clients.
You should not be convicted if you can show that the vehicle did not belong to you; that the vehicle was not hired or loaned to you; the vehicle was being used in the course of your employment and you neither knew nor had reason to believe that insurance was not in force. This defence is not restricted to employees – it may also apply to self-employed agents.
Fleet insurance or motor trader policy
It is important to consider whether the driver has fleet insurance cover or a motor trader policy and if so to defend any charge of no insurance. Often we are able to resolve this type of problem very quickly and without our client having to attend court – resulting in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropping the charge. Please note that a separate defence is available if you drove a vehicle in the course of your employment or work undertaken as a self-employed agent.
Unknowingly driving without insurance
The most common situation resulting in a charge of driving with no insurance is where the insurance company cancels the policy without the knowledge of the motorist. Or, you may have just purchased a new insurance policy, but it has not come into effect for reasons unbeknownst to you. In this situation, it can be argued that you did not knowingly break the law.
It is also important to check if the insurance company covered you third party despite your insurance not technically being in place. Insurance companies may be obliged to continue to insure a driver third party, although this only applies when the car is being driven on a road. This is a matter best left to solicitors because insurance companies are often unwilling or unable to explain this to their customers! In fact, many ‘call centre’ staff do not understand the legal responsibilities of insurance companies.
Special reasons for driving without insurance
Whilst, technically, you will have been driving without insurance if the policy has been cancelled, you may have ‘special reasons’ that can be argued in court to try and avoid any penalty. ‘Special reasons’ is a particular legal argument and, if successful, the court has discretion not to impose any penalty.
The most common situations in which ‘special reasons’ can be argued are those where the motorist was misled in some way. This has included parents telling children that they are insured to drive the car (but are not), spouses telling each other they are insured as named drivers (but are not), and even that the wording on the insurance policy was too confusing. In each of these situations, there is a good chance of the court imposing no penalty points, no fine and no disqualification.
In our opinion, it is always worth arguing ‘special reasons’ as you have very little to lose. If you do not argue ‘special reasons’ for driving without insurance then you will receive at least 6 points and a fine. Even if you do argue ‘special reasons’ and it is not accepted by the court you still only face the same level of penalty. As you would normally be advised to attend court to put mitigation forward, you may as well argue ‘special reasons’ first.
Please note that it is important to take correct legal advice as to what may amount to ‘special reasons’. We have successfully argued ‘special reasons’ on numerous occasions for clients but it does take careful planning and the obtaining of adequate evidence prior to any hearing at court.
Please contact Marcus Johnstone and we will be pleased to advise you. His initial telephone advice is free of charge.
For an informal discussion of your case please telephone Marcus on 07808 553 555. If you would prefer not to telephone, please complete the online assessment form.