Despite almost everyone knowing that it’s illegal to drive without insurance, an estimated 5% of the nation’s motorists set off on trips without the appropriate, or any, cover.
What’s surprising is that most of them know that if they get caught driving without insurance they’ll face penalty points, big fines and possibly even disqualification. Younger drivers are especially likely to drive without cover as they can find their insurance premiums to be too expensive.
The cost isn’t a valid excuse, however, as accidents can be even more expensive and can ruin people’s lives – or worse. If you’re driving uninsured and you’re involved in an accident, neither you nor the other driver can claim insurance and you’ll be facing serious legal consequences.
Don’t risk driving without insurance
No, insurance isn’t cheap – younger drivers, in particular, are hit hard, with some paying up to £2,000 for a year’s cover. The costs and consequences of driving without it can be much worse, though, with fines of up to £5,000, as well as the penalty points and a conviction. This will make your premiums even more expensive in future.
The least cover you can legally have is the third party so that you can cover the costs of any damage you do to another driver’s car. If everyone has this, then we’re all set.
There’s also third party, fire and theft, then fully comprehensive, which covers everything (or at least, almost everything) that could happen to you or another person.
The consequences of risking it – You’ll most likely receive a fine.
If you’re convicted of driving without insurance you’ll face a fine; £300 at the very least if you get a Fixed Penalty Notice, although it can reach £5,000 for repeat offenders.
You’ll get penalty points
Driving uninsured will usually get you six to eight penalty points and if you already have several points, you could be disqualified under the totting-up ban.
Your car could be impounded and destroyed
Yes, really. The police can impound your car until you’ve paid the fine and proved you have the appropriate insurance. If you fail to retrieve your car within a set time, they can destroy it.
What to do if the police ask you to prove you’re insured
You may not carry your insurance documents in your vehicle, so the police will give you seven days to take them to your local police station. Your policy must cover the day that you were stopped – you can’t just go and buy insurance once you get home.
It’s easier for the police to find and stop uninsured drivers now because they have registration recognition technology that they can cross-reference with insurers’ databases. It’s harder to get away with it!
If you’ve recently been caught without insurance
You’re probably kicking yourself and if you’ve not been caught yet, you’ll be shopping for quotes (or you should be). If you’re facing prosecution, you can still get expert legal help with a firm like Marsh Blom Law Firm Parramatta to reduce your fine, your points and possibly help you to avoid disqualification.