Driving without insurance: Direct Debit was cancelled without my knowledge, is this a special reasons defence?

I was caught driving without insurance. I was unaware at the time that my bank had cancelled my direct debit because there was not enough money in my account. The insurers did not contact me, nor did the bank. If I had known that the Policy was cancelled, I would never have driven. I have been told that I can present a special reasons defence in Court. Is this true?

Special reasons is not a defence. It is a facility that the Court can use to avoid imposing an endorsement on your driving licence. In order to be successful, the Defendant needs to establish mitigating or extenuating circumstances which whilst not amounting to a defence, are such that when taken into consideration, justify not imposing a punishment. The reason must relate to the Defendant not to the allegation. Forgetting to cover a direct debit would not be regarded as an extenuating circumstance, given that this is within your control and the onus is upon you as a driver to be certain that your insurance is effective before you use your vehicle.

Your best option is to plead mitigation and try to limit the punishment to 6 penalty points.

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