The Consequences of NOT Having Car Insurance


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By Crispin Bateman

on Wednesday 10 July 2019


Man driving at night

The forever-rising cost of insurance when you are a new driver can make the game seem worthwhile. Simply using the excuse that young drivers can’t afford car insurance, though, doesn’t make it right – or a good idea!

Because there are other things young drivers can’t afford – like a £300 penalty fine, the loss of their license (because the 6 points you get is enough to lose it when you’ve just passed your test) and the eyewatering and hugely staggering amount it is going to put on to your car insurance when you do finally get some!

That’s right – car insurance companies tend to look down on driving without a license and it will have a major impact on your premiums next time you apply.

Which won’t be for a while because now you lost the right to drive. Oops!

Here at Compare UK Quotes we try to help. We have a library of articles about ways to save on your car insurance, from dedicated pieces on black box insurance through to lists of other ways you can save on your car running costs.

Never have we written ‘just don’t get car insurance, it’ll be fine!’. Because it isn’t a good idea and it definitely won’t be fine.

What happens if you don’t get car insurance? Could you go to jail for not having a policy in place?

First of all, there’s the standard £300 fine and 6 points that were mentioned earlier. There’s not really any getting away with these. You could try arguing in court and trying to suggest that you didn’t know you weren’t insured, that the insurance company just cancelled your insurance without telling you, but these excuses are thin and unlikely to make an impact.

Then (if you do try to wiggle your way out of it) there’s the chance that your penalty will actually increase, or that you’ll have to pay court costs, or more.

No, you are not going to go to jail for not having car insurance unless you are a regular and serial offender, but the other consequences are bad enough.

Of course, if you genuinely, absolutely and truly didn’t realise you were driving without insurance and you remembered to tell your insurance company your change of address or phone number or email and it was reasonably their fault – well, then it’s worth going to court to prove your point, because the last thing you want is driving without insurance on your record.

And that’s just the driving – what happens if you crash without insurance in the UK?

If you crash and it wasn’t your fault – a situation which would typically mean a claim on their insurance, then you will find yourself liable anyway.

You have no insurance company to argue your case, and you’re going to end up in court facing a £5000 fine and a driving ban.

If you crash and it was your fault, then that £5000 fine and ban are pretty much going to happen however you look at it. Technically, there’s also the fact you are personally liable for any costs for damage you have caused, but there’s always bankruptcy to mean you don’t spend the rest of your life paying for it.

Really, though, you are going to end up suffering from it for years.

Financially and in terms of your driving – getting back on the road legally is going to be expensive and time consuming, while choosing to get back on the road and driving while banned and without insurance is not something we would ever recommend.

The facts – laws and rules regarding driving and insurance in the UK

If you own a car and it doesn’t have a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notice) then you need to pay insurance – even if you just park it up and never drive it.

A car parked on the road without insurance is a driving without insurance fine waiting to happen.

You can drive on private property without insurance

Yes, if your car never goes near a road and you drive only on private property, then you don’t need insurance.

However, remember that private means ‘somewhere the public don’t go’. A supermarket car park, a camping site, an unused field in the middle of the night – all these places are not private, and you need insurance!

If you can get to it and you don’t own it, then it’s public.

You will receive a fine and penalty points

Police officers have a number plate system which will immediately tell them if your car is insured. If it isn’t, then you will get a spot fine and 6 points, no matter your excuse.

The following are common excuses, none of them work:

  • “I didn’t know I wasn’t insured” – it’s your responsibility to know.

  • “My insurance company didn’t tell me that my insurance was cancelled” – chances are they did, and you weren’t checking. Again, though, your responsibility.

  • “I can’t afford it” – then don’t drive.

  • “My insurance company didn’t automatically renew my insurance” – again, your responsibility to check.

  • “I thought my insurance on my car allowed me to drive any car” – while fully comprehensive insurance does often grant third-party on other vehicles (drive any car policy), you should check you have this, and not assume. Many policies do not offer it any more as standard.

  • “The car owner said it was fine” – again, your responsibility. You need to be insured.

People driving uninsured cost insured drivers

Yes, to cover the cost of paying for the damage uninsured drivers cause, insurance companies take from the people who do pay.

The reason your potential insurance premiums are so high is because of people who don’t pay.

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau will help

If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver (not you!) then the MIB will help pay for your damages in cases of personal injury or financial loss.

Ways to lower your insurance costs

At Compare UK Quotes we have plenty of advice for people looking to shave the edges off their insurance costs – from no-claims bonuses to the right job title, everything can matter.

If you are looking to get driving legally on the road then look no further for the best advice! Read our articles on car insurance and get the tips you need to pay your way without breaking the bank!

If you can’t afford it – don’t drive

Driving a car in the UK isn’t a right – it’s a privilege, and unfortunately that means that if you cannot afford it or the costs associated with it, then you must accept that and not do it. We have an excellent public transport system too!

If your car insurance costs makes driving too expensive, even with trying all of the helpful tips we have to offer, then even if you have just passed your test and are excited about getting out on the road yourself, you are going to have to wait until it becomes viable.

Until then, keep reading our advice here on Compare UK Quotes and whatever you do – don’t drive uninsured!


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