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Motoring Law Blog

The Law of the Road….!

Car Insurance -Don’t Be Caught Out By New Regulations

We are all familiar with the scenario where a driver drives a motor vehicle on a public road or place, but has no insurance, either because this is deliberate or because the insurance has lapsed without the driver realising it.

Paul Trincas - Motoring Law Expert

Paul Trincas

The driver in this scenario can have their licence endorsed with between six and eight penalty points and a face a maximum fine of £5,000.

However, how many people realise that nowadays, you don’t necessarily have to ‘drive’ a vehicle on a public road or place without insurance, to face possible prosecution for not having insurance ?

The provisions of The Road Safety Act 2006 are being introduced in stages and new provisions have now been introduced relating to the holding of a valid certificate of car insurance.

Previously, drivers could only be prosecuted for not having car insurance if they were caught ‘driving’ a vehicle on a public road or place without insurance being in force.

However, provisions introduced by Section 22 of the Road Safety Act 2006 create a new and additional offence and now impose an additional obligation – not on the driver of a vehicle but on ‘the registered keeper’ of a vehicle to have a valid insurance certificate in force, ‘whether or not the vehicle is driven on the road’. 

In short, under the new provisions, if a registered vehicle does not meet the insurance requirements, the person in whose name the vehicle is registered is guilty of an offence, simply by virtue of being the registered keeper of the vehicle. This new provision intends to combat uninsured driving.

Unlike being caught ‘driving’ on a public road or place without insurance, this new offence does not carry any endorsement, but does carry a maximum fine of £1,000 upon prosecution. Such an offence may lead to a fixed penalty of £100.

It is therefore possible to detect the new offence simply from driving records of registered keepers held by DVLA and insurance records.

So, for example, if a registered keeper decides they do not wish to use the registered vehicle on the road and simply keeps it off road, say on their driveway and therefore cancels the insurance, unless they have provided a written ‘notification’ to DVLA, they will be caught by the new provisions.

The Act contains certain exceptions to prosecution for the new offence where a registered keeper does not have insurance on a vehicle, eg where the vehicle, as in the above example, is not kept for use on the roads or has been stolen or has been disposed of or where the vehicle is no longer kept by the registered keeper.

However, such exceptions will only apply, provided, in the first instance, the registered keeper has submitted ‘written notification’ to DVLA of the change. Unless the registered keeper has provided written notification they will be liable to prosecution.

For further information contact Paul Trincas on 01635 521212 or

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Paul Trincas

February 26th, 2015 at 8:30 am