DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE
It is an offence to use (or permit to be used) a motor vehicle on a road or public place when there is not in force a relation to the use of the vehicle such a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks as complies with the Road Traffic Act.
(Road Traffic Act 1988 s143 (C2)
This is an offence which has been created with a deliberately wide definition and if you face prosecution for no insurance you should contact us immediately.
You should note that to be guilty of having no insurance you do not have to drive the vehicle because the Road Traffic Act says ‘use’ a vehicle. This therefore could include parked or stationary vehicles or cars left for repair if on a road or public place.
In no insurance cases there are often legal arguments as to what constitutes a motor vehicle. These have related to motorised childrens scooters or skateboards etc. should it be necessary following a thorough examination of the facts of your case, we would mount such legal argument as we felt appropriate having fully discussed the case with you.
Allegations of no insurance often occur when an employee is driving a company car. The employer may be prosecuted for no insurance if the vehicle driven by the employee is not insured. The employer or employee should contact us immediately in this scenario because he is regarded as having control, management or operation of the vehicle and is regarded as ‘using’ it for the purpose of a no insurance prosecution.
This may not however be the case where a person has leant a motor vehicle to a third party who turns out to have no insurance. We would consider arguing that the owner of the vehicle was not guilty of having no insurance because he no longer had control and so was not ‘using’ the vehicle. If this situation applies to you, please call us immediately to discuss the situation.
Not only do the prosecution have to prove ‘use’ to secure a conviction for no insurance, but also that the offence took place on a public road or other such public place. This may be something that has to be looked into by us. Don’t always assume that a vehicle in the open is in such a place. This should be investigated and may prevent a conviction for no insurance. This is a specific legal area and to submit successful legal argument requires knowledge of the case law. We have this and will use it on your behalf.
To mount a successful defence to a prosecution for no insurance requires specialist legal advice because it is an absolute offence and it is no defence to show that the defendant had no knowledge as to the lack of insurance. This does not however extend to employees driving employers motor vehicles. If you are such a person facing a no insurance prosecution, you should contact us because there are circumstances where you may have a defence in law.
Even if you think you may have no defence to an allegation of no insurance you should still contact us to help you. We may be able to persuade the court not to impose a driving ban or penalty points if your circumstances amount to ‘special reasons.’
An example of this could be where the insurance company have cancelled an insurance policy but the notification never reached the driver. There is case law which lays claim what can and cannot amount to a special reason for non imposition of penalty points or a driving ban. You should contact us to discuss this situation further.
If you are prosecuted for no insurance this will be heard in the Magistrates Court. Once the prosecution have proved the basic elements of the offence of driving with no insurance, it is up to the defendant to establish that he was driving with no insurance.
Upon conviction there can be a fine of up to £5,000, between 6-8 penalty points imposed on the licence and the court can impose discretionary driving ban. In any offence of no insurance the main factor in the courts mind will be if the offence was committed deliberately or without knowledge. Correct representation on your behalf in court can have a real difference as to any penalty that may be imposed by the court for no insurance. Call us.