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Motorists risk prosecution for lending car to uninsured drivers

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Thousands of British motorists risk prosecution by lending their car to someone who does not have insurance.

Research by Churchill Car Insurance found that more than five million Brits lent their car to someone who is not on their insurance policy in the last 12 months, and 650,000 did not check if they were legally covered to drive the vehicle.

Car owners who lend their vehicle to someone who drives it without valid insurance can be convicted of an IN12 offence, which is technically described as “aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks.”

The financial penalties for drivers convicted of IN12 offences have increased by 45 per cent since 2013, with the average level of fine increasing from £187.60 in 2013 to £271.30 in 2015.

However, the average number of penalty points has remained static, at six points per conviction, despite courts being able to hand out up to eight points.  Drivers can even be disqualified from driving for this offence.

Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill Insurance, said: “The scale of uninsured motoring, as a result of people loaning their car to friends and family without checking they are insured, is worryingly high. In the majority of cases this is likely to be an innocent mistake, but whether intentional or not, it is your responsibility to ensure that others who drive your car are insured to do so.

“People risk criminal conviction and losing their licence for loaning their car for someone to just ‘pop to the shops’. We are asking for people to ensure that they make the necessary checks before letting someone else get behind the wheel of their car, to help avoid severe punishment for something so preventable.”

To avoid the risks that uninsured driving entails, drivers should make sure they thoroughly check their policy.

Having comprehensive cover does not mean that other cars can be driven with the same level of cover. Some policies include cover for ‘Driving Other Cars (DOC)’, which allows customers to drive other vehicles but will offer cover for third parties only, leaving the driver financially liable for any damage they may cause to the vehicle.

You can add someone with a clean licence as a temporary named driver, with comprehensive cover, for a nominal fee.