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Rules & regulations

Driving without insurance

We've all seen Police, Camera, Action - we know driving without car insurance is illegal. But did you know driving without the RIGHT insurance amounts to the same thing?

What else counts as driving without insurance?

  1. Driving someone else's car when you don't have a 'driving other cars' extension

    Not all insurance policies include this cover and the ones that do require the car you're driving to be covered by its own policy as well.

    The 'driving other cars' extension only covers liability to third parties - so if you had a crash, damage to other people would be covered but damage to the car wouldn't. Think twice before taking your dad's Porsche for a spin.

    Most insurers only give this extension to drivers over 25 who have their own fully comprehensive insurance, so you must check you're covered. If you're not, it's illegal to drive someone else's car.

  2. Driving with an invalid insurance policy

    Say you fibbed a bit on your insurance and said you only drive your car for social and commuting purposes, but you actually use it to visit customers too. That means your policy could be invalid, and you're not covered to drive. That's illegal too.

    Do you know what can happen if you lie to your insurer?
  3. What's the penalty for driving without insurance?

    Police these days have number plate recognition cameras. That means you can get caught at any time, and they'll bust you within seconds.

    If you get caught driving a vehicle you’re not properly insured for, you could get a £300 fine and 6 penalty points.

    If the case goes to court, you could get:

    • An unlimited fine
    • Disqualified from driving
    • The car seized or destroyed - even if it doesn't belong to you

    What you can do instead of breaking the law

    Yes, insurance can be expensive for young drivers - but if you're wise about it, you can get the policy that's right for you. Here's a few tips to give you some hope:

    • Choose the right car

      Engines under 1.4l are best, and picking a car from insurance group 1 will usually give you the lowest quotes.

    • Avoid modifications

      Things like putting in a massive stereo or adding alloys are likely to put up the cost of your insurance. Find out why modifications are such a big no-no.

    • Check out black box insurance

      By collecting data on your driving style, an insurer can give you discount based on how you drive as an individual. Check out how it works with ingenie.

    • Pay your premium upfront

      You’ll pay less by paying for your insurance in one go, rather than paying a smaller amount each month.

    • Build up a No Claims Discount

      After one year, you get a discount if you haven’t made a claim. That means your insurance could drop a lot.

    • Don’t just up your excess

      The voluntary excess is the amount you set to pay towards an insurance claim - on top of your compulsory excess - and some people set this high to get a cheaper insurance premium. Watch out: a high excess could cost you more in the long run than it saves you now because if you crash, you WILL pay both costs.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .