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…
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.
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.
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:
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