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Driving Courtesy Car with no insurance.


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I were recently in an accident with another vehicle earlier this month and swapped details of both myself and the owner of the garage etc no police were contacted and both able to return as normal.

 

After contacting the garage they then inform me later on, in the day they required my own insurance to cover the cost only to be a named driver on the one being repaired and informed them of this.

 

I then requested they come collect the vehicle in which they did days later.

 

Didn't hear much more until recently with the owner of the garage contacting in abit of a panic for insurance details again and explained once more being a named driver on the policy, His insurance has received a '3rd party allegation' in which the garage owner has passed my details on for being the driver.

 

I and others have used this person for years and when we first used him I would ask him verbally how come we can swap vehicles and he informed me he had business insurance to cover anyone whilst their vehicle gets repaired and this is clearly a lie.

 

I did get some legal advice and one of them were to wait for a Notice of Intended Prosecution but i am concerned the owner might not be telling the truth to their own insurance or not telling them what happened??

 

Should I hand myself in the police and tell them the garage isn't being honest?

 

Any help or experience/expertises would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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Can I get this straight (tell me if I’m wrong):

 

1. You were driving a courtesy car provided by a garage whilst your car was being repaired. 

 

2. You had an accident whilst driving that car.

 

3. You were told by the garage that your own insurers must cover the costs arising from that accident.

 

4. You told them they would not because you are not the policyholder but only a named driver on the policy which covers the car being repaired. Presumably the policy does not extend the “driving other cars” facility to a named driver.

 

5. The garage owner has now come back again as he has had notice of a claim from the Third Party involved in the accident.

 

If all that is correct, there is no need to hand yourself in to the police. Nor is there any likelihood of you receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution (presumably for driving without insurance).

 

The garage owner is in a bit of  a predicament. If he had no insurance cover allowing you to drive the courtesy car he has permitted you to drive it without insurance, which is an offence. Whilst you would also be guilty of driving with no insurance in those circumstances (to which you may have either a defence or strong mitigation, depending on exactly what took place when you were provided with the car) you are unlikely to be prosecuted since there has been no police involvement. I suggest you point this out to the garage owner and let him sort it out himself.

 

If he doesn't, you may find the TP (or their insurers) pursuing you for their costs (provided you were at fault). It may get messy then, but I would continue with the strategy of believing that the garage owner had cover for his customers. 

Edited by Man in the middle
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Thanks for the reply.

 

1. Yes, one of his services is taking the repaired car to his garage in exchange of his own list of cars he has available or turn up to his garage and exchange.

 

2. Yes and it's a T bone accident by me turning right but my defence is already being out the junction to which they stopped the vehicle then accelerated quickly on a turn right only central lane to cut across and smash into the front of the car.

 

Taken pictures of both vehicles and debris of where they taken over on the wrong lane to attempt an overtake.

 

But they have two staff members who were in the other vehicle so only have pictures as my defence with a statement I wrote down on the day to remember everything correctly.

 

I also forgot to mention he told his insurance company my details which is why I would expect the NIP.

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Insurance companies do not issue NIPs. Only the police do that. They may ask you who was driving, but that's not a NIP..

 

There are two issues here: the criminal matter of driving without insurance and the civil matter of liability to pay for the damage caused. They are completely separate.

 

For the criminal matter to be pursued the police will have to issue you with a "Section 172" request for driver's details. This is the only request that you are required by law to respond to. Failure to do so is an offence which attracts six points. For information, no NIP is required for the offence of No Insurance anyway.

 

In the unlikely event that you do see action for driving without insurance, from what you have said I believe you have a reasonable case to argue that "Special Reasons" exist not to endorse your licence. You were provided with a courtesy car by a motor trader and it is reasonable to expect that Third Party insurance as a minimum is arranged by the trader, especially as you had been informed in the past that cover was provided. Not all motor policies provide a "driving other cars" extension and it is unwise of the trader to rely on this. At the very least you should have been told that no cover exists. If you are prosecuted the trader should be prosecuted as well for permitting you to drive his car uninsured.

 

The question of civil liability towards the Third Party is not so straightforward. There is firstly the question of who is at fault and it's never easy to determine that from brief descriptions. If it turns out to be the TP's fault that is no problem for you; the trader can sort that out himself. If you are liable completely or partly you do have a problem because you are uninsured. Your "reasonable expectation" that cover was in place should come into play but civil courts operate on a different basis to criminal courts and I am not quite sure how that would pan out.  

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A little update from this, Owner has recently seen his premium go up massively with a claim of 5,000, still going down the insurance route but after informing him I've seeked advice/suggestions (not just here) he has changed his views.

Now says me having his vehicle at any point were lent out on a "friends" basis and he doesn't hire his vehicles out. Surely this cannot be correct with someone performing a trade and still has our vehicle that still needs a major repair and it's been months with delay after delay?

Also says he finally spoke to the person on the phone (the contact details given to me during the accident) and they the company are now saying it has been returned to the hired company and written off with the garage owner taking the blame on his trade insurance.

I've said I would co operate in explaining and providing a statement/pictures as I feel I am not 100% at fault but he seems enraged with him taking zero responsibility in providing his own vehicle correctly to his customers.

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