Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance on public roads is a serious offence. It carries with it a range of convictions, fines, penalty points and sometimes, longer-term repercussions that are damaging to home and work life. In the end, driving uninsured, and thereby breaking the law, is not worth the risk.

Why are people driving without insurance?

People, driving without insurance, fall into two basic categories. There are those who are unintentionally driving without insurance and those who have deliberately chosen not to purchase a policy.

Some of the broader implications of driving without insurance

The cost of people driving without insurance is high. Accidents, involving those driving without insurance, cost millions of pounds every year. Those who have had accidents caused by people, driving without valid cover, can seek compensation through the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). It is a ‘last resort' fund and assists people who have exhausted all other compensation sources. Insurance companies, which handle vehicle cover, are charged a levy by the MIB. This charge is passed on to all the people who do have vehicle insurance, and adds an estimated £30 to every person's premium each year. Therefore, the more people who have valid cover, the lower the insurance premiums will be for all.

The Law

Vehicle insurance

The law is quite clear. As a minimum, valid third party cover is essential in order to drive a vehicle on the roads or in a public area.

Fines, penalty points, disqualification and prison sentences for driving without insurance

Even if the vehicle is adequately insured, fines and penalty points can still arise if the driver is not correctly insured to drive that particular vehicle. The registered keeper of the vehicle needs to be sure that anyone who they allow to drive their vehicle, is actually insured to drive it. If the driver is not insured then the keeper of the vehicle can be convicted of an offence and fines and penalty points can be imposed.

In this whole area of driving without insurance, the law is the law and both fines and penalty points are significant.

Driving without insurance has repercussions

Driving without insurance can cause major disruption in a person's life, both at home and at work. Being caught involves fines resulting in financial loss and licence endorsements. The stress would be hard emotionally and, if a friend or family member is also directly involved, this could be difficult and result in tension in that relationship. Court time would have an impact on other activities. In some cases the vehicle may be seized and, even, crushed, and in other cases disqualification may occur. The person would have difficulty getting to work or doing the usual family travel. If the job required driving this could mean facing loss of employment. Future insurance premiums would be very high. If an accident occurred, there would be expenses for damage to the other vehicle, injuries incurred, damage to other property, legal fees and maybe a prison sentence with all the consequences that that would bring.

Staying on the right side of the law

It is not enough to just have insurance; the driver must also prove that the insurance policy exists. This would be done by providing a certificate. Many insurance companies advertise ‘instant' cover over the phone or via the internet. If cover is applied for in this way, it is important to wait for the arrival of the insurance certificate before driving the vehicle; otherwise the proof of the insurance is not available.

The law shows that driving without insurance carries a lot of risks. To be able to relax and enjoy driving, free of the threat of insurance-related penalty points, fines or worse, there is a simple solution. The ideal approach is to ensure that there is a valid policy in place and to carry that policy, or at least a copy of it, in the vehicle at all times. Happy driving!

Unintentionally Driving without Insurance

Those in this first group think they have the correct cover and do not realise that their insurance is not valid, for the particular time or situation in which they find themselves. They think they are safe from receiving fines or penalty points. Reasons range from ignorance of the law, to thinking that the insurance in place is adequate, to being misled by others, to being conned by a scam. It is helpful to look at some of these reasons for driving uninsured more closely.

Intentionally Driving Without Insurance

Those in the second group make a deliberate decision, either to not disclose certain facts to the insurance company when a policy is purchased, or to not buy insurance cover at all. Reasons for breaking the law range from desperation, to choosing not to be completely honest when a policy is taken out, to inadequate resources to pay for cover, to getting a thrill from taking the risk of being uninsured, to not caring at all about the law, or abiding by it. Some of these reasons are as follows.

Assistance for those caught driving without insurance