Courier? No Delivery Insurance?

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delivery driver with no insurance caught by police

What happens if I am stopped by police whilst working as a delivery driver, but I don't have delivery driver insurance?

You are likely to be charged with driving without insurance. You will be offered the option of a fixed penalty, which is likely to be around £300 fine plus six penalty points on your driving licence; or alternatively you could decide to fight the case in court, in which case the penalty could be much higher, with a maximum fine of up to £5000. Going to court would also involve you in additional fees and expenses so most people accept the fixed penalty.

This would not be the end of your problems. Your vehicle would probably be seized by the police under section 165 of the Road Traffic Act and towed away to a police pound. To get the vehicle back you would have to pay the towing charges; currently around £150 for a car or two wheeled vehicle; and there will also be storage charges of around £20 a day for a car, and £10 a day for a scooter or motorbike.

What would happen to the goods that I was delivering?

This would probably be considered to be your own problem. You would be entitled to unload them from your vehicle but how you then delivered them, or disposed of them, would be up to you. The police would be under no obligation to help you.

How do I get my car back from impound?

Getting the vehicle back may be a problem. You will not only have to pay the fees but also show that you are properly insured before the vehicle will be released to you. Since you will not be using it for hire and reward purposes a valid third party fire and theft policy, at minimum, should be sufficient but many policies now carry a stipulation that they cannot be used for the recovery of an impounded car. You might have to buy specialist impounded car insurance just to drive it out of the pound, which can be difficult to get and pretty expensive.

What happens if I already have penalty points on my licence?

If the six points on your driving licence takes the total to 12 or over, all accumulated within three years, you will be summoned to appear before the magistrates who are likely to ban you from driving for a minimum of six months. This may well cause you considerable financial hardship but this will not be a valid reason for avoiding a ban.

What happens if I fail to get suitable insurance and cannot recover my vehicle?

It is likely to be confiscated by the police. It will then either be sold at auction, if it is considered to be valuable enough, or sent to the crusher as scrap. Figures suggest that around 28,000 vehicles a year are currently being crushed in the United Kingdom after being impounded.

Would I have to inform my insurance company that I had been stopped by the police for driving a vehicle without delivery driver insurance?

You would be under an obligation to tell them. Failure to do so could invalidate any policy that you bought - and they would be likely to find out anyway.

Insurers generally take a dim view of driving without insurance. Subject to the terms of your current insurance policy it may well stay in force until it's renewal date, at which time your insurer is likely to increase your renewal premium, possibly by a very substantial sum, or even refuse to insure you at all.

If you are in fact refused a renewal you could be under an obligation to inform future potential insurers, who may well refuse you again or offer you cover at a high premium. Strictly speaking you should not be under an obligation to inform them of this after five years from the date of conviction, but a number of insurance companies still ask if you have ever been refused insurance.

What would happen if I was involved in an accident whilst delivering goods without delivery driver insurance?

You would be uninsured and if you were judged to be responsible for the accident you could be liable for all the costs involved. These could be substantial, particularly if someone else was injured as a result of the accident.

If I was prosecuted for driving without delivery insurance, how would it affect my job?

If you was actually employed by the person or company that you was delivering for, they could well find themselves in legal difficulties. If the vehicle you was driving belonged to them they would likely be charged with permitting you to drive whilst uninsured. This is a serious offence which carries similar penalties to the ones that you would face as an uninsured driver. You would need to look to your contract of employment to see whether or not any repercussions were legal.

If you were a freelancer, or working for a delivery driver agency, the people whose goods you were delivering would not only be fully entitled to refuse to deal with you again, but they could also sue you for any losses, including reputational damage, which could result from your failure to make the deliveries as contracted.

What are the chances of you actually getting caught driving without delivery driver insurance?

Many police vehicles and roadside cameras are now equipped with numberplate recognition systems, and if police officers suspect that a vehicle is not correctly insured this can be checked immediately by querying the Motor Insurance Database (MIB), which is maintained by the insurance industry and is used by police and licensing authorities constantly.

In particular food delivery drivers on scooters are very easy to spot, because of the backpacks that many of them use, and those using cars or vans to deliver parcels are often noticed when they stop to actually make the delivery. Remember, there are cameras everywhere nowadays.

What if you were only uninsured accidentally?

If you are stopped whilst driving whilst uninsured, then whether or not you truly believed that you were insured will not affect your guilt or lack of it. Driving whilst uninsured is considered an 'absolute offence'; which means that you are either insured, or not. It is your own responsibility to make sure that you are covered by at least third-party insurance before you drive on a public road or area.

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