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What can happen if you drive without insurance?
Published 27 September 2015 by Emily Bancroft
Don’t try and avoid paying car insurance – it’s against the law.
No one enjoys paying for car insurance – for young drivers especially, the annual bill can be well over £1,000. However, if you think you’ll just save money by not paying for it, this is a bad idea because it’s actually against the law.
Even if the car you’re driving is insured, if you’re not insured to drive it, you could still be penalised – like if you drove your mum or dad’s car but you weren’t on their insurance. There’s a whole range of penalties for this, from being fined to having your car seized and getting a driving ban. Read on to find out how important it is to have at least the legal minimum car insurance.
If you’ve ever thought of trying to avoid paying for car insurance, you’re not alone. Recent statistics show that at least 27,688 cars have been seized this year because they were uninsured, with 9,935 of these in London. Driving without insurance is against the law, and you could be fined £300 if you’re guilty of this offence. You could also get six penalty points on your licence and your vehicle could be impounded or even destroyed.
And the penalties can be even more serious if the case goes to court – you could get an unlimited fine or be disqualified from driving. The legal minimum car insurance you must have to be able to drive your car on a road or in a public place is 3rd party insurance, so make sure you’ve got this.
Breaking the law to save money is never a good idea - but you may well be able to cut the cost of car insurance entirely legally. For example, you might be tempted to just get 3rd party insurance as this is the most basic, but it’s not always necessarily the cheapest. This is because the insurers could think that those with 3rd party car insurance only are likely to be more reckless drivers, so they may set their insurance premiums higher.
Start by searching on a comparison site like Compare the Market and see what the cheapest quote they offer you is. You’ll have to search the sites of insurers that aren’t on price comparison sites manually – such as Direct Line or Aviva.
You could also save money by adding a more experienced driver to your policy. You can’t say that they’re the main driver when they’re not (this is illegal) but it’s fine to add them as a named driver.
It’s also important to get a good balance between your insurance premium and your excess. Set your excess too low and you’ll have to pay a fortune every month in insurance premiums. Set it too high and you’ll have to pay out a large sum if you’re in a crash and your car’s written off. It’s a balancing act, but just try increasing your excess by £50 if your premiums are coming out too high – it could make a huge difference.