Parking an uninsured car

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whqttt | 19:25 Tue 18th Sep 2007 | Road rules
9 Answers
I realise this is a rehash of an old question, but the answers back then didn't seem definitive.

Because I'm about to replace my existing car, for a week or so I'm going to have two of the things.

The one I'll be driving (the new one) will be insured, taxed and so on.

The old one will still have a valid MOT and road tax, but won't be insured. (I've looked into temporary insurance, but 100 quid for two weeks is beyond my budget).

The question is : is it legal to have an uninsured car parked on a public road?

The ABI website only comments that it is required to have insurance before a vehicle is driven which it won't be.

The twist is it's possible that I could park this on an unadopted (and therefore technically private road), so could probably get away with it anyhow.

Is it legal, and would you do it?


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No its not legal.
No it's not legal and no, I wouldn't do it.

If it is stolen, crashed in to, vandalised in any way you will lose more than �100.

Haven't you got a friend or neighbour with a spare drive?

Even an unadopted road is classed as a public highway (unless it is barred to the public) and the vehicle should be insured.
Under the road traffic act, it is illegal to keep, use, or allow to be used, an uninsured vehicle on the public highway.

All you need is for a component failure, your car rolls into a bus stop, and you're talking some serious trouble.
The car must be insure to be "used" on the road under earlier legislation.

As far as I know there has been one sucessful prosecution but in that case there was no MOT either and the judge commented that you had to take into account the "mischief intended".

I don't believe there was an appeal.

Under that you would probably have an arguable case.

The law changed under the road safety act last year to close this off and make it an offence to keep a vehicle that was not insured. But last time I checked that section still needed to be broght into force by the home secretary.

So in summary there's a tiny chink in which you might get away with it but the odds are so heavily stacked against you that it's only really worth thinking about if you're a budding lawyer looking for publicity.

The unadopted road thing is neither here nor there I think that for the purposes of the road traffic act a public road is defined as one to which the public has "unfettered access" so your local Supermarket car park counts as well.
A question, if you have to have an MOT Tax and insurance, if the public have access to the land. What about the houses around me, pathed front gardens for parking, but no fences, hedges or gates are allowed. So can you leave a car without any of these on your front or are you commiting an offence.
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How does this affect car dealers; the chap I bought my new car from didn't have his car insured - he was covered for any vehicle he was in.

Now, obviously if he only keeps vehicles on his own land, then the insurance probably isn't an issue - but what would happen, if, for example, one of his cars (without him in it, and therefore uninsured) rolled into the road and caused an accident?

Motor traders insurance will cover the dealer for any car that is in his posession
Colin - the general public at large do not have a presumptive right to travel on to or across the private drives you describe, so they are not 'public highways for the purpose of the Road Traffic Act.

No offence committed.

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