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's even harder to find a good deal.
Luckily, there are specialist insurers who may be able to help...
Can I get car insurance if I have a criminal conviction?
If you have a criminal conviction of any kind then you may find it quite difficult to get car insurance cover.
Cheap car insurance for convicted drivers can be difficult to find 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 who don't have any convictions.
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 on their car insurance policy - 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. 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 due to previous convictions, there are some specialist car insurance companies who deal exclusively with convicted drivers - you can read more on how to find them below, or get a quote here.
It's worth pointing out at this point that, however difficult and expensive it is for you to get cover with convictions, car insurance is compulsory and it is illegal for you to drive without it.
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.
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Declaring 'unspent' convictions - Do I have to disclose 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 car insurance companies.
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 that 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.
Although it could substantially reduce the price of your car insurance 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 with a much more expensive bill.
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, your best option is to get in touch with Unlock - a charity dedicated to providing support for those struggling to resume their normal life with a criminal record. As well as providing a 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, 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 car insurance doesn't mean you have to accept the first convicted driver insurance quote you find - make sure you get the best quotes from a range of different insurers before agreeing to any.
How to reduce the cost of car insurance for convicted drivers
While you may not be able to find cheap car insurance for convicted drivers, there are several ways that drivers with criminal convictions can keep car insurance premiums as low 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.
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 convicted driver car insurance deals now:
UK Driving Conviction Codes
- AC10: Failing to stop and/or give information after an accident
- AC20: Failing to give details or report an accident within 24 hrs
- AC30: Undefined accident offences
- BA10: Driving while disqualified 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 care and attention
- CD20: Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users
- CD30: Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration
- CD40: Causing death by driving carelessly when unfit through drink
- CD50: Causing death by driving carelessly when unfit through drugs
- CD60: Causing death by driving carelessly with an alcohol level above the limit
- CD70: Causing death through careless driving and failing to supply a specimen (breath, blood, urine, etc.)
- CU10: Using a vehicle with defective brakes
- CU20: Using a vehicle with parts or accessories in a dangerous condition
- CU30: Using a vehicle with defective tyres
- CU40: Using a vehicle with defective steering
- CU50: Causing or likely to cause 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, then refusing or failing to supply a specimen to be analysed
- DR40: In charge of vehicle while alcohol level is above the limit
- DR50: In charge of vehicle while unfit through alcohol or drugs
- DR60: Failure to provide a specimen for analysis
- DR70: Failure to provide a specimen for a breath test
- DR80: Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drugs
- DR90: In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs
- IN10: Using a vehicle that is uninsured against third party risks
- LC10: Driving without a licence
- LC20: Driving other than in accordance with your licence
- LC30: Driving after making a false declaration about fitness
- LC40: Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability
- LC50: Driving and licence revoked or refused based on medical grounds
- MS10: Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position
- MS20: Unlawful pillion riding
- MS30: Playstreet Offences
- MS40: Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight
- MS50: Motor racing on the highway
- MS60: Offences not covered by other codes
- MS70: Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight
- MS80: Refusing to have an eye test
- MS90: Failure to give information to identity of driver or vehicle
- NE99: Non-endorsable Criminal Act
- MW10: Contravention of Special Roads Regulations
- PC10: Undefined Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations
- 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: Failure to comply with the conditions of a Provisional Licence
- SP10: Exceeding goods vehicle speed limit
- SP20: Exceeding speed limit for the 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: Disqualification for having 12 or more points on your licence
- UT10: Taking a vehicle and driving away without consent
- UT20: Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle
- UT30: Going equipped for stealing or taking a vehicle
- UT40: Taking or attempting to take a vehicle without consent
- UT50: Aggravated taking of a vehicle
- XX99: Disqualified under the "totting-up" procedure