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I Didn't Realise I Didn't Have Car Insurance - What Can I Do?

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Driving without valid insurance cover is an offence in the UK. But what if you genuinely thought that you had insurance, and there was no way you could have known otherwise?

Driving with no insurance

Such situations do happen. If it has happened to you, you are likely feeling extremely frustrated that you are facing criminal charges, and concerned about the implications it could have on your life.

Driving without insurance can result in six to eight penalty points, a discretionary disqualification and a fine. These are steep consequences for what might well have been an honest mistake.

So, is there anything you can do?

Well, if you can explain why you were driving without insurance, you can present a case of special reasons. This means that while you are legally guilty of driving without insurance, there is a valid reason for it. This might be because -

  • The insurer cancelled your policy without notifying you
  • The insurer made a mistake which made your policy invalid
  • A friend, family member or associate said you were insured, and you had no reason not to believe them

To illustrate the third point, imagine that your employer has assured you that you are insured to drive the company car. If so, you are not expected to distrust or challenge your employer’s authority. If it turns out that you are not insured, then you could not have known otherwise.

Special reasons – driving with no insurance

Therefore by presenting a case of special reasons, you are essentially owning up to driving without insurance, but you are explaining the mitigating circumstances which led to the offence. If you can persuade the court that special reasons exist, you may avoid penalties.

It is important to note that special reasons are different to exceptional hardship. Exceptional hardship is when a ban would result in exceptional hardship for others, such as your family or employees. Special reasons, on the other hand, have nothing to do with the impact driving penalties will have on your life. Rather, they explain why the offence happened.

Expert legal advice

If you have been caught driving without insurance, contact us at DFR Solicitors to find out what you can do.

We can assess the details of your case before advising on the best way forward. If there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you should not receive the mandatory sentence, we can present your case to the court, working hard to get the best outcome.


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