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Caught Driving with No Insurance

We are Specialist No Insurance Solicitors

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who find themselves charged with driving a vehicle with no insurance.

It is an offence to use a motor vehicle on a road or other public place where the driver is not covered by third party insurance and most people are unaware that it is also an offence for a person to cause or permit any person to use a vehicle without insurance. These offences attract a penalty of a fine of up to £5,000 and the endorsement of between 6 and 8 penalty points on your licence and a court may even impose a disqualification from driving.

Car insurance can be a complicated thing and things can sometimes go wrong, so if you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for driving with no insurance, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Below you will find information on No Insurance law, How We Can Help and also Answers to Commonly Asked Questions.

No Insurance Law

Penalty for Driving With No Insurance 

The penalty for driving with no insurance is a fine to a maximum of £5,000 and the endorsement of between 6 and 8 penalty points or disqualification from driving.

In some cases a motorist accused of driving with no insurance will be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of a £300 fine and 6 penalty points in the alternative to formal prosecution.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for Driving with No Insurance, please contact us for advice a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Defences to Driving with No Insurance 

The offence of Driving with No Insurance is known as a “strict liability” offence, which simply means that you commit the offence irrespective of any intention to do so.

The defences to driving with no insurance are limited to the following:

Valid Insurance – It is a defence for a motorist to prove that they held a valid policy of insurance;

or

Employees Defence – It is a defence for a motorist to prove that they were driving a vehicle that did not belong to them in the course of their employment and that they did not know that they were not insured.

Whilst there are very few defences to driving with no insurance, in cases where a motorist has a “genuine and honest” belief that they were insured, it may be possible to ask the court not to endorse penalty points on the grounds of “special reasons” (please see below).

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to court for an offence of no insurance and belief that you may have a defence or “special reasons”, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Special Reasons for Driving With No Insurance 

In cases where a motorist has driven without insurance because of a genuine mistake, it may be possible to ask the court not to endorse any penalty points (and often not to impose any fine) on the grounds of “special reasons”.

Special reasons may be successfully argued if a motorist can show that:

(a) at the time of the offence they held a genuine and honest belief that you were insured; and

(b) it was reasonable for them to hold such a belief.

In general terms, the court may be asked not to endorse points if in some way a motorist has been misled to believe that they were insured.

Examples of this can include:

An insurance policy being cancelled by the insurer without the motorists knowledge.

A motorist relying on a reliable assurance from someone else that they were insured e.g. a child relying on an assurance from his parent or a husband relying on an assurance from his wife.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to court for an offence of no insurance, please contact us advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Causing or Permitting Driving With No insurance 

If a person causes or allows a person to drive their vehicle with no insurance, then that person may themselves be summonsed to court for “causing or permitting” a person to drive with no insurance. This offence attracts the same punishment as if they were the person driving i.e. a fine and 6-8 penalty points (or disqualification).

If you find yourself summonsed to court for this offence, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Keeping a Vehicle Not Meeting Insurance Requirements  

Section 144A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 requires that a vehicle which is not declared as off-road under a SORN declaration, must hold a minimum of third party insurance.

This offence attracts a fine of up to £1000.00.

The DVLA is responsible for monitoring and prosecuting such offences and in the first instance will offer a Fixed Penalty Notice for £100.00.

There are a number of limited defences to this offence and should you find yourself formally prosecuted before a Magistrates’ Court for this offence, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Specialist No Insurance Solicitor Representation

How we can help 

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists charged with driving a vehicle with no insurance.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for an offence of driving with no insurance and believe that you are insured, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Commonly Asked Questions About Driving a Vehicle With No Insurance

I have received a Fixed Penalty Notice for driving with no insurance - what can I do? 

In many cases the police may offer a Fixed Penalty Notice in the alternative to formal prosecution before the Magistrates’ Court. This Fixed Penalty Notice or FPN, will impose a penalty of £300.00 and endorse your driving licence with 6 penalty points.

If you wish to accept this offer, then you must simply surrender your driving licence within the specified period (usually 7 days) and make payment of the penalty within 28 days. Please note that if you do not comply with these requirements the offer may be withdrawn and you may be summonsed to appear before a Magistrates’ Court.

You should not accept a Fixed Penalty Notice if you do not accept that you have driven without insurance or you believe that you have “special reasons” such that a Magistrates’ Court may not endorse your licence with penalty points.

If you do not wish to accept the Fixed Penalty Notice then you may reject it simply by completing the rear of the notice and requesting a court hearing.

In the event that you have received a Fixed Penalty Notice for driving with no insurance, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

I have been accused of driving a vehicle with no insurance, but I have valid insurance - What can I do? 

If you find yourself accused of driving with no insurance and facing a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Court Summons, then it will be for you to prove that you were insured.

It may be that you are covered under a motor traders policy, that you are covered on a third party basis on a different policy or that you have a policy cover of which the police are not aware.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for driving with no insurance, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

My insurance was cancelled without me knowing and now I am charged with driving without insurance. What can I do? 

In the age of automated systems, emails and with the changing practices of insurers, we have noticed that this is becoming an ever more common account.

In these circumstances, if you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice or are summonsed to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for driving without third party insurance, we can argue that your license should not be endorsed with penalty points as there are “special reasons” in your case.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for an offence of driving with no insurance and believe that you may have “special reasons”, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

My son drove my car and I wrongly told him that he was insured on my insurance. He has now been stopped by the police and has been summonsed to court - What can we do? 

This is a very good example of the type of case in which we may make application for “special reasons”. As the persons child has driven without insurance, they have technically committed the offence of driving without insurance, however it would seem very unfair if they were then to be fined and receive 6-8 penalty points.

In this kind of case we would argue that there are “special reasons” as the son clearly believed that he was insured to drive and that it was reasonable for him to rely on what he was told by his father. If successful, the son would not receive any points and we would also seek to persuade the court that it is unfair to impose a fine.

If you or a loved one find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for an offence of driving with no insurance and believe that you may have “special reasons”, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

I have been summonsed to court for "causing or permitting" someone to drive my car without insurance. How can I be guilty of an offence when I was not driving? 

It is an offence if a person allows another person to drive their vehicle (or a vehicle over which they have control) without insurance. This is an offence even though you are not the person driving the vehicle.

This type of case may sometimes be defended on a factual basis e.g. I did not have control of the vehicle or I did not give permission, or on the type of permission given e.g. I only agreed for them to drive on the condition that they were insured.

In other cases we might abe able to argue “special reasons” in connection with the offence, as to why your licence should not be endorsed with points.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for “causing or permitting” a person to drive without insurance, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Case Study

Mrs Susan Smith (name changed to ensure confidentiality) contacted us when she was summonsed to appear before Tameside Magistrates Court (Greater Manchester) for an offence of driving without insurance.

During our initial consultation she explained that she had been driving her husbands new car, having been told by him that she was insured to drive. She had then been stopped by the police and informed that the police automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) showed that the car was uninsured. When she had returned home, she had spoken with her husband who spoke with the insurance company and they informed him that his insurance policy had been cancelled as he had not provided a copy of his no claims bonus. He had been unaware of this and had not received any notification of it.

Having heard this account, we explained that whilst she was technically guilty of the offence and therefore required to plead guilty, there were “special reasons” in her case such that if accepted by the court, the court could exercise its discretion not to endorse her license with 6 penalty points.

Mr Davies represented her before the court and both she and her husband gave evidence on oath about these circumstances. At the conclusion of the evidence, Mr Davies made a legal submission to the court submitting that in view of the evidence given, it could be accepted on a balance of probabilities and in accordance with case law there were special reasons such that the court should not impose penalty points.

Having heard these submissions, the District Judge hearing the case agreed and imposed no points, no fine and no costs. Granting an absolute discharge in the alternative which marked the offence but which did not in itself impose a penalty and was immediately considered as a spent conviction.

 

Mrs S Smith , Oldham, Greater Manchester