The hidden cost of speeding convictions

Published:
30 March 2011
Topic:
News,Insurance,Car

We all know that if you get caught speeding you can expect to pay a fine, but do you know how much a speeding conviction can cost you in the long-term?

Driving above the speed limit obviously puts other road users and pedestrians at risk, but it can also have a major impact on your car insurance premiums, according to moneysupermarket.com.

Its research reveals that drivers caught speeding could see the cost of their insurance premiums soar by as much as 54%.

Whether you're someone who has already been convicted for speeding, or you're simply looking for ways to lower the cost of car insurance, we take a look at some of the ways you can reduce costs - as well as the financial impact of having points on your licence.

Points don't mean prizes

A driver with six points on their licence could expect to pay 19% more for cover than someone with a clean licence. After nine points, the cost could potentially go up by 54%, based on quotes from five insurers for a 30-year-old man driving 10,000 miles a year in a Ford Focus.

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at moneysupermarket.com said: "Insurers clearly take a dim view on policy holders who speed and this is reflected in higher car insurance prices.

"Even going just above the speed limit can add huge additional costs to your car insurance, and for repeat offenders, some insurers may even refuse to cover you, so motorists should take extra care to ensure they stick to the speed restrictions."

This is doubly important now that the cost of cover motoring is on the increase due to rising fuel and insurance prices. Peter said: "We have witnessed sharp increases to the cost of car insurance premiums recently. Moneysupermarket.com research found premiums rose by 44 pence per day in 2010 on average, and this trend is set to continue, especially with the recent ECJ ruling on the legality of using gender to calculate insurance premiums.

"Not only are motorists who flout the law by speeding risking the lives of other road users and pedestrians as well as their own, they also run the risk of adding to the existing headache of sky high car insurance premiums."

Cost-cutting tips

It is possible to reduce the cost of your car insurance by following a few simple steps. First and foremost, if you didn't shop around for your current policy, then the chances are you are paying over the odds for your cover.

When your current policy nears its end, you should start shopping around for next year's cover, rather than just accepting the renewal quote. Moneysupermarket.com has a car insurance comparison tool which will help you to find the most competitive cover for your circumstances.

Many insurers offer a discount for buying your policy online, so if you've done some comparisons and found a quote that you're happy with, you could save money on your premiums by buying the policy online.

Insurers set your premiums based on how likely they think you are to make a claim. Installing insurer-approved security equipment such as steering wheel locks, car alarms or immobilisers will reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen, and should be rewarded with lower premiums.

Adding an older, more experienced driver to the policy as the main driver can lower the cost of your premiums. You mustn't do this if you are going to be the main driver on the policy though; this is known as fronting and could invalidate the policy.

You may want to consider down-sizing the vehicle you drive, because cars of higher value and performance tend to attract higher premiums.

Of course you should always drive responsibly and within the speed limits to ensure that you don't fall foul of speed traps and cameras. This will make the roads safer for other drivers and help to protect you premiums.

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