Is it Illegal to Drive Without Car Insurance?
According to statistics provided by the Automobile Association of South Africa, as many as 70% of the registered vehicles on South African roads have not been insured. That’s pretty scary in itself because it is over ten million vehicles. But is it illegal to be without car insurance. No!
Now throw in the number of unregistered vehicles as well and the statistics are even more bleak. Let’s put the statistics into perspective. That is at least seven out of ten cars on the road that are not insured.
It seems crazy – why, in this day and age, are so many people uninsured? After all, a car is a major asset. You look it up at night, give it the right kind of fuel and generally look after it well. Why is there such a disconnect then when it comes to insuring cars?
Is It Illegal – It Won’t Happen to Me
This is a typical attitude – I am a really great driver, I have never been in an accident. It’s a good point, until you consider that there may be other drivers who are not quite as good. Or that someone could steal your car. Or you might drive over a pothole.
Is It Illegal – I Just Use the Car Every Now and Again
Maybe you get a lift to work every day. Maybe you only use the car when you go on your weekly shop. It doesn’t matter. Accidents can happen at any time. If you are at fault, you will have to pay for the other person’s repairs.
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If you are not at fault, you will have to find a way to get them to pay for the repairs. And, if they are driving an uninsured vehicle, you better hope that they have some money stashed away, and a good conscience. What happens if you have to take them to court to get the money?
Is It Illegal – I Can’t Afford It
It should be a case of, “I cannot afford not to have it.” Did you know that if your car is financed, you are legally obligated to have comprehensive cover? If you don’t, and your car incurs damage, you will still have to keep up the installments.
Unfortunately, as well, most of the other uninsured drivers will sing this same tune. Now, if they cannot shell out a few hundred bucks a month for insurance, how are they going to be able to pay a few thousand when they drive into you?
Is It Illegal – I Can Handle the Repair Cost
I am just going to give you a small example here. Around about ten years ago, I rear-ended another car. They had stopped without warning, but that is beside the point. I was to blame because I hit them.
I had a little VW Golf. A very basic car – nothing special about it except that I had an aircon fitted. I wasn’t driving at a hell of a speed either. The repairs were an eye-watering R60 000 because the other car had a towbar on it. That really made the damage worse.
My insurance company was debating whether to call the car a write-off or not. Fortunately, they didn’t. If I had not had insurance at the time, I would have had no car and still a high car payment to meet every month.
Repairing a car costs more than you think. Do yourself a favour and err on the side of caution – get yourself insured as soon as possible. Make it a priority.