Driving Without Insurance
When it comes to simplicity of offences, driving without insurance is up there at the top.
In the UK, if you drive on a road or other public place without having at minimum third party insurance, you have committed an offence.
No ifs or buts and it makes no difference if you were aware your insurance had expired or not. This is because driving without insurance is an ‘absolute offence’. However, despite this, there are defences available for driving without insurance and our Road Traffic Offence Solicitors have over many years of experience building and presenting cases to the Court.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with streamlined, modern, and highly effective motoring law advice and representation. Our years of experience in road traffic and criminal law means we have relationships with some of the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses who can provide the Court with the facts required to support a not guilty plea or mitigate the sentence handed down by a Judge.
Below are some of the most common questions we are asked concerning driving without insurance.
I let someone else drive my uninsured car – am I guilty of an offence?
Section 143(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988 provides that it is an offence to cause or permit any other person to use an uninsured motor vehicle on a road or public place. Again, this is an absolute offence – mistakenly believing your vehicle was insured will not prevent a conviction.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance?
Forgetting to renew your vehicle insurance on time can have serious consequences. If caught driving without insurance, you could:
- Be fined up to £5,000;
- Receive six to eight penalty points on your license;
- Be disqualified from driving for a period.
What are the defences available if I am caught driving without insurance?
Section 143(3) of the RTA 1988 provides a defence for driving without insurance if you can prove that:
- the vehicle did not belong to you and was not in your possession under a contract of hiring or of loan,
- you were using the vehicle in the course of your employment, and
- you neither knew nor had reason to believe that the vehicle was not validly insured.
A defence is also available if you can show within seven days of being stopped that you have valid insurance. There is also a separate charge of failing to produce a certificate however, this charge will likely be dropped if you produce evidence that you did have insurance at the time of the alleged offence.
You must also be driving on a road or in a public place in order to commit the offence of driving without insurance. This can be quite a technical argument; however, our Solicitors have a wealth of experience in motoring offence law and can access the knowledge of our Property Law Department to ascertain the nature of the place where the police stopped you.
Because driving without insurance is an absolute offence, the burden of proof is reversed, i.e. you are guilty until you prove your innocence. This can be intimidating if you have had no prior experience in defending yourself in Court. Therefore, let us take responsibility and ensure that your defence is argued persuasively and the charges are quickly dropped.
My insurance company is saying my vehicle insurance has lapsed or is not valid – can I be convicted?
Because insurance companies have automated many of their renewal procedures, you may find that your insurance has been mistakenly cancelled. Not updating your details, such as a change in address can result in your insurer stating your insurance cover is not valid. Such events are becoming more common; however, we have the expertise to investigate your insurer’s claims and present any procedural errors to the Court in your defence.
Why choose us
Our Solicitors regularly defend clients facing motoring allegations at the police station and in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. We can also help with appeals against disqualification and applications for early reinstatement of your licence.
Regardless of the charges against you, you are entitled to a criminal defence. We do not judge our clients; our only objective is to defend you against the Prosecution’s allegations. You can be confident that by instructing us to defend you, your chances of acquittal or a reduced sentence are greatly improved. The most important factor is to contact us as soon as you are stopped by the police for driving without insurance.
To receive expert advice and if you have been charged with driving without insurance, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Driving Without Insurance' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT