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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there, I have just received a court summons for failure

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Hi there,

I have just received a court summons for failure to comply with insurance requirements on a DVLA Form 144APR. I can see how this situation has arisen and is a bit long winded.
I have recently moved address in the last 3 months but haven't fully updated all of my details with different parties, in particular DVLA. They may have sent a reminder for failure to insure but with my recent move I can't recall receiving this otherwise I would of dealt with it.

I have a vehicle that I took to Spain last October 2013 to use for a few months on holiday. Unfortunately, the vehicle had a major mechanical fault and broke down and has been sat in a garage waiting to be repaired. I can declare that I should of completed the SORN but again have overlooked this during my house move. The vehicle hasn't been driven since DVLA notified of failure to insure plus it isn't sat on a public highway.
I am happy to plead guilty as I have overlooked this but not intentionally due to the circumstances. What are my options, if any?

Thanks, Wayne

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you intend to plead guilty please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My initial though is to plead guilty and submit a letter of explanation based on the information I provided in the opening paragraph. The vehicle hasn't been driven on any roads without insurance, so there was no intention to be illegal. However, if the information I have provided is credible enough to plead not guilty then I will defend my corner. I don't particularly want a £1000 fine based on an oversight caused by a sequence of events. I'd like your opinion on whether my story is sufficient enough to plead not guilty?


Thanks, Wayne

No, thats not likely.

Can I just check this? In short, you didnt keep the vehicle insured and didn't sorn it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, that's correct. I only insured it for a short period while in Spain and then it broke down. The insurance has then lapsed. I should of SORN the vehicle as it is off the road awaiting repair, or scrap in Spain.


Thanks, Wayne


You will not get a fine of £1000. That is the maximum amount.

You will get a fine of roughly 75-125% of your weekly income.

This does not carry point because you were not driving without insurance.

There will be a costs order of £85.

In terms of your options, you can always ask the prosecution to review the merits of the prosecution against you. However, they will probably pursue this. Not many of these prosecutions involve people who deliberately kept their vehicles uninsured. Most of them involve simple administrative errors.

You can mitigate on that basis. Usually these things come down to expressions of remorse and guilty plea.

If you have any evidence that you have always kept vehicles insured in the past then that is always helpful.

But the fine won't be anything like £1000.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



You mentioned that I won't receive the maximum fine of £1000 but will get fined roughly 75-125% of my weekly income. In that case I could get a £1000 as my earnings are in excess of £2000 per week. Can you please clarify please?


Thanks, Wayne

Its a maximum fine of £1000. So it cannot be more than that.

If your weekly income is that high then it could be a fairly high fine.

Some sites do suggest not completing the means form because then the court will presume your weekly income is just over £400. I know that seems like a good idea but it is a contempt of court at least in legal theory. I am realistic about the chances of it being prosecuted but obviously I could not advise you commit a contempt of court.
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