Any vehicle in the United Kingdom must have at least third party insurance at all times unless the vehicle is declared to the DVLA as being off the road via a SORN notice. It is still a common misconception amongst motorists that you can have an uninsured vehicle so long as it is not being driven however this is simply not the case.
If your vehicle is on a public road or in your own drive way then a policy of insurance must exist; the idea behind this requirement is that even vehicles that are not being driven can be involved in an accident (i.e. another vehicle colliding into a parked car).
The court’s adopt a very strict stance towards motorists charged with driving without insurance and it is considered a strict liability in that you either had valid insurance at the time of driving or you didn’t.
The penalty for this offence is between 6 – 8 penalty points in addition to a fine. This will likely have an impact upon your insurance premiums as most insurers attach significance to a licence that has 6 or more points endorsed on it and convictions need to be disclosed for at least 4 years (some insurers require 5 years history).
In an effort to reduce court time and costs now however many motorists will receive a fixed penalty for this offence and be offered a standard 6 points and £200.00 fine.
If a conviction will means that the total number of points on your licence numbers 12 or more we would refer you to our “Totting Up” section.
Fortunately however driving without insurance no longer carried a potential custodial penalty.
Despite the approach that the court’s take, allegations of driving without insurance can be more complicated than they first seem and there are often factors that need to be considered.
For example, are you guilty of the offence if a friend/relative has told you that you can drive their vehicle and that you would be insured to do so?
How about if an employer provides you with a vehicle and you are then stopped by police?
Have you still committed an offence if you have driven in an emergency situation?
One of the most common scenarios we see is where a motorist drives a vehicle that is not in accordance with “restrictions” imposed by the insurer. Hidden away within insurance policies are often a list of restrictions or conditions upon the use of that vehicle under the policy.
If your employer has insurance for a fleet of vehicles for example, the vehicles under the policy can only be driven for employment purposes. So if you make a personal journey in that vehicle then you will likely be driving without insurance.
There may be circumstances that need to be considered further and we would always urge you to contact us if you face an allegation of driving without insurance.
It is a valid defence however if you were genuinely misled into believing that you were insured to drive the vehicle but again, certain restrictions will apply that we will need to discuss with you.
Road Traffic Law is a very niche area of criminal law and there are very firms with genuine expertise in this area. As specialists, there are a number of strategies and techniques that have been developed and fine-tuned over the years that result in successful acquittals but what makes us different from the rest?
The costs of representation will largely depend upon whether you decide to plead guilty or not guilty however for both instances we can offer representation at a fixed fee.
If you plead guilty the matter will likely be dealt with in one hearing for which we charge £1500 + VAT . If you decide to defend your case then it will likely take several months to reach trial and there are various factors that affect costs such as:
The majority of no insurance trials can be prepared on a fixed fee basis of £3000 + VAT
Call Duncan Lewis motoring offence specialists on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice on all motoring law offences, including driving without insurance matters.