Using or permitting a vehicle to be used without insurance is a strict liability offence. This means that one either has insurance or does not have insurance. Every vehicle on the road must in the minimum have third party insurance cover in place, this allows for other road users to be protected in the event of an accident. The police run a Vehicle registration check when ascertaining if adequate insurance is in place, however sometimes where insurance is temporary such as cover for a week or day, it does not pull up on their systems and the driver may be charged.
The burden of proof is then on the driver to prove that they were insured at the time they were driving and must provide documentary evidence of this. Where documentary evidence is available the prosecution should withdraw their case.
Section 143 Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence to permit somebody to drive the vehicle without insurance. This requires the prosecution to prove that the driver has permission of the keeper/ user or the person charged to drive the vehicle without insurance. The most common scenario is when a non-UK resident is nominated as a driver in response to Section 172 Notice (see above).
Of course, the defendant in these situations must prove that either the nominated international driver did have insurance (document) or that they used vehicle without the defendant's knowledge. Also, the defendant could argue that use of vehicle was provided with the requirement that adequate insurance be in place.
There are special reasons that can be put forward for such an offence. These reasons vary from one case to another and it is best for you to speak to us.