No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Adanuff
With regard to the policy of seizing uninsured motor vehicles, I know this applies to vehicles being driven on a road but does it apply to a vehicle being driven on a public place (supermarket car park say)? The reason I ask is that a person needs to be insured to drive on a road or public place, if a person is caught driving around a supermarket car park (open to the public) or on a public park without any insurance can the vehicle be seized under the legislation?
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Peter D
Yes. The vehicle also requires tax and MOT. Supermarket, cinema/entertainment complex etc etc where you go to without invite or requiring a ticket. Why do you ask. Regards Peter
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - TimOrridge
I dont think it can. My friend was hapilly swigging cider and wheelspinning and handbrake turning his car in a local supermarket car park. The old bill were watching and it seems like they couldnt make a n arrest. They waited until he drove out on to the main road. He gat an 18 month ban but as usual got some knocked off by doing a "course" I wont do it agin officser yeah right!
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - DP
On a slightly different angle, an ex-girlfriend had a shunt on a petrol station forecourt, and the insurance matters took forever to be sorted out. Apparently a petrol station forecourt (and I suspect a supermarket car park) does not count as the Queen's Highway. It's effectively private land.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - oldnotbold
While it may be private land, if it's open to the public then it has been ascertained that the Road Traffic Act can apply to many offences, as if the vehicle/driver had been on the highway.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Bill Payer

"It is important to note that references to ?road? therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks). In most cases, the law will apply to them and there may be additional rules for particular paths or ways. Some serious driving offences, including drink-driving offences, also apply to all public places, for example public car parks."
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Bromptonaut
I dont think it can. My friend was hapilly swigging cider and wheelspinning and handbrake (snip)

Ob knew he'd have to leave eventually. Quick nick on a public road rather than chance any argument about private land.

No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Fullchat
Whilst the supermarket is trading its a 'Public Place' when its closed it is no longer a 'Public place for the purpose of relevant legislation.

Here are some basic offences and where they can be comitted:

Insurance - Road and Public Place
Driving Licence - Road
Test Cert - Road
Drink/ Drugs, Driving - Road and Public Place
Careless/Inconsiderate, Driving - Road and Public Place
Mobile Phone - Road
Vehicle condition - Tyres , Exhausts, lights etc - Road
Speeding - Road

Edited by Fullchat on 19/09/2008 at 23:44

No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Pugugly
It could be a road at certain times of the day dependant on layout.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - martint123
Plus the comparatively recent ASBO ones about seizing vehicles for obnoxious behaviour on supermarket car parks after hours.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - woodster
Fullchat - I think your list of offences are right but where do you get that the supermarket car park is not a public place when trading ceases? Case law says that a pub car park remains public out of trading hours and the additional principle is that a public place is 'one to which the public have access, whether on payment or not' (night clubs for example). Nothing to stop a defendant challenging current case law but I respectfully think you're wrong on this one.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 20/09/2008 at 14:33

No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Fullchat
It is a generally held practice that once a premises are closed then their car parks are no longer 'public places'. However if for example it was accepted that a pub car park remained used by clubbers after the pub had shut then it would still be a public place. Each set of circumstances can be different and it would be up to a court to decide taking into account all the circumstances. Woodster if you could quote me the Case law relating to the pub car park being a 'public place' 24/7 I would be grateful.
As regards the other 'case law' I have a raft of it at work but no access from home so I cannot validate my argument.
I know there are other members who have access to to law material - they may be along shortly.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Peter D
Many supermarkets have external cash line machines that remain open/operational 24/7 so the car park is still a public place. There was a case on another site where a car meet was held in a supermarket car park and a vehicle had show plates on and was received a FPN for non client plates. Regards Peter
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Westpig
it can be complicated... but... there are things like;

-does the public habitually use it out of hours for other reasons;
-is there a route through it from one side to the other e.g. separate entrance/exit (which would make the car park a form of right of way);
-are there any times in the year when it is gated, so access is prevented (to ensure it is still shown as private)

and others......
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - woodster
I still think that the principle applied is whether the public actually have access, regardless of the associated business (Pub or supermarket etc.) being open or closed. However, I too shall seek to validate my argument upon my return from work where my books are...
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - midlifecrisis
For info..cost of recovery has gone up to £150 and storage charges have changed from £12/day to "an amount determined by recovery agent".

The second part has raised a few eyebrows in my office. Still, we generally give the benefit of the doubt, so I still don't have any sympathy for those that don't bother to insure.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - woodster
Fullchat - doubtless you know that the drink drive laws specify 'road or public place'. The public place definition is as quoted previously and I won't re-write it. The courts have placed many interpretations on public place, with differing views, some surprising, some not so surprising. each on it's merits and individual circumstances. DPP v. Cowland 1992 QBD citation (1993) Crim. LR399 gave a judgment supporting the public place as being to where the public have access. However, there was an older case that gave the pub car park as NOT public after hours. Conversely, another case gave a multi storey car park, closed outside of trading hours, as being public.... I yield to your view, but clearly there is little to rely on as a defence as there have been too many cases. I don't suppose the thread here was to suggest to anyone to tempt fate and best not enter the arena, methinks.
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Pugugly
No Insurance, vehicle seizure? - Dwight Van Driver
From my friend Blackstone:

Public Place under the Road Traffic Act

In order for it to be proven that somewhere is a "Public Place" for the purposes of road traffic offences it must be shown by the prosecution that:

Those people who are admitted to the place in question are members of the public and are admitted as such, not as members of some special or particular class of the public (eg people belonging to an exclusive club) or as a result of some special characteristic that is not shared by the public at large, and;

Those people are so admitted with the permission, express or implied, of the owner of the land in question.(DPP v Vivier [1991])

Places that have stated cases that show them to be public places are:

1. A privately-owned Caravan site open to campers (DDP v Vivier [1991])

2. A school playground used outside of school hours as a leisure park by members of the public (Rodger v Normand 1994)

3. The "Inward Freight Immigration Lanes" at Dover Eastern Docks (DPP v Coulman [1993])

4. A field used in connection with an agricultural show (Paterson v Ogilvey [1957]) - but only during the life of the Show

5. A Multi Storey car park (Bowman v DPP [1991])

6. Car Park attached to commercial premises intended only for use of customers but accessible froma public place and with no restrictions placed on people entering the car park (May v DPP [2005])

7. Pub Car Park a Public place (R (On the Application of Lewis) v DPP.) To bring back to private there must be either a permanent or temporary form of physical obstruction to be overcome to enter the place. (R v Waters [1963] Note: A Pub Landlord, by ordering people to leave the pub car park doesn't do enough to turn a public place (the car park during opening hours) into a private place.

At the end of the day it is for the Court to decide and the prosecution to show who uses the place, when and for what purpose.


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