Driving without Insurance
It is illegal to drive or use a vehicle on a road without at least 3rd party insurance. It is also an offence to allow or permit a person to use a vehicle without insurance. It is vitally important to check you are insured for the vehicle you are going to drive and for what you are going to use it for. We have regularly come across situations where people are not covered and may have no defence available such as:-
- Being insured for domestic and social use and using it for work.
- Believing that someone else’s insurance covers them.
- Thinking they were covered for any other car with owner’s authority.
- Missing payments leading to insurance being cancelled.
- The courts will always find that it is the responsibility of the driver to check they are insured. An honest belief will not be enough of itself.
- There are situations that arise where a driver isn’t insured but can escape punishment.
The punishment is a fine and 6-8 penalty points or a discretionary fine in particularly serious cases.
There are two possible defences to driving with no insurance. The first is known as the employee defence. If a driver is driving in the course of their employment and they are unaware they are uninsured a court may acquit the driver, although the employer may be guilty of permitting no insurance.
The second situation is where a court is satisfied that there are special reasons why a person is driving an uninsured vehicle. For example, if you have been actively misled into believing you were insured you would be guilty of driving uninsured but may escape punishment and points. We have successfully argued that in a family situation where the person responsible for arranging insurance for the other family members mistakenly let a policy lapse then a family member had a special reason for being uninsured.
As driving with no insurance carries so many points, we would advise anybody accused of the offence to seek legal advice early. If there is no defence then it may be better to accept a fixed penalty ticket if offered.
If you have been accused of driving without insurance, contact our specialist motoring law solicitors to discuss your options.
If you need legal advice and representation for a traffic offence which is being heard in the Magistrates Court then, in the majority of cases, we can help you for a fixed fee, plus our travelling expenses to the Court where your case is to be heard. Our travelling expenses are charged at 45p per mile for the distance from our office to the Court.
In the majority of cases we will agree to deal with your case at a fixed fee however if the case is more complex, it may be that in some cases the costs or fee may be greater than those quoted. If that is the case the fee will be agreed before you are asked to make a decision whether to instruct us.
Our fixed costs do not included the following:-
- Obtaining experts reports if required
- Costs of tracing witnesses
If you intend to plead guilty then our fee will be determined by how straightforward the arguments are to mitigate the sentence applied. Arguments relating to special circumstances or exceptional hardship are likely to be more complex, as are arguments which involve witnesses.
If the arguments are straightforward, then we will charge £300 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the arguments are more complex, then we will charge £500 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
Stages & Timescales
The Court case may start in a number of ways. You may receive a summons or postal requisition with a court date. You may be charged by the Police directly to Court from the Police Station. For most road traffic offences you will receive a Single Justice Procedure notice which you need to complete. If you are pleading guilty then it may well be that the case can be concluded on the first appearance. If there is to be an exceptional hardship argument or a special reasons argument the Court may adjourn for the hearing to take place, which can typically be for 4 to 8 weeks.
We will meet with you to provide initial advice to you on your options and the procedure, take your instructions and obtain evidence. Following this we will attend at Court for your guilty plea and prepare and present mitigation for you.
Not Guilty Plea
If you intend to plead not guilty then our charges will be determined by the expected length and complexity of the trial. The length of the trial will be affected by a number of factors including:-
- The number of witnesses
- Whether you have been charged with more than one offence
- If any expert evidence is needed
For a straightforward not guilty plea where the trial lasts up to an hour and a half, we will charge £500 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the trial lasts up to half a day, we will charge £750 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the trial lasts up to a full day, we will charge £1,000 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
Stages & Timescales
The Court case may start in a number of ways. You may receive a summons or postal requisition with a court date. You may be charged by the Police directly to Court from the Police Station. For most road traffic offences you will receive a Single Justice Procedure notice which you need to complete. If there is to be a trial it will normally be listed two to four months after the first appearance at Court or the not guilty plea is indicated by the Single Justice Procedure notice. However, timescales vary from Court to Court.
We will meet with you to provide initial advice to you on your options and the procedure, take your instructions and obtain evidence. We will represent you at the first hearing and the Court will then set a date for a trial.
Following this we will deal with all case management, which will include meeting to discuss the case, advising you on evidence & plea, liaising with the Court in relation to what evidence will be presented to ensure the Court lists sufficient time to deal with the matter and fixing an appropriate court date
We will then prepare your case for trial and represent you at Court for the trial itself which will include cross-examining any witnesses and presenting arguments on your behalf. We will then advise you on the outcome of the trial.
Factors which may increase costs
- Defence witnesses that need to be traced and interviewed
- An unusual aspect of the law
- Need for expert evidence
Why use a solicitor?
- An allegation of driving without insurance can be complex and will require an experienced solicitor to defend.
- A solicitor can represent you in court.
- You will damage your defence if you do not instruct a solicitor.
Why Watson Woodhouse?
- Our specialist motoring solicitors are experts in defending driving without insurance allegations.
- We will seek to provide you with the best possible defence.
- We will keep you updated on the progress of your case.