As a driver of a motor vehicle you are required to ensure that you have insurance in place to drive the vehicle.
If found guilty of driving without insurance you may face a fine, penalty points or even disqualification depending upon the circumstances.
Understanding your insurance cover can be confusing. Our motor law experts have represented clients across the UK, who were unaware that their insurance cover was inactive or incorrect.
It is important to review your insurance policy to ensure you are sufficiently covered. Even if you have ‘Fully Comprehensive’ insurance cover, it does not provide you with the green light to drive any other vehicle. Be aware of the conditions within your policy.
With our Motor Law service you have access to a specialist team of solicitors who carefully examine the circumstances surrounding the allegation all with the aim to establish a defence that could mitigate any potential penalties.
Driving Without Insurance
It is illegal 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.
The insurance policy must be at least third party to indemnify other road users for accidents or personal injury.
Penalties can vary depending upon the circumstances of the offence. Penalties can include:
• A fine of up to £5000;
• Six to eight penalty points or the Magistrates have the discretion to disqualify you from driving for up to 56 days;
• If you have been driving for two years or less, your licence would be revoked, unless Special Reasons apply, and you would have to retake your test. Retaking your test is a costly exercise;
• If you already have nine or more points on your licence then you will tot up and the Magistrates will consider disqualifying you from driving for a minimum of six months, unless Special Reasons apply or a disqualification would cause Exceptional Hardship.
A driving licence can be an essential part of day to day life, whether you are a designated driver for dependents or require your licence for employment - losing it could have lasting consequences.
Employees – Special Defence
Often allegations of driving without insurance occur where an employee uses a company vehicle under the assumption that they are insured via their employer but the employer has failed to insure the driver correctly.
A defence may be established if it can proven on the balance of probabilities that:
• Your didn’t own the vehicle;
• You were using the vehicle as an employee in the course of your employment;
• The vehicle was 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.
Insurance Policy Restrictions
Insurance policy terms can be a minefield and drivers can unknowingly use a vehicle outside the restrictions of their policy. This is often where the Police allege that you have used a vehicle for ‘business’ purposes on a policy of insurance with a ‘social and domestic’ restriction or vice versa.
These allegations can also occur when the vehicle is suspected to have been used for business use but for a business not covered by the policy.
This is a complex area of law. Our team will review the terms of your policy to establish whether such restrictions exist in the circumstances that you were using the vehicle.
If you dispute the allegation then we will advise you in presenting your case and will invite the Magistrates to accept your account of use. In any event the Court must be satisfied of your guilt beyond reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.
We are experienced in representing clients in such matters and skilled at presenting effective defences before the Court.
What happens next?
If you are facing charges of driving without insurance our Just Motor Law team can carefully evaluate the circumstances surrounding the offence in order to establish your defence or avoid the usual consequences of a conviction.
For example a Special Reasons defence may apply. This can arise where you may have been misled into thinking that you (or in a permitting case, the user of the vehicle) had been properly insured to drive the vehicle. An honest but groundless belief that the particular use was covered by the insurance is not sufficient to find special reasons.
If found guilty of this offence and banned from driving it can have a significant impact on your day to day life. With Just Motor Law you have the expertise on hand to advise you on an Exceptional Hardship argument with the aim of avoiding disqualification.
It is important to remember that by seeking legal advice from the outset you can help to ensure that any complexities and potential implications are effectively managed. Having access to expert advice can bring peace of mind at a time when you face uncertainty and concerns for what lies ahead.
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