Convicted driver insurance – how to get a cheap deal

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Those with a criminal conviction – whether it’s for driving or for something else entirely – can find it difficult to get car insurance, and when they do it is even harder to find a good deal. But luckily there are specialist insurers who may be able to help…

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If you have a criminal conviction of any kind then you may find it quite difficult to get car insurance cover, and even when you do find an insurer willing to offer a policy it tends to be a lot more expensive than quotes for drivers without a conviction.

Even if your conviction is for something minor that is not related to driving in any way you may find that most major insurers simply will not offer cover. The reason is that, statistically speaking, drivers with criminal convictions are more likely to have accidents and make claims – so insurers see them as a very high risk proposition.

Not all insurers will deny you cover though, there are still some major car insurance companies who will provide cover as long as your conviction is not related to any driving offences. However, you will still be viewed as ‘high risk’ and therefore the premium price will be a lot higher.

If you are struggling to find a ‘major’ insurer willing to offer you cover then there are some specialist car insurance companies who deal exclusively with convicted drivers – more on how to find them below.

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It’s worth pointing out at this point that, however difficult and expensive it is for you to get cover, car insurance is compulsory and it is illegal for you to drive without insurance.

Even if you own a car that is not currently in use the Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules stated that unless you have completed a SORN on your vehicle (Statutory Off Road Notification) then it must be insured, otherwise you could face a fine of up to £1,000.

Declaring ‘unspent’ convictions

When going through the process of getting a car insurance quote, you will be asked if you have any convictions. At this point you only have to declare convictions that are ‘unspent’. Convictions become spent after a certain length of time. For example, if you were given a fine or had to do community service then your conviction will mostly likely be ‘spent’ after five years. After this point you don’t have to declare the conviction to insurers.

If you served a prison sentence of six months or less, then the conviction will be spent in seven years. This increases to 10 years for sentences the run between six months and two and a half years. Any custodial sentence of two and a half years or more are never spent, so you would always have to declare them to your prospective car insurer. To find out exactly when your conviction is spent, you can use the http://www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk/

Although it could substantially reduce the price of your premium you should never be tempted to not disclose any unspent convictions. Disregarding any legal issues that this could lead to, it will also invalidate your policy meaning any claims you make will be refused by your insurer – leaving you a lot more out of pocket.

What to do if you are refused cover

If you are a driver with a criminal conviction and you cannot find a car insurance company willing to offer you cover then your best option is to get in touch with the http://www.unlock.org.uk/ organisation. As well as providing the above criminal conviction disclosure calculator, Unlock can also provide you with a list of insurance brokers who specialise in finding cover for drivers with convictions.

Remember though that the same rules of getting a good deal on car insurance applies to you whether you have convictions or not, particularly the need to shop around and compare quotes. Just because you have a conviction and have to limit yourself to specialist insurers doesn’t mean you have to accept the first quote you find – make sure you get quotes from a range of different insurers before agreeing to any.

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How to reduce the cost of car insurance for convicted drivers

There are several ways that drivers with criminal convictions can keep car insurance premiums as cheap as possible. Many of these are included in our big How To Save Money On Insurance guide and our Car Insurance Buying Guide.

Raise your excess: The policy excess is the amount of any claim the policyholder must pay towards the total cost. Making this amount higher means you can save money on the premium, but obviously it is important to keep the excess at a level that you can afford should you need to make a claim. Read more: What to do if you can’t afford to pay your excess

Telematics insurance: Also known as ‘black box car insurance‘, this involves having a small tracking device installed in your car and is very popular with young and new drivers as it can help reduce their premiums considerably.

Keep the mileage low: The less you intend to drive, the less your premiums will cost.

Keep your car secure: Keeping your car parked in a garage (or in a secure car park area) can drastically reduce the risk of theft/damage and therefore reduce your premium. Having it fitted with security devices like steering locks, car alarms and immobilisers can also help.

Start looking for cheap car insurance deals now by comparing quotes with Bobatoo:

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UK Driving Conviction Codes

AC10 Failing to stop and/or give particulars after an accident

AC20 Failing to give particulars or report accident within 24 hrs

AC30 Undefined accident offences

BA10 Driving while disqualification by order of the Court

BA20 Driving while disqualified as under age

BA30 Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of the Court

CD10 Driving without due care and attention

CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road user

CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration

CD40 Causing death – careless driving when unfit through drink

CD50 Causing death – careless driving when unfit through drugs

CD60 Causing death – careless driving with alcohol level above limit

CD70 Causing death – careless driving – failing to supply specimen

CU10 Using a vehicle with defective brakes

CU20 Using a vehicle with parts or accessories in dangerous condition

CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyres

CU40 Using a vehicle with defective steering

CU50 Causing or likely to danger by reason of load or passengers

CU60 Undefined failure to comply with Construction and Use Regulations

DD10 Driving in a dangerous manner

DD20 Driving at a dangerous speed

DD30 Reckless driving

DD40 Dangerous driving

DD50 Causing death by dangerous driving

DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle

DD70 Causing death by reckless driving

DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving

DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol above limit

DR20 Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink/drugs

DR30 Driving or attempting to drive/refusing or failing to supply specimen

DR40 In charge of vehicle while alcohol level above limit

DR50 In charge of vehicle while unfit through drink or drugs

DR60 Failure to provide specimen for analysis other than driving

DR70 Failure to provide specimen for breath test

DR80 Failure or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs

DR90 In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs

IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks

LC10 Driving without a licence

LC20 Driving while under age. Driving other than in accordance

LC30 Driving after making a false declaration about fitness

LC40 Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability

LC50 Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused medical

MS10 Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position

MS20 Unlawful pillion riding

MS30 Play street Offences

MS40 Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight or refusing test

MS50 Motor racing on the highway

MS60 Offences not covered by other codes

MS70 Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

MS80 Refusing to submit to an eyesight test

MS90 Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc.

NE99 Non-endorsable criminal Act

MW10 Contravention of Special Roads Regulations

PC10 Undefined Contravention of a Pedestrian Crossing Regulation

PC20 Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations – Moving vehicles

PC30 Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations – stationary vehicles

PL10 Driving without ‘L’ plates

PL20 Not accompanied by a qualified person

PL30 Carrying a person not qualified

PL40 Drawing an unauthorised trailer

PL50 Undefined failure to comply with conditions of Provisional

S 19 Disqualification (“totting – up” procedure)

S 35 Disqualification (“totting-up” procedure)

SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits

SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle

SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road

SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit

SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway

SP60 Undefined speed limit offence

TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signals

TS20 Failing to comply with double white lines

TS30 Failing to comply with a ‘Stop’ sign

TS40 Failing to comply with direction of a constable or warden

TS50 Failing to comply with traffic sign

TS60 Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign

TS70 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction or sign

TT99 To signify disqualification under “totting-up” procedure

UT10 Taking and driving away without consent or attempt thereat

UT20 Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle

UT30 Going equipped for stealing or taking a vehicle

UT40 Taking/driving/be carried in a vehicle without consent

UT50 Aggravated taking of a vehicle

XX99 To signify a disqualification under “totting-up” procedure