What is the penalty for driving without car insurance ?

by Lalithaa

As per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, it is compulsory for all motor vehicles to get insurance.  If you don’t have an insurance policy, you may face many legal and financial consequences. You can attract fines and penalties, and even imprisonment, and if repeatedly caught driving without car insurance, you may have to bear both fines and imprisonment. In addition, to this, you may have to pay a high car insurance premium to get a new policy if you don’t renew a policy in time.

In this blog, you will get to know about the penalties and consequences of driving a car without insurance, along with some tips to avoid fines and penalties.

Penalty for driving without car insurance in India

As per the Motor Vehicles Act, if you are caught driving a car without valid car insurance, you will have to pay penalties. The first time you are caught, you will have to pay a fine of Rs 2000. If you are caught a second time again, you will have to pay a fine of Rs 4000 or may get imprisonment of up to 3 months or both.

Consequences of driving without vehicle insurance

Here are some adverse consequences that you may have to deal with if you drive without car insurance –

  • Attracts penalties: Under Section 81 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the person has to pay penalties for driving a car without insurance. The penalty for a first-time offender is Rs 2000, and the second time it goes up to Rs 4000 or imprisonment or both.
  • Third-party liabilities: It is compulsory for every car owner to have at least a third-party liability car insurance plan. The third-party liability plan covers the liability arising from the death of a person, disability, and damages to the third party. The cost of bearing the expenses of a bodily injury or loss of property can become extremely stressful, complicated, and financially unfeasible if you are not covered by a third-party car insurance cover.
  • Legal complications: Driving a car without valid car insurance can cause you major, legal complications. To add to that, if there is an accident and you have a third-party liability, there can be adverse legal ramifications. Without car insurance, you won’t get financial assistance for legal aid as well. In case of an extreme situation, like permanent disability or the death of a third party, your car registration, as well as your license, can be suspended.


  • Damage to the car: In case of an accident, if there is damage to your car, in absence of valid car insurance that covers your own vehicle damages, you will have to bear the expenses of the repair. These expenses if and when borne out of pocket can cause major financial stress.
  • Loss of no claim bonus: Quite often people are caught driving without car insurance because they forgot to renew their plan on time. As your vehicle insurance policy lapses, so do the accumulated No Claim Bonus. Not only this, chances are high that renewing the lapsed policy will come with a high car insurance premium.


H2: Tips to avoid penalties for driving a vehicle without insurance

  • Make sure you renew your car insurance by its due date of renewal. Subscribe to the online reminder set up by your insurance provider so that you do not miss out on the due date of renewal.
  • Always keep hard copies of important and relevant documents like the registration certificate, license, pollution control certificate, copy car insurance policy document, etc.
  • Also, keep soft copies of the above-mentioned documents in your frequently used email drive or on your mobile phone, so that as and when required you can access these documents.
  • Buy car insurance before taking your car on the road. It is best recommended to research beforehand and buy the policy before driving the car from the showroom to your home. Or you can get the policy from the dealer itself.

 How to pay fines and penalties? 

As mentioned earlier, driving a car without valid insurance leads to fines and penalties. While this should always be cautious to not break any such rules that may require fine and penalties. But in case, if ever need be, you should know how to pay the fines.

The penalty can be paid both in online and offline mode –

Online mode – Given below are the steps that you should follow to pay your penalty online

  • Visit the official website of the State Transport Department.
  • Now go to the e-challan section for the payment.
  • Afterward, check the traffic violations sections and select violations for which you are fined.
  • Enter the e-challan number, vehicle registration number, and other details of traffic violations.
  • Check the fine amount
  • Now enter the captcha code for verification.
  • Insert the details of the payment mode. You can pay the penalty through a debit or credit card, opt for other modes of digital payment
  • Make the payment; once the payment happens, you will receive a confirmation message and a receipt of the payment

Offline mode –To pay the penalty offline, you will have to visit the nearby police stations. Also, contact the officer to know the exact penalty amount. Once you clear the penalty, you can drive the car without any stress and restriction for driving in the future.

Driving a car without a valid car insurance can cause legal complications and financial losses. It is essential to note that these offences are recorded and the information on the same can be easily availed from the VAHAN portal. If you are repeatedly found driving without car insurance, apart from the fine your driving license and registration certificate can get suspended safe. So, drive responsibly by renewing your car insurance in time.

Disclaimer – The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

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