As you no doubt know already, driving without insurance is illegal, but the knowledge that drivers can receive penalty points, be fined or even banned doesn’t discourage many drivers in the UK every year. Sometimes, however, it’s not actually the driver’s fault.
It’s estimated that 1 in 25 drivers in the UK regularly drives without insurance and younger drivers are particularly likely to do so because the cost of insurance for their age group can be prohibitive. This is no real excuse, though, because if you have an accident and you’re not insured, the other driver is unlikely to be able to claim any money.
The Other Reasons It’s A Bad Idea To Drive Without Insurance
There’s no doubt that insurance can be expensive, with younger drivers paying up to £2,000 a year, but the penalties for driving without insurance can be much higher. Fines can be up to £5,000, and that’s before you think about the penalty points and the conviction on your record.
What Insurance Do You Actually Need?
The minimum insurance cover needed to drive a car or other vehicle is third party liability cover. This type of insurance means you’re covered for any damage you may cause another driver or to their vehicle. It’s only fair to consider others in this way.
After this basic minimum, you can add fire and theft, as well as fully comprehensive cover, which takes care of almost every eventuality.
If You’re Caught Without Insurance:
Most often, driving without insurance results in a fine. The minimum fine is £300 and comes after you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice. You could be fined up to £5,000, though, especially if you’re a repeat offender.
As well as a fine, you’ll get six points on your licence, or maybe even eight. If these points take you up to a total of 12, then you’ll be disqualified from driving automatically.
An Impounded Or Crushed Car
The police can take your vehicle and impound it until you’ve paid any fine you’ve received and you’ve proved to them that you have bought the right insurance policy. If you fail to collect your car, then the police can actually destroy it!
If You Have To Prove You’re Insured
If the police stop you and you don’t have your insurance documents on you or in the car, you’ll be given seven days to prove you’re insured. Your insurance policy should cover the date you were stopped – you can’t just rush out and buy a policy before the seven days is up.
Many motoring law specialists are dealing with more and more driving without insurance cases as the police now have registration recognition tech that cross-references insurance providers’ databases. Put simply, it’s getting harder to get away with no insurance these days!
If You’re Caught Driving Without Insurance, You May Well Be Prosecuted
You now know about the fine, the penalty points and the ban and you might be worried about the consequences. The first thing you need to do is to contact a motoring legal team because you may have special reasons which can help you to reduce your punishment or avoid it altogether. Your team may find that your insurer cancelled your policy in error and failed to tell you, for example. This isn’t something you can do for yourself, so if you’re facing a hefty fine or even a ban, you need a lawyer!
If You Have An Accident Whilst Uninsured
As well as facing bills for the damage caused, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a fatal accident whilst uninsured you could be charged with causing death by driving whilst uninsured even if your driving was not careless in any way. This is an offence that can result in disqualification and, in more serious cases, a custodial sentence.