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Do you struggle to get insurance with previous driving convictions? If you receive points on your licence it can have a lasting impact on the cover you can obtain. It can also have a dramatic effect on the cost of your insurance premium.

Driving convictions can range greatly in terms of variety and volume across the UK. For example in England and Wales, approximately 85,000 people are convicted of drink driving offences each year. Furthermore, over 11,000 drivers were banned from driving within two years of passing their test in 2019.

As specialist providers of high risk drivers insurance, we have compiled this informative guide. It will explain driving offences, associated points and penalties, and effects they can have in the short and long term.

Why insurance is more expensive for licence holders with convictions

Firstly, most insurance companies use algorithms to calculate insurance risk. Secondly, individuals who apply for car insurance with driving convictions or points on their licence are deemed to be at a higher risk than those without. Finally, this has a direct influence on the availability and price of insurance policy costs.

How long do points and driving convictions stay on your licence?

Penalty points do not remain on a driver’s licence indefinitely. Most offences carry points that are often removed after 4 years. More serious offences, however, can remain on your record for up to 11 years. This means with attention behind the wheel you can reduce the likelihood of further convictions and penalties in the future. Over time being a safe and careful driver can help to bring down the cost of future insurance policies.

What are the most common driving convictions in the uk?

There are a huge variety of driving convictions, each with its own unique driving licence conviction code and responding penalties. For ease of reference, here are some of the most common driving convictions in the UK. For more information on the most common UK driving convictions, you can visit the Motoring Researches article. An explanation of the various codes is available on the GOV.UK website.

Speeding

  • Common codes: SP30 – Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road
  •  SP50 – Exceeding speed limit on a motorway
  • Usual penalty: 3-6 Points
  • Typical duration: 4 years from the time of the offence

According to the study conducted by TRUE Solicitors, speeding offences are the most common driving convictions in the UK. The Home Office reported back in 2017 84% of all recorded motoring offences related to speeding. The total for that year was an astonishing 2,018,408.

Further studies show since 2011, the number of speeding offences has increased by an average of 5% each year to a total of more than 15 million. The maximum fine for speeding can go as high as £2,500 and drivers who exceed the speed limit by 50% or more can expect an instant driving ban. 

Drink driving

  • Common codes: DR10 – Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
  •  DR20 – Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink
  • Usual penalty: 3-11 points
  • Typical duration: 11 years from the time of the offence

There is approximately 3,000 drink driving incidents each year in the UK. Moreover, around 100,000 drivers fail a breathalyser test when stopped by the police. An estimated 8,680 people were killed or injured in drink-driving accidents in 2018. The safest instruction is to abstain from alcohol completely whenever you plan to drive.

Mobile phone use

  • Common codes: CU80 – Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle
  • Usual penalty: 3-6 points
  • Typical duration: 4 years from the time of the offence

A CU80 is a “breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone.” Being caught using your mobile phone whilst driving could result in a £200 fine and 3-6 penalty points. This conviction can be given even if you are only holding a phone when behind the wheel. To avoid this be sure to secure your device safely and out of sight. If you can, switch your phone off whilst behind the wheel or use in-car Bluetooth or headsets to communicate. This code can also apply to other distractions whilst driving such as eating and drinking. If you need to use your mobile phone, make sure the vehicle is stationary in a safe location. Ensure the engine is switched off and look out for potentially dangerous events on the road.

Failing to stop after accidents

  • Common codes: AC10 – Failing to stop after an accident
  •  AC20 – Failing to give particulars or report an accident within 24 hours
  • Usual penalty: 5-10 points
  • Typical duration: 4 years from the time of the offence

Incidents such as these are common in the UK. Very often people will drive away after a small bump or shunt believing no real damage has been caused. However, failing to stop and notify of any incidents could result in a full driving ban. The offence is twofold. Firstly, failing to stop and secondly failing to report the incident. Finally, it is entirely possible to be charged with both driving convictions at once. This includes a fine of up to £2,500 and between 5-10 penalty points on your driving licence.

Driving without insurance

  • Common codes: IN10 – Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
  • Usual penalty: 6-8 points
  • Typical duration: 4 years from the time of the offence

Driving without insurance is a common and serious offence. According to the MIB, there are approximately 1 million uninsured drivers on UK roads. If caught you can expect to face a fine of up to £5,000. Your vehicle may also be seized, and you will incur 6-8 penalty points on your licence. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure adequate insurance cover is in place before operating a vehicle on UK roads.

How do I know when driving convictions are spent?

A conviction becomes “spent” after a set period of time depending on the penalty imposed. However, this will still need to be declared when applying for car insurance. For example, a drink driving conviction becomes spent 5 years from the date of conviction. This will still need to be disclosed during the application process. It ensures you are offered the correct coverage for you and your vehicle. To check the status of driving convictions and penalty points visit the GOV.UK website and enter your driving licence information.

What is the Rehabilitation of offender’s act (ROA) 1974?

As of 10th March 2014, The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 gives drivers with spent driving convictions and cautions the right not to disclose them when applying for insurance. Once your driving convictions are spent, the Act gives you the right not to disclose them when applying for insurance. However, a requirement of the Acorn application process is that you provide details of any claims or convictions within the last 5 years. Also, if you receive a conviction during a policy period you must be sure to inform your insurer.

Will a driving ban affect future insurance applications?

A driving ban could have a dramatic effect on the number of insurers willing to offer you insurance. As specialist providers of high-risk car insurance, we consider drivers with fixed penalties and driving convictions in their driving history. Our highly experienced insurance experts are on hand to help you find an insurance policy that is right for you. Click Get a quote now for a potentially competitive premium.

What could happen if I have an undisclosed conviction?

If you have an undisclosed driving conviction and your insurer becomes aware, they may cancel your policy immediately. They may alternatively want to charge you more for your insurance. Your insurer may refuse to pay any new claims or seek to recover any money paid out from previous incidents. Insurance is based upon utmost good faith. Always ensure your applications are honest and accurate with as much up to date information as possible. Make sure to check your own records for any previous information that can assist you in the application process. For further information on your licence and any points or driving convictions, you may have to check the GOV.UK website.

Do you require insurance from an insurer who considers all applications?

With 40 years of experience, Acorn Insurance offers competitive cover for those that might be classed as a ‘higher risk’.

If you have points on your licence, car insurance can become a very expensive business. If you have been convicted of driving offences, Acorn Insurance can help provide you with specialist convicted driver cover. Trying to find a competitive car insurance policy after a driving conviction can be difficult, to say the least. That is where Acorn Insurance is different. We believe that you deserve a competitive car insurance policy and the opportunity to correct your driving style for good.

Click Get a quote now or call 01704 339925 to discuss your needs with our UK-based insurance team. We will help find a policy that works for you.

 

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