Having a drink driving conviction – or ‘endorsement’ – on your licence can significantly increase your car insurance premiums. Here we explain what you need to do to get cheap car insurance if you have a drink driving conviction.
As well as the penalty points on your licence, a 12-month driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000 and a possible prison sentence, drink driving will also lead to your car insurance quotes increasing – with some estimates suggesting motorists with a drink driving conviction payout as much as 115% more for insurance.
A drink driving endorsement is classed as a conviction, and lasts for five years until it is ‘spent’ – which means you are legally obligated to declare the conviction to car insurers for five years. This means that, following your driving ban you will be faced with five years of higher car insurance premiums as insurers will view you as a higher risk of making a claim due to your past indiscretion. You may also find that some car insurance companies will not offer insurance cover to anyone with a drink driving conviction.
Different drink driving convictions
The most common drink driving-related endorsement is a DR10 conviction, and most insurance companies have offer DR10 insurance. However, there are other forms of drunk driver convictions which you may require specialist insurance cover for.
Below is a list of the different convictions and what offence they relate to:
- DR10 – Driving or attempting to drive when above the alcohol limit
- DR20 – Driving or attempting to drive while unfit because of alcohol
- DR30 – Driving or attempting to drive and refusing or failing to supply a specimen
- DR40 – In charge of vehicle with an alcohol level above the legal limit
- DR50 – In charge of vehicle while unfit through drink or drugs
- DR60 – Failure to provide a specimen for analysis other than driving
- DR70 – Failure to provide a specimen for a breath test
In the UK, the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body.
How to get cheaper car insurance with a drink driving conviction
When calculating your quoted premium, car insurance companies look at a lot of different factors to assess the financial ‘risk’ you pose (i.e. your likelihood of making a claim). The convictions/endorsements and points on your licence is just one of many different variables, which includes your age, occupation, driving experience, address, annual mileage, make and model of car and so on.
Therefore it is likely that some drivers with a DR10 conviction will face higher premiums than others, purely because they are younger or are less experienced drivers for example.
However, there are things you can do to limit the financial damage of having a DR10 conviction and reduce the cost of car insurance you have to pay. For instance:
- Downsize your car to one in a lower insurance group – All cars are classed in groups which insurance companies use as a guide to how expensive the car is to fix and how powerful the engine is. Cars in lower groups are typically cheaper to insure than those in higher groups, so if you’re looking to reduce the cost of car insurance this is a very good place to start.
- Consider a black box car insurance policy – These are mostly favoured by young and new drivers as they offer cheaper premiums, but can also be beneficial id you are facing higher premiums because of your conviction.
- Take on a higher voluntary excess – If you agree to pay more of any potential claim in the form of a voluntary excess, your insurance company will view the prospect of insuring you as less of a risk and will reduce the premium accordingly.
- Lower your annual mileage – Whenever you get a car insurance quote you are required to tell the insurance company how many miles you plan to drive throughout the year. If you commit to driving less you will be seen as less of a risk of making a claim.
- Increase car security – The more secure your car is, the less likely it is to be targeted by thieves. Having a car alarm and anti-theft locking devices fitted to the car will discourage thieves, and you will be rewarded with lower car insurance premiums as a result.
- Complete the Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course – Although it is not industry-standard practice, some insurers will acknowledge the completion of the Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course and offer cheaper premiums to drivers with a conviction who have completed it.
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