Is It Illegal to Drive Without Car Insurance – 2024 Guide

Driving without car insurance is not a criminal offense, but it is reckless for you and the other road users.

Even though the Law on Civil Liability and insurance on the movement of motor vehicles obliges them to have minimum insurance of compulsory constituency, some decide that they can live without it. Perhaps because it is a specific situation, and they think that for a few days, “nothing can happen”; the problem is that many things can happen and before it takes place, neither you, nor your car, nor the occupants who travel in it will have protection. Find out what happens when you drive without insurance, so you never consider doing it.

The importance of having car insurance

Source: Investopedia

Insurance is not just providing help if we have an accident when we during our trip. Having a company behind means that, if you cause damage to others, it will be in charge of the respective indemnities, to defend you in a trial and even to establish a bond, if necessary. Driving without insurance is doing it without anyone to help you. And assume that you will bear all possible expenses. Imagine what that can mean if you cause a severe accident, even if you are not responsible.

That is because driving without insurance, you become guilty of the accident, even if you are not responsible. At first, the damages caused to third parties will be borne by the Insurance Compensation Consortium, which will compensate those third parties. But that amount will be claimed by the Consortium from you later. It should be remembered, also, that the rest of drivers “pay” for this: the compulsory insurance premium has a surcharge of 3.5 euros that goes to the Insurance Compensation Consortium so that it faces the costs generated by the vehicles Uninsured. Moving without insurance, as well as reckless, is unsupportive.

Insurance is compulsory in any circumstance, even if you have a vehicle that is not driving, abandoned in a garage. As long as you are registered in the vehicle census of the General Directorate of Traffic, you will be required to have insurance. It is essential to point out this data because, in this situation, a user could choose not to take out insurance, since he will not drive it. However, you should bear in mind that it will also be mandatory for that vehicle to pass the Technical Vehicle Inspection and that to transfer it to the ITV center (and therefore circulate), you will need the car to have its insurance up to date. Check out to find out more about the easy way to protect your car and your family.

Even more essential is having insurance while driving. If we are involved in a claim, and we are responsible for it, material damage (the cost of repairing our vehicle) will be borne by us. And we will not have the healthcare that a company provides to its policyholders, in the event of an accident, so everything that is not covered by Social Security will also be borne by us. And in the worst case, there will also be no compensation for the family.

Consequences of driving without insurance: this is what can happen to you

Source: John M. Dudziak

We have already seen when is the car insurance mandatory and, even, necessary. But we have not yet faced all the possible consequences. Because, although if it is not a criminal offense, driving without insurance carries a substantial administrative penalty, which ranges from 601 euros to 3,005 euros, depending on the type of vehicle. In the case of cars, the penalty, according to the DGT, is 1,500 euros.

It also clarifies that “the competent sanctioning authorities should deliver to the Insurance Compensation Consortium 50% of the amount of the sanctions collected by this provision, to face the compensation to accident victims if the vehicle involved in the accident does not have the policy subscribed.”

If you are forced to stop the vehicle after committing an offense (or, in a routine check), and they verify that the car does not have insurance, in addition to imposing this sanction, the agents of the authority will proceed to immobilize the vehicle. But it is that, in addition to that, it is not even necessarily an encounter with the Civil Guard. The DGT launched in 2016 new automated means (radars) intending to detect those (then) two million vehicles that were still circulating without insurance. And that after they already sanctioned, in 2015 alone, 50,000 drivers for committing this infraction. They work thanks to the license plate recognition system, so they can know whether you are driving without insurance or if you have not passed the ITV.

And all these consequences, without an accident involved. That is a trickier question – how to act in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver? We already explained it, but here is a short summary: you pay. Either for your damages or those caused to third parties, as we have already seen. Let’s consider other possible consequences in the medium-long run because an accident can end in a judicial process.

That is another thing you should take care of. With insurance, you would have legal defense included, while without insurance, you will have to pay the attorneys’ and attorneys’ fees unless you are appointed ex officio. Your driving record will also be affected. Once you decide to take out that insurance, you can find yourself behind closed doors at some companies. Especially if, in addition to driving without insurance, you have been involved in an accident with third parties engaged.

Insurers, who have no other reference than your history (since you don’t even have the confidence of having been insured during the previous year) could refuse to protect you, or do it, but with a fairly high premium. Or what is the same, proportional to the risk that they think they take as a starting point. So, it is clear that there are plenty of reasons to take out insurance. We have not just written about the many advantages of car insurance. Beyond that, we comply with the law. In any case, remember that it is mandatory for everyone and in any circumstance.