A driving conviction is a driving conviction, regardless of whether it’s for an offence committed in a car, on a motorcycle or even in a tractor. It’s for this reason that motorbike convictions can push up your car insurance premiums. Drivers with points on their licences pay more for insurance than those with clean licences, because they’re seen to pose a greater risk by insurers.
Do it once, runs the thinking, and there’s a good chance you might do it again. The unforgiving statistics also show that drivers with convictions are more likely to be involved in accidents and make claims than those without, so insurers price premiums accordingly. But that’s not to say you’re forever doomed to expensive car insurance just because you have a motorbike conviction. Read on as I explain…
Points (don’t) make prizes
Last year, MoneySupermarket analysed data from more than 14million car insurance quotes run on the site. It showed that nearly 24% of customers had at least one driving conviction. There are well over 50 driving offences for which you can incur penalty points on your licence. You can see a full list of offences, their corresponding codes and how many points each carries here.
They all apply to any vehicle, except for MS20 “Unlawful pillion riding”, which obviously only applies to motorbikes and scooters. The most common convictions likely to appear on a driver’s licence, according to the MoneySupermarket research, are for speeding. Almost 70% of all driving convictions were for speed-related offences.
Other frequently featured convictions were for careless or reckless driving (12%) and for offences such as failing to stop at traffic lights or overtaking illegally (9%). Penalty points will stay on your licence for four or 11 years, depending on the offence. While they’re on your licence, you’re likely pay more for your car insurance.
For example, MoneySupermarket research says a driver aged between 21 and 30 with nine points on his licence could pay 118% more for car insurance than someone of the same age with a clean licence. Remember, that’s regardless of whether you picked up the points in a car or on a motorbike.
Of course the best way to stop your car insurance premiums being pushed up is to be a sensible and responsible driver or, in this case, motorcycle rider. If you already have points on your licence, however, you’re not necessarily doomed to extortionate car insurance premiums.
Keeping costs down
The first thing to say is that you should always shop around for cover and never simply accept your current insurer’s renewal quote. Car insurance companies offer their best prices to new customers – they don’t reward their existing customers with cheaper premiums because they want to keep building their customer bases. You can you use this to your advantage.
If your insurer hikes your premiums after your licence is endorsed with penalty points, have a look what the other insurers are offering. We even have a bespoke channel on our website for drivers with convictions (see here). Then there are the old classics, like volunteering to pay a higher excess, keeping your vehicle parked in a locked garage overnight, and adding an older, more experienced or conviction-less driver to the policy as a named (but not the main) driver. You can read more ways to lower the cost of your car insurance in Kevin Pratt’s article here, or you can get more advice about getting cover if you have points on your licence here.