Driving without Insurance
Updated on Tuesday 10th August 2021
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Driving without insurance in the UK is subject to penalties ranging from fines to possible driving disqualifications. In order to avoid this, drivers are asked to observe the legal minimum third party insurance requirements.
If you were involved in an accident that caused damage or injury you will be asked to provide your identification details. However, if you do not have insurance, our driving offence solicitors in London can provide you with information and assistance on how to proceed further.
Read below some of the most commonly asked questions about uninsured driving in the UK and reach out to us if you have any more questions or require specialized legal assistance.
What are the penalties for uninsured drivers?
Our driving offence solicitors list the penalties for uninsured drivers below:
- a fixed fine: this is a 300£ fine if you are caught by the police while driving uninsured;
- penalty points: alternatively, if the police catch you driving uninsured you could receive 6 penalty points;
- an unlimited fine: this applies if the case goes to court; our solicitors can assist you in this case;
- disqualification: if the case does go to court, you could be disqualified from driving; this ban last between 6 months and 2 years depending on whether or not you get more penalty points within a certain period.
The police has the power to seize the vehicle that has been driven uninsured. In some cases, the police can also decide to destroy the said vehicle.
The penalty can still apply if the vehicle itself is insured but the driver is not correctly insured to drive.
When a driver is disqualified for 56 days or more, he needs to apply for a new license in order to be able to drive again. In some cases, one can apply to reduce the disqualification period after 2 years of the said disqualification was for less than 4 and for half the disqualification period if it was for at least 4 but under 10 years.
Our team of driving solicitors can give you more information on driving without insurance and the compensation that can be awarded to victims of uninsured drivers.
What are the main rules for vehicle insurance in England and Wales?
In England, Wales and Scotland, motor insurance for vehicles that are used on roads and public places is mandatory. Those that are not used in this manner are declared as kept off the road (for example, those that are kept in a garage). Failure to comply with the regulations can result in a fixed penalty of 100£, a court prosecution with a maximum fine of 1,000£ or the vehicle being destroyed or impounded.
The registered keeper of the car is the one to receive the penalty even if he or she was not the one driving the car. The insurance will still be payable on top of any fines received for this offence.
The minimum requirement is to at least have a 3rd party insurance when driving a vehicle on a road or in a public place. This type of insurance covers the driver in case of an accident that results in damage or injury to another person, animal or property. It is useful to note that this described type of insurance will not cover the costs related to repairing your own vehicle. Most drivers use an insurance broker in the UK.
Our team of driving solicitors can give you more information on the applicable regulations, the penalties or uninsured drivers as well as the powers of the police.
Are there any exceptions concerning uninsured vehicles?
A motor traders' exception is in place for those vehicles that are registered as “in trade” with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). This means that the vehicle is not subject to continuous insurance, however, for this to be possible the said vehicle needs to be used for the specified purposes.
The rules for vehicle insurance in Northern Ireland are different from those applicable in England, Wales and Scotland. We recommend seeking out information on the types of insurance covers before driving a vehicle in this area.
Our driving solicitors can give you complete information on motor insurance and liability in case of accidents. We can help you understand how the insurance will protect you in case of injuries caused to people or damage to their property. Moreover, we can help you with complete counsel and legal advice and representation in those situations in which you were caught driving without insurance.
We invite you to watch a video on driving uninsured:
Victims of uninsured drivers
Our team of driving solicitors can also assist those who were the victim of an uninsured driver, a hit and run type of accident. Seeking expert legal advice in these cases is important and our team knows how to address the situation and help you claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, among other steps that will help you receive fair treatment following the unjust event.
It should be noted that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau is a non-profit company that enters into agreements with the Government, all for the purpose of compensating the victims of motor accidents. Some of the actions with which the Bureau can assist, while you are legally represented by one of our solicitors, include compensation for the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers as well as operating the Green Card System, an initiative that allows victims of foreign-registered vehicles to receive fair treatment.
Making a claim for an accident with a foreign-registered vehicle can seem daunting, however, there are steps that you can take if you were a victim. Moreover, when working with our solicitors you will be able to find out more about the Green Card (the international proof of insurance) and use our legal aid to have the representative of the foreign driver deal with your claim. When the accident in which you were involved was with a foreign-registered lorry, it is advisable to make the reasonable effort to write down the registration numbers on the front and the back of the lorry.
Working with our solicitors who specialize in driving without insurance and/or claim for foreign-registered vehicles, is recommended as you will need to properly fill in a form and take all the steps necessary to allow for timely submission. It is also recommended to start working on your claim and refrain from any delay in sensing the claim while you are waiting for more information. Our solicitor will attempt to obtain as much information as possible after the accident and will start submitting the paper claim form as well as communicate with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau as soon as possible, all in your best interest and for allowing for a timely processing of your case.
Any submitted claim will include an investigation phase where the facts are determined, along with independent reports, police reports and other documents. In some cases, the victim is also required to provide more details. One should expect a main time of approximately three months to receive a compensation payment, however, this timescale can differ.
If you were driving an uninsured vehicle or were an uninsured driver at the time an accident took place (with one or more victims) we invite you to reach out to our driving offence solicitors as soon as possible after the event so that you may benefit from legal counsel and will be able to understand your duties, responsibilities and rights. Seeking legal advice and representation is recommended especially in those cases in which the victim claims compensations.
Operation Tutelage is a national effort to reduce uninsured driving in the UK. When a vehicle is observed on the road and the verification performed with the motor insurance database shows that it is not insured, the registered owner receives a letter that will remind them to insure the vehicle or sort any issues that may be in place with the respective insurance.
A driving offence solicitor from our team can help answer your questions if you believe that a letter you have received from Operation Tutelage is incorrect. The first step, in this case, would be to contact your insurance company and see of there is any issue with the insurance/check that it is in place. However, if your car was not driven on the date indicated in the latter, our solicitors can help you address the authorities. The same applies if you no longer own the said vehicle.
According to a set of statistics from the Department of Transport, motor vehicle offences that involve license and insurance are not as numerous as speeding or other offence types. Below, our motoring offence solicitors highlight some of the data for recent years:
- in 2018 there were 382,000 offences involving license, insurance and record keeping;
- in 2017 this number was lower, at 364,000 offences;
- by comparison, in 2018 there were 2,295,000 offences involving speeding.
Are you in need of legal guidance concerning an insurance offence? Please contact our driving offence solicitors for complete information on how we can assist you.