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Do penalty points affect my car insurance?

Insurance Questions Answered: 

How much do penalty points add to the cost of motor insurance?

It is very likely that having points on your licence for speeding or other driving offences will increase the cost of your motor insurance. This is because claims statistics show that people with penalty point have more driving incidents and are more likely to make a claim. The more serious your driving offence (drink driving, for example), the higher your premium is likely to be.

If you do have points on your licence you are legally obliged to tell your existing insurer and to declare it when buying a new policy. Withholding this information to get a cheaper policy could lead to your insurance becoming invalid due to non-disclosure, which could lead to even more penalty points – or even to prosecution - for driving an uninsured vehicle.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the increase to your policy is still less that what you would have to pay yourself should you be in an accident without insurance!

How do I get cheaper car insurance with points on my licence?

The easiest way to keep the cost of your car insurance down is by driving safely and avoid getting any penalty points in the first place, but should you have any driving convictions there are several ways that you can help mitigate the cost of points on your licence:

  • Make sure you shop around to find the best deal on car insurance that suits your driving needs. If you have any motoring convictions and are finding it difficult to get competitive quotes you may want to consider using a specialist broker for drivers with points.
  • Consider telematics. ‘Black box’ insurance uses a device installed in the car to measure how a car is being driven. These policies can help cut the cost of insurance if you are a safer driver.
  • Secure your car. Making sure the car is fitted with an approved alarm and immobiliser could help reduce the cost of your quote.
  • You could voluntarily increase your excess which should help to reduce your premium. However, this will mean paying more should you need to make a claim. Remember that you’ll have to pay both the compulsory and voluntary excess if you make a claim and always make sure to choose an amount you can afford to pay.

If your insurer asks if you have any unspent motoring convictions (normally if you have had any penalty points in the past 5 years) you must answer honestly. You can find out more about penalty points, motoring convictions and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act disclosure requirements here.

 Will a speed awareness course affect my insurance?

It is unlikely that attending a speed awareness course will have a major impact on your car insurance. However, each insurer will have its own criteria so make sure you check with your provider. A speed awareness course is not a driving conviction, and so if asked by your insurer if you have any previous driving convictions you will be able to answer ‘no’. However, if an insurer asks you specifically about attending a speed awareness course, you will need to answer truthfully.

Find out more about buying motor insurance here.

Last updated 24/05/2019