DVLA "Failure To Insure"

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
7 replies 3.4K views
NelefanNelefan Forumite
2 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Hello MSE Forum, I very much hope you can provide some words of wisdom to help me through my unfortunate, and quite frankly, frightening circumstance.

I have just spent 6 months permanently abroad, from early March '16 to end of August '16.

My car insurance was due to expire mid-March '16, and rather than pay for insurance I thought I wouldn't need, I decided to let it expire (since it would be impossible for me to use my car). Now, I have returned from my long holiday, and lo-and-behold I have a letter saying I have illegally had my Car still declared for use on the road, but not insured.

I thought since I would not be able to use my car, I could just avoid this cost. Obviously now, with hindsight, I should have thought more carefully about it (E.g. If a car crashes into a vehicle which is registered to me but without insurance - or if someone else tried to use it while I'm away etc.). At any rate, the 2011 CIE measure is what's caught me out.

I realise Ignorance is no excuse though
, so I certainly do not plan to dispute this penalty they have issued.

Thus, I am fully willing to admit I am not a smart individual and that I failed to abide by the law, thus I have immediately paid the £100 fine over the phone with DVLA - because the offer to pay this lesser penalty of £100 expires in 2 days as of writing, before it escalates to more serious levels. (Suffice to say, I'm extremely lucky to have returned home when I did to sort this matter out.)

Now I have explained my situation, what should I expect from all this?

I am going to purchase Car Insurance right away, to resolve the issue at hand. Like I have already said, I have also paid the £100 Penalty, which should (according to the DVLA dude on the phone) reset the clock for about 1-2 weeks before they hound me again about no insurance.

But will this incident leave a permanent blemish on my Driving License?

To get new car insurance, is this an incident I am required by law to declare?

Or hopefully, by having paid the penalty for the offence, does this "compromise" mean I am legally-sound until I get new Insurance?

The letter states (in short-hand for the 2 options):
This is an offence and to avoid prosecution you must do the following:
1) Pay the Penalty
2) Insure the vehicle, or, declare SORN
The more I read the letter, the more I interpret that for as long as I get the Insurance straight away, I "should be fine".
Which is ironic, because I've called one Insurer so far and I decided to disclose my situation for honesty, but they then refused to offer me Insurance! I can only assume they misunderstood my current position, because I'm in a catch-22 if this keeps up...

- Nelefan

Replies

  • edited 31 August 2016 at 8:36PM
    QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
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    edited 31 August 2016 at 8:36PM
    Whoever you spoke to looks to have misunderstood your " confession", and has taken it that you have a conviction for driving uninsured.

    Your fixed penalty over this should not have been disclosed. You don't have any points on your licence over this (do you??)
  • Quentin wrote: »
    Whoever you spoke to looks to have misunderstood your " confession", and has taken it that you have a conviction for driving uninsured.

    Your fixed penalty over this should not have been disclosed. You don't have any points on your licence over this (do you??)
    Thank you for your response.

    There is absolutely nothing to suggest in the paperwork I have recieved any points. If I'm honest, I think the initial shock over receiving these intimidating letters made the situation seem worse then it is.

    I have arrived at the conclusion that for as long as I just follow the letter to the 't' I should be perfectly fine.

    I have just purchased new suitable Car Insurance online, and again, I have already paid the penalty within the specified deadline. Which reminds me, I will print off my Bank statement where hopefully already both transactions will show. I will make sure I carry all relevant documentation and the letter with me, so in the event of any inquiries over this matter I will be prepared.


    By the way, I also agree, the first Insurer I spoke to may have alluded to incorrectly that I was covicted of an offence, when in fact my circumstance has not, and should not, reach that stage now. Even though the letters text is saying I am currently in the process of comitting an offence, it is offering a Penalty Fine as a last chance compromise (and of course, "get some flamin' Car Insurance you silly buffoon").
  • Usually they give you X amount of time to insure the car otherwise you will then have no option but to pay the fine. By the sounds of it you still had the option.


    I would have thought that by insuring the car immediately and then ringing DVLA to confirm so with the insurers name and policy number before the 2 days were up, you would have avoided the fine??


    Unless of course it has gone passed that and they are now saying it's £100 and insure the car otherwise it gets even worse, but I don't get that impression.


    Also, you weren't caught driving the car uninsured, therefore no points and no need to disclose to insurers. It's basically a slap on the wrist from DVLA who then come and take the care away if you ignore them.
  • takmantakman
    3.9K Posts
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    The only problem that you face is that when you take out a new insurance policy and they ask to see your proof of No Claims Discount they will ask why their was a gap in insurance and if the car was declared SORN at the time.
    They will also want to know where it was kept during this unsured period. If you kept it on a public road this may cause them to cancel the insurance which will make it more difficult to get in the future. If you kept it off the road and simply didn't SORN it in my experience this may not be a problem.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
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    takman wrote: »
    The only problem that you face is that when you take out a new insurance policy and they ask to see your proof of No Claims Discount they will ask why their was a gap in insurance and if the car was declared SORN at the time........

    The reason why the op has a gap is because he spent time abroad.

    End of story.

    No insurer will want to know where the car was kept!
  • takmantakman
    3.9K Posts
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    Quentin wrote: »
    The reason why the op has a gap is because he spent time abroad.

    End of story.

    No insurer will want to know where the car was kept!

    I recently started insuring my second car again because I was not using it very much so when the insurance was up I just put it away in a garage. When I provided proof of no claims to my insurance company they asked who the vehicle was insured with and of it was not insured I had to answer the following questions:
    If you were not insured during this time we will need the following information:

    • What was the reason for the uninsured period?

    • Did you obtain a SORN (Standard Off Road Notification) for the vehicle while it was uninsured?

    • Where was the vehicle kept while it was uninsured?

    • During the uninsured period, did you have any claims, losses, or motoring convictions with regards to the uninsured vehicle?

    • During the uninsured period, was the vehicle impounded or stopped by police?

    So even though he spent time abroad considering that he still owned the car and it was left uninsured they obviously want the reasons behind this so they can determine if they pose a higher risk than they first thought.
  • For the NCB, as long as it is still in date, it's fine.


    Regarding the question about the gap, insurers will only usually ask this to make sure;


    1. The NCB hasn't been used since the expiry date on the current proof, otherwise it won't be valid and the insured would need to get proof from the most recent insurer.


    2. To ensure that there hasn't been any incident that would result in a claim being made.


    There's no hidden motives behind it, they just want to know that the NCB they are accepting is the most up to date version and that there's not going to be a claim made the next day for something that happened during the uninsured period.


    Chances are as soon as he says he was abroad and the car was not used (whether it was taxed/insured correctly or not), they will drop their interest in the question.
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