New research has revealed that almost two million drivers have unknowingly risked prosecution by the police by driving a friend or family member’s vehicle without any insurance, having wrongly believed they were covered by the owner’s insurance policy. The research took into account all kinds of vehicles and showed that motorhomes are quite commonly borrowed by friends who are looking for a cheap holiday. Around 22% of motorhome owners believed their policy covered other people. However, the truth is that in many cases if there is an accident, the policy would become invalid. Although 22% is quite high, it is mainly new owners and those aged 30 and under who wrongly believed they were covered no matter who was driving.
Motorhome owners should also be worried about having an accident with someone who has borrowed a vehicle, because they could easily end up facing a huge repair bill despite it not being their fault. Given that the research shows that 1 in 20 drivers have allowed someone else to drive their vehicle, and 44% say they would lend their vehicle to a friend even if they knew they were not insured to drive it, having an accident with an uninsured driver is more likely than previously thought.
What makes it worse is that nearly half (47%) of lenders say they do so at least once a month. A further 4% simply didn’t care that the driver was not insured. Both the car lender and car borrower would be guilty of committing an offence if caught by the police. Motorhome insurance firms are reminding owners that driving a vehicle without insurance, or allowing your vehicle to be used by another driver without insurance, is a serious motoring offence. If someone does drive a motorhome without insurance, but with permission of the owner, the owner would be facing a fine of up to £5,000 and up to eight points on their licence for permitting it to be on a public road without an insurance policy being in force. It seems that drivers do not perceive this as a serious crime and believe they will get away with it. Others believe that having comprehensive insurance on their own vehicle automatically covers anyone to drive it.