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Caught Driving With No Insurance? We Can Help

Wondering what happens if you get caught driving without insurance? Here at Caddick Davies, we offer a wealth of experience in helping clients who are facing a charge of driving without insurance. There are many situations where UK motorists have mistakenly broken motoring law regulations with regards to appropriate insurance, including some of the following:

  • believing they didn’t need to insure a vehicle they were currently keeping ‘off the road’
  • driving with insurance that they didn’t realise had expired
  • driving with the incorrect or insufficient insurance coverage
  • allowing or causing another person to drive their vehicle without valid insurance

Each of these different driving without insurance scenarios can lead you into legal trouble, with these sorts of offences carrying a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points. In the most serious cases, the courts could impose a substantially larger fine, and in some cases, even a driving ban.

We have built up a strong track record as trusted legal representatives for motorists across England and Wales who are facing such a charge. We understand that there are many different scenarios in which motorists find themselves driving without an insurance policy, whether through a misunderstanding or a mistake on the part of an insurance company.

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What is the fine or penalty for driving without insurance?

The law recognises that the offence of driving without insurance is a serious one and provides that an uninsured driver can either be handed a Fixed Penalty Notice, requiring – as mentioned above – a payment of £300 (increased from the previous £200 fine) and endorsing their licence with 6 penalty points.

What’s the maximum fine for driving without insurance

If you are taken to court then there is no maximum fine for driving without insurance. More serious cases of driving without insurance in the UK can be summoned to appear at court, where they could face an unlimited fine and 6 to 8 penalty points, or even possible disqualification from driving. The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy a vehicle as the penalty for driving without insurance in more extreme cases.

Many people will think that such no car insurance penalties are appropriate for the person who drives without insurance, but Caddick Davies are here to offer legal guidance to those motorists who drive their car with the honest belief that they are insured, only to be stopped by a police officer and told that they are not. As specialist motoring law solicitors, this is something which we see a lot and which is becoming increasingly prevalent. We can’t guarantee that you’ll avoid a penalty or fine for driving without insurance but may be able to demonstrate “special reasons” for avoiding an endorsement on your driving licence.

What if I thought I had insurance?

Motoring law in the UK says that if you drive a vehicle without insurance, you are guilty of this offence, whether you meant to or not. In legal terms, this is known as a “strict liability” offence. This means that if you drive with no insurance, you are guilty of the offence and therefore that you should plead guilty. This can seem wholly unfair, that a motorist who makes a genuine error is treated in the same way as someone who deliberately drives without insurance.

Thankfully, the law does recognise this and gives magistrates the discretion not to endorse a driver’s licence with penalty points if they can demonstrate that there are “SPECIAL REASONS” for not doing so.

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How does the court view such an offence?

In the case of the person who has driven without insurance, the magistrates will exercise this discretion if it can be shown that the driver held a “genuine and honest” belief that he was insured and had “reasonable grounds” for believing that he was insured (Rennison v Knowler (1947)). We can explain this in more detail when you get in contact to discuss driving without an insurance policy that is deemed valid, but in short, there is a long way between showing that you had a “genuine and honest” belief and demonstrating that you had “reasonable grounds”.

This is because having “reasonable grounds” excludes cases where you simply mistakenly believed that you were insured. So, if you incorrectly read your insurance policy and thought it insured you when it did not, the court would not regard this as reasonable, would not deem your case as special reasons and you would get points on your licence. For the courts to find reasonable grounds, we will have to show that you have been misinformed in some way to believe that you were insured, or that there was no way of you knowing that you weren’t insured.

What if I wasn’t the person driving?

One example of this is where a young driver has been told by their parent that they have been insured on a car and the parent has made a mistake and not correctly insured their child. Having successfully represented many young drivers on this ground, it can be said that the courts, perhaps as parents themselves, often have sympathy and will find that the young driver’s belief was reasonable. Another example, one which is becoming increasingly common, is where a driver’s insurance is cancelled without their knowledge.

This can occur owing to various practices of insurance companies, including the cancellation of policies where proof of no claims is not provided, where a direct debit fails, or simply by error. If you have not received any notification that your insurance has been cancelled, you have a strong case for avoiding penalty points. We have solicitors on our team who have found themselves in this very scenario, so it really can happen to anyone.

If you find yourself in a similar predicament, have received a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summons and are looking at your driving without insurance UK legal options, please contact Caddick Davies today to discuss your case and your legal options. We are available by phone, email or web contact form and can provide a free initial telephone consultation.


How long does driving without insurance stay on your licence?

If you are convicted of driving without insurance, you will receive an IN10 endorsement on your driving licence. This will remain on your driving licence for four years. You’ll need to declare this when you apply for car insurance, which could increase your premiums.

Do you get a criminal record for driving without insurance?

If you have been caught driving an uninsured vehicle, you might be wondering whether you could be facing a criminal record. As driving without insurance is not an imprisonable offence, it will not appear on your criminal record. However, if you are convicted, you will be given an IN10 endorsement which will be on your driving licence for four years. You’ll need to declare this to car insurance providers, which could increase your premiums.

Do you need a solicitor for driving without insurance?

If you have been caught driving without insurance, you may be wondering whether you need a solicitor. While it is not a legal requirement to have a solicitor, it is always advisable to seek legal advice. This is because the consequences of being convicted can be serious, such as an IN10 endorsement on your driving licence which will remain for four years. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take and can represent you in court if necessary.

Do you need fully comprehensive insurance?

If you own a car that is not declared as being off road, you’ll need to ensure that you are properly insured. You have the choice between third party insurance and comprehensive insurance. Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover required by law and will protect you if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property. Comprehensive insurance will provide cover for damage to your own vehicle as well as third party cover. It is important to remember that even if your car is not being used, it must still be insured. Having a car insurance policy in place is the best way to protect yourself against a conviction for driving without insurance.

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