No insurance offences – expert advice
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Subject to exceptions, the 1988 Road Traffic Act requires every person who uses, or causes or permits another person to use a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, to have a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks.
Using a motor vehicle without insurance is an offence triable only in the Magistrates’ Court. The court will normally endorse and impose between 6 and 8 penalty points or in the alternative may disqualify for a period.
We can advise on whether there are any defences or special reasons available to you as to why the court should not find you guilty or impose points or disqualify. There is a special defence for persons using vehicles in the course of their employment and sometimes exceptions may apply, but it is often ‘black and white’.
In sentencing, the court will always look at the seriousness of the offence and consider the effect of any aggravating and mitigating factors. We can advise on those factors and the level of culpability and always seek to secure the best possible outcome for you.
There are a number of occasions where special reasons can be found for not endorsing in respect of a no insurance offence.
Ignorance of limited cover under a policy of insurance does not normally constitute a special reason, but there may be special reasons in other instances where there is a belief in the existence of cover and a particular explanation for ignorance of the lack of cover.
If mitigating, the court will want to know whether culpability is low, which it may be where responsibility for providing insurance rests with another, or there was a genuine misunderstanding, or it was a recent failure to renew or failure to transfer vehicle details where insurance was in existence, or even where the vehicle was not being driven.
For expert advice if summonsed before Magistrates for a no insurance offence contact the Motorist Defence Team at Rothera Sharp on 0800 088 6280.