New offence announced today – owning a vehicle without insurance

The BBC has today reported that a new offence of owning a vehicle without insurance will come into force on the 20th June 2011.

Currently it is only an offence if you use or allow to be used a motor vehicle on a road or other public place without a valid insurance policy. A road means any highway including bridleways and footpaths to which the public has access. Public place does not include private property but can include places such as car parks. Using a motor vehicle can go beyond simply driving the car and could for example include a vehicle that is being towed. Allowing to be used means just that, that you give someone else your express or implied permission to use your car without insurance. The penalty for using a vehicle without insurance is 6-8 points on your licence or a discretionary disqualification. The maximum sentence is a financial penalty.

The new offence will allow you to be prosecuted simply for owning a motor vehicle without insurance whether or not you actually use it or allow another to do so.  In terms of procedure, it seems that if you don’t have insurance for your car you will be sent a letter telling you to obtain insurance and if you then do nothing you will face a £100 fine and face court action.

If the vehicle remains uninsured you risk your vehicle being clamped, seized or destroyed.

This offence can only be committed in a public place and therefore if your vehicle is on your driveway and you have made the statutory off the road declaration you will not be guilty of this offence. Coversely if you park your vehicle in a public road outside your house without insurance you will fall fall of the new law and risk prosecution for the offence. In reality you will also have to ensure you have a valid MOT certifcate for your car as without it, you will be unable to obtain insurance.

We will update this post once we have more information for you.

To read the BBC story, click here

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