Driving convictions can prove extremely costly, adding up to a few hundred pounds to your car insurance premium.
How much extra you pay will depend on the severity of the offence, you should shop around to get the best deal you can.
What are the most common driving convictions?
When you are caught breaking any of the UK’s motoring laws, such as exceeding the designated speed limit, you will be issued with a driving conviction.
You usually receive points on your licence for a minimum of four years. However, insurance companies will take license points into account when calculating your insurance premium for up to five years.
Motoring laws vary in severity, and the number of points you pick up for breaking each law will reflect this.
Some insurers won’t insure a driver with certain convictions, such as driving an uninsured vehicle.
Although this makes it harder to get a quote, it’s worth doing your research as there are often companies who are willing to offer you a quote despite your past convictions.
Among the most common convictions are:
- SP30 – Speeding on a public road
- CU80 – Using a hand-held device while driving (typically mobile phones)
- IN10 – Driving without insurance
- SP50 – Speeding on a motorway
- TS10 – Failing to comply with traffic light signals
Not all of these offences will result in you being turned down for insurance; if you get rejected, you’ll need to shop around to find a lenient insurance company willing to offer you a quote.
How are drink-driving convictions different?
Drink-driving convictions work a little differently from most other motoring laws. Driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous and the penalty is usually severe.
If you are caught drink-driving, you will have your license suspended for a minimum of 1 year (although this may be extended for up to three years if you have a prior drink-driving conviction) with a maximum fine of £5,000.
Depending on the circumstances of your offence, you may be sentenced to a 6 month prison term, or community service.
The potential of a drink-driving conviction to affect other parts of your life should not be underestimated. You could lose your job and find it difficult to find subsequent employment (many employers require their staff to hold a “full, clean driver’s license”).
Once your punishment term is up, you’ll find it much more difficult to secure car insurance, and those who are willing to insure you are likely to charge you very high premiums for years after your conviction.
How do driving convictions affect car insurance premiums?
Convictions will affect your car insurance premium differently depending on the seriousness of the offence, your personal circumstances and the policy of the particular insurance company involved.
Once you’ve picked up a conviction and have points on your licence, you’re more likely to struggle to get a good quote, particularly if you have prior convictions.
Shop around until you find an insurer who is willing to offer you a good deal.
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