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  • FIRST POST
    • geejayem
    • By geejayem 17th Apr 18, 11:56 AM
    • 20Posts
    • 3Thanks
    geejayem
    Should I pay or should I go(to court)?
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:56 AM
    Should I pay or should I go(to court)? 17th Apr 18 at 11:56 AM
    A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home from Cheshire after enjoying a bank holiday weekend in Nantwich with some friends. I was travelling Northbound on the M6 with my young son in my father's Campervan.
    I noticed a police car following me but was not worried as I thought everything was in order and I'd not been speeding. You can imagine my surprise when the officer switched on his blues to pull me over.
    The officer asked me to sit in his car where he would explain to me why he'd pulled me over, to my horror, he informed me that my dad's vehicle was showing as having no insurance.
    I explained that I was convinced the van was insured as I'd checked with my father a few weeks previously before another trip.
    The police officer did some more checks and it was confirmed that the van was uninsured. He then allowed me to contact my father to try and get an explanation and to see if my dad could get the vehicle insured immediately. When I rang him, my father was equally shocked and after ringing his insurance company he discovered that his insurance had lapsed at the end of January this year.
    My father managed to get insurance there and then and the Police officer sent us on our way after issuing me with a traffic offence report.
    When I got home, my father explained to me that the reason he wasn't insured was that he had recently changed his current account from a bank to a building and he was under the impression that his Direct Debit for the Insurance would automatically be transferred over.
    My father had been insured with the Camping and Caravan club and his policy had been renewed automatically every year since 2008 but was discontinued when he'd switched accounts.
    As far as my dad was concerned, he'd had no notifications from his insurance company to inform him that his insurance had expired but after speaking to them, they informed him that he'd by notified via email.
    My dad checked through his emails and found that a renewal notification had indeed been sent but as it had gone straight to Junk, he'd missed it.

    I have since received a CONDITIONAL OFFER OF A FIXED PENALTY.
    For my 'sins', I'm looking at a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points.
    As a working single father, I cannot afford this fine nor the points on my licence, nor can I afford the inevitable increased insurance payments for my own vehicle.
    I thing this a harsh penalty for someone who believed everything was in order and wasn't driving a vehicle in the knowledge that it wasn't insured. My father has drafted a letter accepting full responsibility should I contest the allegation in court. My father's insurers have also made a note against his policy that will confirm that his policy had been renewed automatically every year for the last ten years.
    Should I fight this in court and risk further court costs or take it on the chin?
Page 1
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 17th Apr 18, 12:19 PM
    • 655 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    caprikid1
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:19 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:19 PM
    It is a black white offence, you drove without insurance, end off.


    BUT, if you choose to go to court you MAY get a lesser penaulty / less points it is a gamble, you could also get more. I think it would be harsh for you to get more though. Do you drive for a living ?


    https://www.first4lawyers.com/personal-law/driving-offence-solicitors/driving-without-insurance/
    • bigisi
    • By bigisi 17th Apr 18, 12:20 PM
    • 341 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    bigisi
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:20 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:20 PM
    Take the fine and points. Pleading ignorance isn't an excuse, it's your responsibility as the driver to make sure you are fully legal to do so. If you take it to court the fine and/or points are likely to be higher.
    • geejayem
    • By geejayem 17th Apr 18, 12:24 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    geejayem
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:24 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:24 PM
    [QUOTE=caprikid1;74173133]It is a black white offence, you drove without insurance, end off.


    Do you drive for a living ?



    My job requires me to have a driving license, I don't expect to get any further points on it but I didn't before this either.
    If something else like this did ever happen, I would be without a license and a job. Not a position I want to be in as a single father bringing up a 7 year old child.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • 17,310 Posts
    • 10,448 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    It is a black white offence, you drove without insurance, end off.
    Originally posted by caprikid1
    Do you drive for a living ?



    My job requires me to have a driving license, I don't expect to get any further points on it but I didn't before this either.
    If something else like this did ever happen, I would be without a license and a job. Not a position I want to be in as a single father bringing up a 7 year old child.
    Originally posted by geejayem
    Firstly, with regards to affordability of the fine, surely if your father is accepting full responsibility, then hes happy to pay the fine?

    Secondly, are you really proposing going to court and saying "i dont think its fair i get 6 points as if i were to break the law again i will lose my licence"? I think the response would be - make sure you dont break the law again.

    I'd 8 points at one point a number of years ago and it was a real PITA however it does "focus the mind" when it comes to driving.
    Last edited by motorguy; 17-04-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Alfrescodave
    • By Alfrescodave 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • 609 Posts
    • 330 Thanks
    Alfrescodave
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    Perhaps your father could contribute towards the fine as he must accept some responsibility for what happened. He should consider himself lucky that he wasn't the one who was stopped.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 17th Apr 18, 12:37 PM
    • 2,730 Posts
    • 3,041 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:37 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:37 PM
    Pleading ignorance isn't an excuse, it's your responsibility as the driver to make sure you are fully legal to do so.
    Originally posted by bigisi
    It isn't an excuse, but could be a potential mitigation.

    You are guilty of the offence, there is no way around that - but you can ask for a court hearing, plead guilty and suggest that there are "special reasons not to endorse" based on your genuinely held belief that you were insured. If they accept that, you might get away with a sentence lower than the fixed penalty (potentially down to no points).

    But - it is risky - courts can be very sceptical about these arguments and could increase the penalty and impose costs in addition if they choose.

    Unless the insurance company are willing to backdate his renewal (due to the administrative error) which given he missed their notice sounds unlikely then your only other option is to accept the fixed penalty.
    Last edited by TonyMMM; 17-04-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    • Head The Ball
    • By Head The Ball 17th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • 3,467 Posts
    • 9,030 Thanks
    Head The Ball
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    Were you insured under your own insurance to drive other vehicles?

    If yes, then perhaps you were legally OK even if the vehicle you were driving wasn't insured. The law or rules are probably complex.


    Were you insured on the lapsed insurance that was in your father's name, either as a named driver or under 'any driver' with permission etc?
    Every Village has its Idiot.

    If you don't know who your Village Idiot is

    it is probably you.
    • geejayem
    • By geejayem 17th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    geejayem
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    Were you insured on the lapsed insurance that was in your father's name, either as a named driver or under 'any driver' with permission etc?
    Originally posted by Head The Ball
    Yes, I had previously been a named driver on his insurance.
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 17th Apr 18, 12:57 PM
    • 655 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    caprikid1
    "Yes, I had previously been a named driver on his insurance. "


    I think you missed the point , did you have a policy entitling you to drive other vehicles not were you a named driver.


    That said most have a clause stating the other vehicle must be insured also.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 17th Apr 18, 1:09 PM
    • 2,345 Posts
    • 1,430 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home from Cheshire after enjoying a bank holiday weekend in Nantwich with some friends. I was travelling Northbound on the M6 with my young son in my father's Campervan.
    I noticed a police car following me but was not worried as I thought everything was in order and I'd not been speeding. You can imagine my surprise when the officer switched on his blues to pull me over.
    The officer asked me to sit in his car where he would explain to me why he'd pulled me over, to my horror, he informed me that my dad's vehicle was showing as having no insurance.
    I explained that I was convinced the van was insured as I'd checked with my father a few weeks previously before another trip.
    The police officer did some more checks and it was confirmed that the van was uninsured. He then allowed me to contact my father to try and get an explanation and to see if my dad could get the vehicle insured immediately. When I rang him, my father was equally shocked and after ringing his insurance company he discovered that his insurance had lapsed at the end of January this year.
    My father managed to get insurance there and then and the Police officer sent us on our way after issuing me with a traffic offence report.
    When I got home, my father explained to me that the reason he wasn't insured was that he had recently changed his current account from a bank to a building and he was under the impression that his Direct Debit for the Insurance would automatically be transferred over.
    My father had been insured with the Camping and Caravan club and his policy had been renewed automatically every year since 2008 but was discontinued when he'd switched accounts.
    As far as my dad was concerned, he'd had no notifications from his insurance company to inform him that his insurance had expired but after speaking to them, they informed him that he'd by notified via email.
    My dad checked through his emails and found that a renewal notification had indeed been sent but as it had gone straight to Junk, he'd missed it.

    I have since received a CONDITIONAL OFFER OF A FIXED PENALTY.
    For my 'sins', I'm looking at a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points.
    As a working single father, I cannot afford this fine nor the points on my licence, nor can I afford the inevitable increased insurance payments for my own vehicle.
    I thing this a harsh penalty for someone who believed everything was in order and wasn't driving a vehicle in the knowledge that it wasn't insured. My father has drafted a letter accepting full responsibility should I contest the allegation in court. My father's insurers have also made a note against his policy that will confirm that his policy had been renewed automatically every year for the last ten years.
    Should I fight this in court and risk further court costs or take it on the chin?
    Originally posted by geejayem
    If the insurance lapsed because the policy term was up then you have no defence.
    Accept the ticker and get it paid. Thatís the cheapest way out.

    You should have checked you were covered before you took it on the road.
    • wgl2014
    • By wgl2014 17th Apr 18, 1:15 PM
    • 834 Posts
    • 530 Thanks
    wgl2014
    I'd suggest posting on Pepipoo (odd name but good forum) for some legally based advice around mitigation.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 17th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
    • 2,345 Posts
    • 1,430 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    It isn't an excuse, but could be a potential mitigation.

    You are guilty of the offence, there is no way around that - but you can ask for a court hearing, plead guilty and suggest that there are "special reasons not to endorse" based on your genuinely held belief that you were insured. If they accept that, you might get away with a sentence lower than the fixed penalty (potentially down to no points).

    But - it is risky - courts can be very sceptical about these arguments and could increase the penalty and impose costs in addition if they choose.

    Unless the insurance company are willing to backdate his renewal (due to the administrative error) which given he missed their notice sounds unlikely then your only other option is to accept the fixed penalty.
    Originally posted by TonyMMM
    Unlikely to succeed and may see dad with six points too.
    • TadleyBaggie
    • By TadleyBaggie 17th Apr 18, 1:41 PM
    • 2,904 Posts
    • 2,214 Thanks
    TadleyBaggie
    you MAY get a lesser penaulty / less points it is a gamble
    Originally posted by caprikid1
    No chance of less points, 6 is the minimum for driving without insurance.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Apr 18, 1:42 PM
    • 18,394 Posts
    • 16,606 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I explained that I was convinced the van was insured...
    The police officer did some more checks and it was confirmed that the van was uninsured.
    ...after ringing his insurance company he discovered that his insurance had lapsed at the end of January this year.


    When I got home, my father explained to me that the reason he wasn't insured was that he had recently changed his current account from a bank to a building and he was under the impression that his Direct Debit for the Insurance would automatically be transferred over.
    My father had been insured with the Camping and Caravan club and his policy had been renewed automatically every year since 2008 but was discontinued when he'd switched accounts.
    As far as my dad was concerned, he'd had no notifications from his insurance company to inform him that his insurance had expired but after speaking to them, they informed him that he'd by notified via email.
    My dad checked through his emails and found that a renewal notification had indeed been sent but as it had gone straight to Junk, he'd missed it.
    Originally posted by geejayem
    So, basically, you were bang-to-rights driving an uninsured vehicle, because your father is lax in his personal admin and made assumptions.


    I have since received a CONDITIONAL OFFER OF A FIXED PENALTY.
    For my 'sins', I'm looking at a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points.
    Take it. This is as good as you are going to get.


    As a working single father, I cannot afford this fine
    Then perhaps your father would be so kind as to contribute?


    nor the points on my licence, nor can I afford the inevitable increased insurance payments for my own vehicle.
    I thing this a harsh penalty for someone who believed everything was in order and wasn't driving a vehicle in the knowledge that it wasn't insured.
    It is the least harsh penalty you will get.


    Six points is the bare minimum that a court is able to impose.
    https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/item/no-insurance-revised-2017/
    You will note that the mitigating circumstances include...
    • Responsibility for providing insurance rests with another (where not amounting to a defence)
    • Genuine misunderstanding
    • Recent failure to renew or failure to transfer vehicle details where insurance was in existence

    You tick all these boxes, but these are mitigating factors to reduce the penalty on conviction, not to avoid conviction.


    The absolute minimum fine is Band B, which is 75-125% of your weekly income, with a starting point of 100%. £300/week is not much more than full-time minimum wage.


    If you refuse the fixed penalty and take it to court, then you will be liable for costs on top of whatever penalty the court imposes.


    My father has drafted a letter accepting full responsibility should I contest the allegation in court.
    Your father was not driving. You were.


    There is a statutory defence of believing the vehicle was insured - but it explicitly only applies to situations where the vehicle is provided and insured by your employer. This was not the case here.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/part/VI/crossheading/compulsory-insurance-or-security-against-thirdparty-risks



    Your father could, however, be penalised with six points on his own licence, and a fine of his own, for causing or permitting driving without insurance.



    My father's insurers have also made a note against his policy that will confirm that his policy had been renewed automatically every year for the last ten years.
    Which is all very lovely, but they tried to renew and could not, because they could not take the money via DD since he had changed accounts.


    Should I fight this in court and risk further court costs or take it on the chin?
    Chin. And, more importantly, be thankful you did not find out the even harder way, by being involved in a collision...
    • geejayem
    • By geejayem 17th Apr 18, 2:06 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    geejayem
    You should have checked you were covered before you took it on the road.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    You're right, when I asked my dad a few weeks ago if I was insured to drive his van, when he replied "Yes", I should have said, "Can you prove it please".
    My fault entirely.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 17th Apr 18, 2:14 PM
    • 2,730 Posts
    • 3,041 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    Unlikely to succeed and may see dad with six points too.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    It has no effect on the father, he could be charged with "permitting"now, but he won't be ....

    The SRNE application is a slim chance and will cost more if lost - but it is the only option the OP has other than to just pay the FPN rate.
    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 17th Apr 18, 2:15 PM
    • 4,010 Posts
    • 13,148 Thanks
    Jackmydad
    You're right, when I asked my dad a few weeks ago if I was insured to drive his van, when he replied "Yes", I should have said, "Can you prove it please".
    My fault entirely.
    Originally posted by geejayem
    You could have checked online.
    https://ownvehicle.askmid.com/
    As already said. You committed the offence.
    It's the driver's responsibility etc.
    You were lucky there was no accident.
    Take the offered penalty, and be more careful in future.
    "Luck happens where hard work meets opportunity"
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 17th Apr 18, 2:20 PM
    • 2,345 Posts
    • 1,430 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    It has no effect on the father, he could be charged with "permitting"now, but he won't be ....

    The SRNE application is a slim chance and will cost more if lost - but it is the only option the OP has other than to just pay the FPN rate.
    Originally posted by TonyMMM
    He may all be once the nt guilty plea is entered.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 17th Apr 18, 2:21 PM
    • 2,345 Posts
    • 1,430 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    You're right, when I asked my dad a few weeks ago if I was insured to drive his van, when he replied "Yes", I should have said, "Can you prove it please".
    My fault entirely.
    Originally posted by geejayem
    Glad you accept responsibility.
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