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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists at defending Driving Without Insurance Offences. Call our team of expert motoring solicitors for some free initial advice.

view the sentencing council guidelines

View Sentencing Council Guidelines Driving Without Insurance Penalty

Any person driving a motor vehicle is required to have at least third party insurance in place to drive that particular vehicle. However, insurance cover is not always straightforward and many people prosecuted for this offence genuinely believed that they were covered by a certificate of insurance when they drove. As harsh as it may seem it is no defence to say you thought you had insurance but your direct debits lapsed.

A phenomenon that has increased in frequency over the last 5 years is people facing prosecution for causing or permitting someone else to drive their car without insurance. If convicted for a driving without insurance criminal offence, you face the same penalty as if you had driven without insurance yourself.

If you supply details of a driver other than yourself in response to a Notice of Intended Prosecution (usually in speed camera or traffic light cases) you may find that the police may come back to you asking for proof of the driver’s insurance. This is quite common in cases where the driver you have named lives abroad.

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What is the maximum fine for driving without insurance?

There is no maximum amount for a fine for driving without insurance. Historically, the maximum fine was capped at £5000 but new rules introduced in 2015 mean there is no cap on the fine which is either a Band B to Band C fine. We also get asked by our clients, is driving without insurance a criminal offence? Well the answer is simply ‘Yes’.

What is the driving without insurance code?

The driving without insurance code is IN10. More information about penalty points and endorsements can be found here.

What is the penalty for driving without insurance?

The driving without insurance penalty is 6-8 penalty points and a fine. It is also possible for the court to impose a discretionary disqualification in place of penalty points. It is also possible that when first arrested, the police could seize and in worst case scenario, destroy your vehicle.

Social and Business Purposes

Policies of insurance often contain restrictions stating that the insurance will only cover social and domestic use of a vehicle. We have been involved in cases where the police have attempted to argue that a car was being driven outside of the scope for which it was insured. For example a vehicle being driven for pleasure but with a trade policy. Because this is open to interpretation we have been successful in numerous driving without insurance offence cases brought by the Crown pursuant to this point.

Some more common but perhaps unknown examples of social and domestic use are set out below:-

Social & Domestic Use

  • If you lend your vehicle to a friend for a pleasure trip but the friend pays you for the use of the vehicle, the use of the vehicle falls within the social and domestic use and it is not a business hire situation.
  • If you give a lift to someone whilst on business rounds (like a lift to a work colleague) this will be classed as social and domestic use.
  • All activities of charity workers, magistrates, and elected Councillors who receive reimbursement of their expenses only using their vehicle in the course of their work will be classed as social and domestic use.

Trade Policies

Business use does not always cover any form of business use. There are frequently restrictions on policies for business use where a specific company is named. Therefore, where use in a specific business is named on a policy and the vehicle is used in respect of a different business, cover may not apply.

Void Conditions

If an insurer has  attempted to invalidate a policy it is always worth checking if the condition they refer to in their terms and conditions is actually a lawful reason to void a policy. There are many unlawful restrictions but some of the most common ones are:-

  • A restriction due to the age or physical or mental condition of the person driving the vehicle – many insurance policies seek to say that insurance does not extend to a driver under the age of 25 years. If this restriction is applied, it is unlawful and you should succeed in proving that you were validly insured.
  • The condition of the vehicle.
  • The number of people the vehicle carries.
  • The times of driving or the areas where the vehicle was used.
  • The horsepower or cylinder capacity of the vehicle.

Where an insurer argues that your insurance was not valid due to the above restrictions, and you are prosecuted for driving without insurance, the insurer may be forced to confirm that you were insured in which case this would be a valid defence to a no insurance prosecution.

But I have fully comp insurance – I thought I could drive any car and be insured TPFT?

You should always check your policy of insurance for the specific conditions because all policies will differ significantly and having a fully comprehensive policy does not automatically mean you will be insured to drive any other car.

Check out Miss Justice’s guestblog on the confused.com blog site for her views on this common misconception.

Special Defence For Employees

One of the most common situations where a driver may be prosecuted for driving without insurance is when an employee uses a vehicle believing they were insured but an employer has failed to ensure that the employee was insured.

The Defendant must prove on the balance of probabilities (in other words more likely than not) that the vehicle did not belong to him and was not in his possession under a contact of hire or a loan and that he was using the vehicle in the course of his employment and that he did not know or have reason to believe that there was no insurance in place for that vehicle.

It could assist greatly if the employer was prepared to give evidence to support this defence but then there is a risk that the employer could be prosecuted for causing or permitting you to drive whilst uninsured.

Special Reasons May Apply

The most common special reason that is accepted in insurance cases is where there is a belief that insurance cover existed which is based on reliance on another party. The most common example is where a child relies upon their parent’s assurance that insurance cover is in place.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Driving Without Insurance Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving offence charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our specialist driving with no insurance offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange installment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving penalty calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.


Still not sure if you should instruct us to help you?

Try our Interactive Testimonial Scheme - “Ref Me” is a voluntary scheme we ask satisfied clients to participate in. Where you see the “Ask Our Clients” form, you can send an email to a previous client of the firm and ask them any question(s) you like about us.

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