If you’re back on the road after being convicted for drink driving, you might find yourself looking for convicted driver insurance.
Having a drink driving conviction – or ‘endorsement’ – on your licence can significantly increase your car insurance premiums. This complete guide to drink driving insurance will 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 up to five years (some insurers may only ask for 3). This means that, following your driving ban you will be faced with up to 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 and how long they remain on your diving licence:
- DR10 – Driving or attempting to drive when above the alcohol limit – 11 years
- DR20 – Driving or attempting to drive while unfit because of alcohol – 11 years
- DR30 – Driving or attempting to drive and refusing or failing to supply a specimen – 11 years
- DR31 – Driving or attempting to drive before declining permission for analysis of a blood sample which was previously taken without consent due to incapacity – 11 years
- DR40 – In charge of vehicle with an alcohol level above the legal limit – 4 years
- DR50 – In charge of vehicle while unfit through drink or drugs – 4 years
- DR60 – Failure to provide a specimen for analysis other than driving – 4 years
- DR70 – Failure to provide a specimen for a breath test – 4 years
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 consider many 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 include 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, similarly to how insurance premiums are higher for younger or less experienced drivers as they pose a higher risk.
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.
- Complete a drink driving rehabilitation course – These courses are usually offered to offenders who have been banned from driving for more than 12 months and can cost up to £250, but can reduce the length of your ban by up to 25% – this could be looked upon favourably by insurers.
- 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.
Drink driving insurance – FAQs
Convicted driver insurance is a complicated matter. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about drink driving insurance.
How long do I have to declare drink driving to my insurance?
A drink driving conviction will remain on your driving licence for 11 years, but most car insurance providers will only ask you to state any convictions from the past 5 years – some insurers may even only ask for the past 3 years.
What is a drink driving course?
You might be offered the chance to take a drink driving course if you have been banned for more than 12 months. The course is 16 hours long in total, spread over 3 days and will cover topics specifically designed to prevent people from offending again.
The course can cost up to £250, but may be worth it as it could reduce the length of your driving ban.
Does a drink driving course reduce insurance?
While your insurer will not necessarily ask if you have completed a drink driving course, they will take into consideration the length of your ban when calculating your car insurance premium. If you get your ban reduced by taking a drink driving course, you could be offered a cheaper car insurance premium.
How much is car insurance with convictions for drink driving?
While there is no set cost for convicted driver insurance, studies suggest that car insurance premiums can shoot up by as much as 150% following a conviction for drink driving. This means that if your insurance costs £450 a year, it could rise to over £1,100.
Do I need to pay car insurance while I’m banned from driving?
If your car is parked on the road, you are legally required to have car insurance even if you will not be driving it. If your car is parked off-road and you are granted a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notice) from the DVLA, you will not need car insurance.
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