Have you ever jumped behind the wheel of your friend’s car? Maybe you wanted to quickly nip down to the shops to pick up supplies? Or perhaps you just needed to move it off the driveway?
Well, motorists who drive someone else’s car are being warned that they face penalty points on their licence and could even be hit by an unlimited fine if they’re caught by the police.
Except from in a few circumstances, taking another person’s vehicle out for a spin will mean that you aren’t covered by insurance, and you risk being charged with an offence.
The warning comes after a survey by comparison website MoneySuperMarket found that nearly a third (30%) of UK drivers regularly let another person drive their car.
In the past, many drivers had ‘driving other cars’ (DOC) cover included in their comprehensive policies, which gave them third party cover to drive other vehicles.
However, these days many insurers will only offer this cover if it’s been specifically asked — and paid — for, and it’s very rarely made available for drivers under the age of 25.
Even if you do have DOC cover, it’s only supposed to be used in an emergency, meaning your provider might not pay out if you don’t have a good reason to be driving someone else’s car.
If you do regularly drive someone else’s car – even your partner’s — you should get your name added to their policy.
Neil Greig, Director of Research and Policy at safety organisation IAM RoadSmart, warned motorists that letting someone uninsured drive your car could lead to a lot of unnecessary trouble.
He said: “If stopped at the roadside your car may be towed away and impounded, and on top of walking home you will have to stump up for storage and release fees if you leave it for days without paying all the fines.
“The police could give your friend a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points, and if the case goes to court you could get an unlimited fine.”
“Uninsured driving is not a victimless crime as all law-abiding drivers have to pay a levy to the Motor Insurance Bureau to provide cover for those who get hit by law breakers.”
Did you know that driving uninsured is one of the most popular driving laws to be broken? We’ve got a list of 10 of the most common driving laws broken, so make sure you check it out.