Caught with no car insurance

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
I know the title sounds terrible and it is. I bought a car recently and misinterpreted a conversation I had with my insurance company prior to buying the car. Long story short I thought my insurance policy covered me to drive the car. Was pulled over by a guard a few days later and told that my insurance was not valid and that I would receive a court summons for this.

I told the guard that I was covered by my existing policy and handed him my policy to him there and then and he informed me that I was only covered to drive the car if it was not the owner of the car. In that case, I would have been covered by the extension. What I should have done was transfer the car into my policy on the day when I bought it.

So obviously it was my fault for not understanding my policy and I accept that. I've never done this before and would never deliberately get into a car and chance my arm with insurance. I've never had any penalty points or convictions or any court summons before.

After a few days after this had happened, I was dealing with the car seller/dealer over some issues I had with the car on the first day that I bought it. I found out that the seller had not transferred the car into my name at that time. The car was signed into my name a week after being caught for having no insurance. So essentially I should be covered with my insurance with my driving extension. I'm permitted to drive other peoples cars as long as I'm over 25 and in the Republic of Ireland. From what I've read in my policy I seem to be covered in this instance. I'm waiting on the summons and I'm wondering has anyone had any experience of this before?

Is this enough to contest the charge or should I just admit guilt and take a fine and penalty points. I've been told by a solicitor that it's very unlikely that I will be disqualified for a first offence and given the circumstances.
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
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429
I think a relevant point here would be what date did you sign the Motor Transfer Form. Technically the Garda may be correct but I feel a judge would give you some leniency as you had motor insurance to drive a vehicle - maybe not the one you were driving.
 

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
Thanks for your response. I didn't sign a motor transfer form because it was a dealer and they do it digitally/online. I did sign a sales manifest on the day when I purchased the car, I should add that as part of the terms of the sale I was meant to trade in my own car but I never brought the VLC for my old car and only got that to the dealer the following week. But the car was officially transferred into my name after the incident, the following week. According to my log book.
 
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RedOnion

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4,941
essentially I should be covered with my insurance with my driving extension
Did you ask your insurer if this is the case?
My lay understanding is that you 'owned' the car, even if it wasn't registered in your name.

If you want to challenge it, you'll need engagement with your insurer to understand whether or not you were covered - i.e. if you had had an accident, would they have covered you?
 

seebin

New Member
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10
That's interesting, no according to the legal advice I received.
My lay understanding is that you 'owned' the car, even if it wasn't registered in your name
If you want to challenge it, you'll need engagement with your insurer to understand whether or not you were covered - i.e. if you had had an accident, would they have covered you?
No, I haven't and that's a good point.
 

mathepac

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7,276
We're into the muddy waters of registered ownership vs. beneficial ownership. Having a car registered in your name does not automatically mean it is your property - it does not instill beneficial ownership on you.

Paying for a car means you are the beneficial owner, it is your property therefore to use it in a public place, drive it on the road, you must have insurance on that specific vehicle. The car was yours beneficially the day the Guard stopped you and you had not transferred your insurance. You were not insured to drive it on that day.

IANAL.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
42,589
Hi seebin

You had an insurance policy in force on the day you were stopped. That is good but not enough.

Did you still have the other car which was covered by the insurance or had you traded it in? If you had only one car and one insurance policy, while it would be wrong, I think that the judge would exercise discretion.

I think that you should appear in court and tell the story honestly.

Tell the judge that while you did actually own the car, the garage had not actually transferred it. The judge might use that as an excuse to let you off.

I think you are better off going to the court yourself without a solicitor. Speak directly to the judge and I think that they will see that you are an honest citizen who made an honest mistake.



Brendan
 

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
We're into the muddy waters of registered ownership vs. beneficial ownership. Having a car registered in your name does not automatically mean it is your property - it does not instill beneficial ownership on you.

Paying for a car means you are the beneficial owner, it is your property therefore to use it in a public place, drive it on the road, you must have insurance on that specific vehicle. The car was yours beneficially the day the Guard stopped you and you had not transferred your insurance. You were not insured to drive it on that day.

IANAL.
Ok, thanks for the input. That's something I'll have to bring up to my solicitor. I'm thinking I should not challenge it and accept responsibility. Hopefully, the judge doesn't ban me for two years.
 

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
Hi seebin

You had an insurance policy in force on the day you were stopped. That is good but not enough.

Did you still have the other car which was covered by the insurance or had you traded it in? If you had only one car and one insurance policy, while it would be wrong, I think that the judge would exercise discretion.

I think that you should appear in court and tell the story honestly.

Tell the judge that while you did actually own the car, the garage had not actually transferred it. The judge might use that as an excuse to let you off.

I think you are better off going to the court yourself without a solicitor. Speak directly to the judge and I think that they will see that you are an honest citizen who made an honest mistake.



Brendan
Thanks! I'm not the best speaker so I'll probably get my solicitor to represent me, just in case.
 

jhegarty

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2,933
The key question is , would the insurance company cover a crash you had that day. Have you asked them ?
 

SparkRite

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Messages
1,436
AFAIK the judge has no room for discretion in cases of no valid insurance other than maybe the size of fine.

As soon as you paid all monies due and received a receipt, you then owned the care, unless the dealer was not legally positioned to
sell the car to you.
You know, the guard knows and the judge will know you had no insurance covering you to drive that car when stopped.
IMHO your best bet is to come clean and put your 'hands up' and expect the worst but hope for some leniency.


Remember the judge will have heard every excuse in the book and some you could never even think up so do not try to 'muddy the waters', as they say.
 
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MrEarl

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2,014
Hello,

Did the original poster have an insurable interest in the car, when they were stopped?

Would the insurance consent have provided cover, pending the registration being updated to reflect the new ownership - keeping in mind, that it could take a few days?

I agree with Mr Burgess, that going to court and being honest about what happened, is the way to go - but if the insurer were to indicate that they would not have given you a policy on that car, before registration, it would be worthwhile mentioning this.
 

Pinoy adventure

Registered User
Messages
247
The dealer would need too send the log book off which takes about 7days.the car will still be in the old owners name.
You should of changed the reg on your insurance policy which can be done over the phone.
The dealer does not change ownership online
 

SparkRite

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,436
The dealer would need too send the log book off which takes about 7days.the car will still be in the old owners name.
Immaterial
You should of changed the reg on your insurance policy which can be done over the phone.
Absolutely. But a bit late now.
The dealer does not change ownership online
Ownership changes as soon as all monies due have been paid.
Did the original poster have an insurable interest in the car, when they were stopped?
Yes, he owns it.
Would the insurance consent have provided cover, pending the registration being updated to reflect the new ownership - keeping in mind, that it could take a few days?
I'm pretty sure they would have, they do it all the time.
but if the insurer were to indicate that they would not have given you a policy on that car, before registration, it would be worthwhile mentioning this.
Absolutely not as this would indicate that the OP knowingly drove it without a valid insurance policy, which is the whole crux of his defence:-
What I should have done was transfer the car into my policy on the day when I bought it.
So obviously it was my fault for not understanding my policy and I accept that.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
42,589
I'm not the best speaker so I'll probably get my solicitor to represent me
It's an advantage in not being the best speaker.

You will come across as genuine.

I have seen it time and time again in the possession courts , the people who show up and speak directly to the judge or registrar get on much better.

If you had some major legal point to argue, then I would recommend professional representation, but as this is just a "Sorry judge, I misunderstood the cover" , you are much better off going there yourself.

If you can, go to a hearing a week or two in advance to see how it works out.

Brendan
 

SparkRite

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,436
I would be on the opposite side of the fence from Brendan on the above.

Many a guard has told me, over the years, that for numerous reasons you are way better having a solicitor represent you in a district court, by doing so, you show that you are treating the matter as important, showing respect to the court and, not least, boosting the judges ego.

The old adage, 'that he who represents himself, has a fool for a client' is not founded without reason. You would not believe the amount of people who have unwittingly talked themselves into a conviction.
 

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
It's an advantage in not being the best speaker.

You will come across as genuine.

I have seen it time and time again in the possession courts , the people who show up and speak directly to the judge or registrar get on much better.

If you had some major legal point to argue, then I would recommend professional representation, but as this is just a "Sorry judge, I misunderstood the cover" , you are much better off going there yourself.

If you can, go to a hearing a week or two in advance to see how it works out.

Brendan
I see what you mean alright but if I'd prefer to have someone just in case. Better to have that angle covered.
 

seebin

New Member
Messages
10
I would be on the opposite side of the fence from Brendan on the above.

Many a guard has told me, over the years, that for numerous reasons you are way better having a solicitor represent you in a district court, by doing so, you show that you are treating the matter as important, showing respect to the court and, not least, boosting the judges ego.

The old adage, 'that he who represents himself, has a fool for a client' is not founded without reason. You would not believe the amount of people who have unwittingly talked themselves into a conviction.
I also had no tax at the time but, I couldn't tax the car as I had no log book for it yet. Even when I tried to tax it at the tax office I was refused because the car wasn't in my name yet. If the Guard decides to summons me over this too will that argument defend me?
 
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