Driving without insurance

Can I be disqualified for driving without insurance?

Our expert motoring solicitors take a look at whether you could be disqualified for driving without insurance, and what effect this could have on your licence.

The short answer is yes you can. Being charged with driving without relevant insurance is a much more common offence than you may think. With some people simply forgetting to renew an existing policy and others unaware they needed business insurance.

However, it surprises a lot of people to discover being found guilty of driving with no insurance, can carry a penalty of up to a 12 month disqualification, dependent on the sentencing band you fall into.

The sentencing bands are as follows.

Band Three – If you are found to fall into this band you will be looking at the minimal penalty for this offence, which is a 6-8 point endorsement. You will also be subject to a Band B or Band C fine. The fine payable is based on your weekly income with Band B being between 75-125% and Band C being 125-175%. You will generally fall into this band if you are found to have lower culpability and have caused lesser harm.

Band Two – If you are found to fall into this band the Magistrates guidelines state the judge/s is to consider a disqualification of up to six months or an eight point endorsement. You will also be subject to a Band C fine, which is 125-175% of your weekly income. You will be placed into this band if you are found to have a higher culpability and lesser harm; or a lower culpability and greater harm.

Band One – If you fall into the highest sentencing band for this offence you are looking at a guaranteed driving disqualification or revocation of you are a new driver. The band gives the judge the sentencing option of between a six and twelve month driving disqualification. You again are also subject to Band C fine. To be facing the greatest sentencing band, you will have been found have both higher culpability and greater harm. One of the most frequently asked questions we are asked in relation to this offence, is ‘What factors influence the sentencing band you fall into?’, as unlike other offences it’s not as easy to determine. The court will take determine your culpability and the harm caused on a set strict number of factors.

If you do not fall specifically into a set band, the court will take into consideration individual factors before determining the appropriate sentence.

When looking at culpability the court will consider the following factors indicative of an individual demonstrating a higher culpability. These are:

– If you were driving for hire or reward. For e.g., A taxi driver or private hire vehicle.

If you were driving a HGV, PSV, LGV vehicle.

– If you have given false details.

– If you have never passed your driving test. For e.g., Never held a valid full UK driving licence.

– If there is evidence of sustained uninsured use by the individual.

If none of the above factors are relevant to your case, this could indicate a lower culpability. When determining the harm demonstrated the two main factors the court will take into consideration are:

– If you are involved in an accident where injury has been caused to pedestrians or other drivers.

– If you are involved in an accident where damage has been caused. If neither of these factors apply to you case then this could indicate lesser harm. After taking into consideration the above the court will then take into consideration adjusting your sentencing band dependant, on aggravating and mitigating factors. For example, it will aggravate your case if you have had previous convictions of this nature or have committed the offence whilst on bail.

However, it could help your case to put forward mitigation such as a genuine misunderstanding, no previous convictions or the vehicle not being driven.

For more information on how mitigation can be used to help minimise the sentence you receive for any offence, read out blog on ‘How can presenting Mitigation help my case?’.

It’s important to note if you are a new driver, being charged with no insurance puts you at a very high chance of being disqualified, as new drivers only have a six point endorsement threshold before their licence is revoked. Although due to the sentencing guidelines in Band Two and One, even an established driver has a high chance of facing a driving disqualification, should there not be a relevant defence available. For this reason, we would always recommend instructing a solicitor to handle your case.

If you are facing a conviction for driving without insurance, read our blog ‘Can a Solicitor Help Me Avoid a Driving Disqualification for Driving Without Insurance’ or give one of our motoring experts a call on 0330 912 2124.Contact our solicitors today.

Contact us now. Solicitors On Your Side can offer you free advice and consultations.

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