Car Insurance Monitor

Driving convictions and the effects on car insurance premiums prices

A breakdown of the nation's driving convictions

The focus for the Summer 2012 MoneySupermarket Monitor on Car Insurance is driving convictions. We analysed a section of the data (1st October 2011 - 30th September 2012) to evaluate the number of convictions acknowledged by UK motorists in their insurance quotes. The sample of data analysed 14,202,078 million quotes during the timeframe and found 3,394,879 (23.9 per cent) of these quotes contained a driving conviction.

The convictions most likely to appear on a driver's licence were those for speeding. Almost 70 per cent (68.7 per cent) of all convictions were for a speed-related offence. Other frequently featured convictions were those for careless/reckless driving at 12.3 per cent followed by those with a 'situational' offence such as failing to stop at traffic lights or illegally over taking (9.0 per cent).

Comparing the proportion of offences in Summer 2012 to the same time period in 2011, we can see the order of most common driving convictions is the same with only small changes in the data set. The most drastic change in the data set was the fall in the number of 'speeding and speed related' offences which dropped by 17 per cent. However, in the case of 'careless, reckless and unfit driving/accidents', there was an increase of 0.1 percentage points year-on-year.

How the number of driving convictions has changed

Age chart 3

Comment on the driving convictions data analysis

Kevin Pratt, insurance expert at MoneySupermarket commented:

“There is a wide range of motoring offences that drivers can fall foul of, and our data shows that almost a quarter of insurance quotes run in the 12-month period analysed list some kind of motoring conviction on a driver's licence.

“Not sticking to the rules of the road can cause danger and harm not only to drivers and other motorists, but also to pedestrians. The health and safety of others should be the first consideration of anyone thinking about flouting the laws of UK roads, but it is also worth bearing in mind that being convicted with a driving offence often comes with a fine, fixed penalty notice and in extreme cases legal and court costs.

"Also, once a conviction is present on a licence it can have an impact on the cost of car insurance, increasing the amount paid for cover. By how much which will depend on the severity of the offence, but any additional expense is bound to be unwelcome.”

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.