Am I breaking the law?

I had a car accident in a shopping centre car park and I've only got a provisional license. If the accident was in a car park is it still an offence?

In most cases, the car park of a shopping centre is considered to be a public road, so any offence you may have committed whilst driving there counts the same as any offence on the road.

If you were driving under the supervision of a qualified driver aged 21 or over, and the accident didn’t involve anyone being harmed, it should be resolved as an insurance claim from the other party. But if you were driving by yourself with only a provisional license then you may have committed several driving offences that the police may prosecute you for.

If this is the case, you could be charged with driving without a license and driving without insurance, which could lead to a fine of up to £5000 plus six to eight penalty points. And, depending on how serious the accident was, you could also be charged with offences directly relating to the accident, such as driving without due care and attention.

For driving without a license you could face three to six penalty points and a fine of up to £1000. You could also be banned from driving – even when you pass your test.

You may want to arrange a meeting with your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to discuss the situation in more detail.


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