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Driving Without Insurance

Specialist motoring law firm Nelson Guest & Partners have over 25 years of experience in dealing with road traffic offences, including driving without insurance.

The GOV.UK website states: "It’s illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place without at least 3rd party insurance. Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you’re not correctly insured to drive it you could get penalised.”

The police can give an uninsured driver a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points - which could in itself mean the loss of your driving licence should it take you over the twelve-point threshold - but if your case goes to the Magistrates’ Court, then the fine can be substantially more and the disqualification immediate. In certain cases, the police can also seize and destroy the vehicle.

Circumstances can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case, and the Magistrates Court sentencing guidelines indicate ‘higher culpability’ for offences where, for example, the driver has not passed their test, has given false details or persistently offended.

The onus is on the defendant to prove they did have insurance, rather than for the prosecution to prove they did not. However, at the court’s discretion, ‘special reasons’ can occasionally be considered as mitigation, and cases can become more complex where fleet insurance is involved, or a policy has been cancelled without the driver’s knowledge.

Our specialist lawyers can also examine matters of police and prosecution procedure which, if not followed correctly, can have a bearing on the outcome of a court case.

It is in your best interest to enlist expert legal assistance as soon as possible as, whatever the particular circumstances of your case, you have the right to a fair outcome.

Talk to our road traffic offences solicitors in London

If you have been charged with, or convicted of, driving without insurance, our London road traffic offences lawyers can help.

For immediate advice and representation, call our experts now on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form to request a call back.

How our team can help with a driving without insurance charge or conviction

Police station representation for driving without insurance

If you are arrested or asked to attend a police station to be interviewed, you are strongly advised to seek legal representation. If you ask us to represent you, we can step in straight away to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

What happens at the police station is likely to be crucial to your case, and by ensuring you have an expert driving offences solicitor with you, you will avoid inadvertently damaging your case. We can also ensure that the proper procedure is followed by the police. If it is not, then we will ask for all charges against you to be dropped.

Advice if you have been released under investigation

If you have been released under investigation, it is also recommended that you speak to us about your case. We can ensure that you are not simply left waiting and worrying by chasing up the police to see whether they have finished their investigation and whether they are prepared to drop the case against you.

We can advise you as to what might happen next and ensure that you have representation if you are asked to return to the police station or provide documentary evidence.

Representation for court proceedings

If you are told you need to attend court, our defence solicitors will be able to attend with you to ensure that you have expert representation. Our team includes highly experienced advocates who can represent you directly in court, including at the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court, Youth Court and appeal courts. Where necessary, we can also instruct specialist criminal defence barristers on your behalf.

Appealing a conviction for driving without insurance

If you have been convicted of driving without car insurance or driving without a licence and insurance and you believe that your conviction was unfair, you should contact us as soon as possible about making an appeal. There are deadlines for appealing, and it is important not to miss these.

Our driving without insurance defence fees

We offer fixed fees for driving without insurance cases, which covers work throughout, including police station advice and representation, during the investigative stage and court representation.

By offering fixed fees, we make sure that you know how much the costs will be from the outset and that you do not need to worry about unexpected expenses.

For more information about pricing, see our Road Traffic Offences fees page.

What happens if you get caught driving without insurance?

If you are stopped by the police, and you are driving on a public road without insurance, your car will be taken away. You may be taken to a police station and interviewed, and it is likely that there will be an investigation, followed by charges being made.

If you are insured, you will need to provide your insurance documents to the police within seven days.

You will generally need to reclaim your car within a couple of weeks, or it may be scrapped.

Is driving without insurance a criminal offence?

Driving without insurance is a criminal offence if you are on a public road. You will need a minimum of third party insurance.

What is the penalty for driving without insurance?

There is a minimum fine for driving without insurance of £300 plus six penalty points on your licence.

If you are a probationary driver, you could have your licence revoked.

Where a case is deemed to be more serious, such as where you have not passed a driving test, you have given false details to the police, or you were driving a higher risk vehicle than a standard car, such as an HGV, your case may go to court. The court has the power to impose an unlimited fine and disqualify you from driving.

You are also likely to have to pay a substantial sum of money to have your car returned to you.

How many penalty points do you get for driving without insurance?

You could be given six or eight points on your licence for driving without insurance. If you already have points on your licence, then under the totting up procedure, you could face a six month ban from driving if you already have six or more points and you reach the twelve-point maximum.

What is the maximum fine for driving without insurance?

If your case goes to court, you could face an unlimited fine.

Is there a defence to driving without insurance?

If you were using the vehicle as an employee in the course of your employment or you rented the car, you may have a defence if you can show that you had no way of knowing that you were not insured.

Otherwise, driving without insurance is a strict liability offence, which means you cannot simply say that you believed you were insured.

There are a number of mitigating circumstances which the court can be asked to consider when imposing a sentence, including the following:

  • You had a genuine reason to believe you were insured
  • Your insurer made errors meaning that your policy was not in force
  • Your insurer cancelled your insurance policy without notifying you
  • You were informed by the owner of the vehicle or the policyholder that you were insured to drive the vehicle

Get in touch with our team about a driving without insurance charge or conviction

If you have been charged with, or convicted of, driving without insurance, our London road traffic offences lawyers can help.

For immediate advice and representation, call our experts now on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form to request a call back.

For further information, see our road traffic offences resources page.