Driving convictions? How it impacts your car insurance policy

Driving convictions? How it impacts your car insurance policy

author: Bryony Pearce

By Bryony Pearce

If you want to keep your car insurance policy down, then you’ll definitely want to steer clear of driving convictions. In this blog, we’ll explain why.


No-one wants to pay over the odds for car insurance, right? While some factors that influence your quote – like your age and address – aren’t areas that you can really control (unless you’re willing to relocate!), others are; like driving convictions.

Although keeping yourself and others on the road safe at all times should always be the number one motivator for driving safely and in-line with the law, as you’ll soon see, the impact it could have on your car insurance policy could add an extra incentive too.

Types of driving convictions

There are umpteen types of driving convictions out there, and different offences carry different penalty points, and different periods in which they must remain against your driving licence.

Some of the most common convictions include:

Offence

Code

Penalty points

Years on license

Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits

SP10

3-6

4 years from the date of the offence

Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road

SP30

3-6

4 years from the date of the offence

Exceeding speed limit on a motorway

SP50

3-6

4 years from the date of the offence

Failing to comply with traffic light signals

TS10

3

4 years from the date of the offence

Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks

IN10

6-8

4 years from the date of the offence

Using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle

CU80

6-8

4 years from the date of the offence

Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above the limit

DR10

3-11

11 years from the date of the offence

Driving otherwise than in accordance with a license

LC20

3-6

4 years from the date of the offence

Driving without due care or attention

CD10

3-9

4 years from the date of the offence

For a full list of driving convictions, head here.

How driving convictions impact your quote

If you have driving convictions on your licence, car insurance providers can see you as a greater risk, and this could be reflected in the car insurance quote they give you. However, it’s not always quite as simple as that. How much it impacts your quote will depend on a number of things, like:

  • The insurer in question’s conviction policy
  • The type of conviction(s) you have
  • What vehicle you drive
  • How old you are.

As the table above highlights, different convictions carry different enforcements. Let’s take ‘failure to comply with traffic light signals’ and ‘using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle’ as examples.

The former comes with a maximum of three penalty points, whereas the latter comes with a minimum of six penalty points. While both will increase your car insurance premium, odds are the second will result in a more significant spike due to the more severe enforcement it carries.

Convictions issued mid-policy

If you receive points on your licence after you’ve taken out an annual car insurance policy, you must still let your insurer know right away. If you don’t, you could invalidate your insurance.

In most cases, your newly received points won’t impact your car insurance premium until it’s time to renew, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can postpone the confession.

Is a speed awareness course classed as a conviction?

In some cases, for some speed-related offences, you might be given the option to attend a National Speed Awareness Scheme course instead of being hit by a fine and penalty points.

However, this doesn’t always result in a get-out-of-jail-free card, and some insurers may still take your attendance on the course into consideration when providing your car insurance policy’s quote.

Don’t try and do the dirty

Car insurance isn’t a cost anyone likes forking out for, but fibbing on your application and hiding your penalty points under the carpet absolutely isn’t an option – it’s illegal, in fact.

Not only is it against the law, it’ll invalidate your car insurance and any claims you put forward – which means your insurer will be within their rights to refuse any sort of payout. And more bad news; it can stay on your record for life – which can affect all future car insurance quotes, and your car insurance provider could even make an additional charge for the conviction.

Finding a car insurance quote with convictions

Although having convictions against your driving license will inevitably increase the cost of your car insurance, all is certainly not lost and you may still be able to snag yourself a decent deal.

Here are some top tips to help you:

  • Always shop around
  • If you’ve not bought the car yet, compare insurance costs before you commit
  • Increase your excess (just make sure you can afford it!)
  • Enquire about bundle rates (if you have your home and phone insurance with the same provider, for example)
  • Take advantage of low mileage discounts.

For a more in-depth guide on how to get cheaper car insurance, head here.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Bryony Pearce

By Bryony Pearce

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Driving convictions? How it impacts your car insurance policy Driving convictions? How it impacts your car insurance policy