Driving Without Insurance
Specialist Motoring Offences Solicitor with over 35 years’ expertise in this area. Let me help you.
Driving without insurance is illegal in Scotland, even if you truly believed that you were insured at the time.
If you have been caught driving without insurance, Donnachie Law can help you. We can explore whether you can defend the charge, or whether there are any ‘special reasons’ that explain why the offence was committed. If so, the court may decide not to endorse your licence with penalty points.
“I was facing 2 charges, namely dangerous driving and speeding at speeds of up to 120mph. Naturally, I was pretty worried. I was put in touch with Paul Donnachie of Donnachie Law. He agreed to represent me.
Long story short, Paul met with someone in the Procurator Fiscal’s office and went over the charges with him. He managed to negotiate the dropping of the dangerous driving charge. And the Fiscal agreed also to limit the speeding charge to “speeds of up to 100mph”.
I tendered a guilty plea to the amended speeding charge and received a fine and 5 penalty points. I was amazed and delighted at the outcome especially since losing my licence would probably have meant losing my job as well. I doubt many other lawyers could have achieved a result like that.”
Penalties for driving without insurance
People who are caught driving without insurance in Scotland are typically given a fixed penalty of six penalty points and a £300 fine. If the case goes to court, a driver could potentially be handed up to eight penalty points and a fine of £5,000. The court even has the discretion to disqualify a driver, if the case is deemed to be serious enough.
What if I didn’t realise I was uninsured?
Facing such penalties will be troubling, especially if you genuinely did not realise that you were uninsured at the time of driving. This might happen, for example, if you are required to drive your employer’s vehicle as part of your job, but your employer failed to arrange the correct insurance. If you were unaware of this, you are likely to have a complete defence in law.
Of course, there are occasions when people knowingly drive without insurance. Or the owner of a vehicle may cause or permit someone else to drive it, despite being aware of the fact he/she is not covered by a valid insurance policy.
However, more often than not, someone will drive without insurance because of an oversight, such as –
- An insurance policy did not auto-renew and the policy-holder was not aware
- An insurance policy lapsed and the policy-holder was not aware
- An insurance policy was cancelled because a payment failed or the policy-holder failed to send certain documents
- A policy-holder wrongly told the driver that he/she was insured
- A driver wrongly told the owner/registered keeper that he/she was insured
If you were surprised to learn that you were not insured while using a vehicle, perhaps because of one of the reasons listed above, you may be able to argue that there are special reasons that mitigate your guilt.
If you put forward an argument of special reasons, it means that while you are technically guilty of driving without insurance, you genuinely believed that you were insured and you had little chance of knowing otherwise.
If the court agrees that there are special reasons as to why you were driving without insurance, it may decide not to penalise you. This will undoubtedly be a relief, as having six to eight points on your licence is a steep penalty, particularly if it occurred due to an honest mistake.
How can we help?
Being caught driving without insurance can seem like a fairly open and shut case – either you had insurance or you did not. However, it is possible to successfully defend a charge of driving without insurance, and there may be mitigating circumstances that you need to bring to the court’s attention.
That is why if you have been charged with driving without insurance, it is best to seek legal advice straightaway. At Donnachie Law we can explore the possible lines of defence that you might not realise are open to you, and can prepare and present your case, ensuring maximum chances of success.
If we feel we cannot assist you, we will let you know at the start. If we believe, however, that we can successfully defend your case or present mitigating special reasons, we will act on your behalf, working hard to preserve your licence.
Contact us now
Why Choose Us?
- Bringing over 35 years’ experience to help you
- Specialist Court Solicitor
- Featured in Scots Law Times