The letter from John Leak (Letters, 8 September) implies that a vehicle must be taxed and insured for it to be driven legally under a 'driving other cars' (DOC) extension. Generally policy wordings do not specify this requirement and in practice the subject is as clear as the offside rule.

Should a claim occur under these circumstances would liability be avoided, I think not. The motor insurance database clearly identifies what has now become a grey area and, with many untaxed and uninsured vehicles around, the issue has to be dealt with.

Legal precedence has determined the driving of other cars rules. Unless a wording specifically excludes it - for example DOC applies while driving in Europe although the cover is not common with European insurers.

In addition and contrary to many opinions, DOC still applies following a total loss unless specifically withdrawn by the policyholder or insurer (Dobson v Dobson) although it is not possible to buy a policy for DOC alone without a subject matter.

Therefore the argument that suggests the withdrawal would merely aggravate further uninsured driving appears only a mask for those not wishing to depart a negative to a renewal client or prospective customer in a price sensitive down market.

In effect, no one wants to be first and market consensus is required to what is probably inevitable in an environment of clarity, transparency and regulatory compliance.

Martyn Capewell
Chief executive
HSBC Insurance