Driving without Insurance
You may have driven, or allowed someone else to drive, a vehicle without having valid insurance.
Take a look at this video of me explaining this in more detail.
If the prosecution can prove that you were driving the car in question on a road or in a public place, then you will be found guilty of driving without insurance unless we can persuade the court that a valid policy of insurance was indeed in place.
It is therefore possible to commit the offence of driving without insurance in a number of apparently innocent ways: misreading a policy; forgetting a renewal date; even being unaware that a particular vehicle requires insurance.
Where policies are taken out over the phone or using the internet, it is all too easy to forget what was said, or entered in response to questions asked at the time by the person providing the quotation. Where questions have inadvertently been inaccurately answered, or circumstances have changed and no notification has been given to the insurer, the policy may be invalid and the driver may then be uninsured.
Causing or Permitting
It is also an offence to "cause or permit" another person to drive without third party cover. This can happen for example if you lend your car to an uninsured driver. The innocence of such a mistake is again not an excuse, and once again, if the prosecution can show that driving was caused or permitted by you, then you will be found guilty unless we can show that the driver was somehow insured to drive the vehicle concerned.
Penalties for driving without insurance
The court MAY disqualify you for this offence, but does not have to do so.
Disqualification is usually reserved for repeat offenders, and blatant offenders - for example, those who have never had insurance for the car concerned, and deliberately decided to take a chance on driving without insurance; or offences in which there has been an accident.
The court is obliged to impose at least six penalty points and the normal range of penalties for offences without aggravating features is 6-8 points.
Fines will typically start at 150% of your "relevant weekly income" (which means your income after deducting tax and national insurance, and reasonable living expenses).
It may be possible to argue that "Special Reasons" apply to the offence of driving without insurance. If you were driving in emergency circumstances, or genuinely believe, and have reasonable cause to believe, that you were insured, the court may exercise discretion not to impose penalty points, or to impose fewer points.