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

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Having just one to three penalty points on your driving licence can push up your car insurance by £25 a year, according to new research which looks at the impact of points on premiums across the country.

Penalty points are given out for motoring offences such as speeding or drink driving. When you have points on your licence, insurance companies see you as riskier and more likely to make a claim – and that’s why they charge you more for cover. We teamed up with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) to do some research on the subject and found that across the entire country, our collective penalty points are costing us £132million a year in higher premiums.

Where drivers pay most

Unsurprisingly, it’s the drivers with 10-11 and 12 or more points on their licences who face the worst price hikes. In the 10-11 bracket, drivers pay around 82% more, while the 12-plus crowd pay 89% more. London, Glasgow and Birmingham came out as the cities where drivers are paying the most for their points, forking out an extra £8million, £4million and £3million respectively. Even at the lower end of the points scale (1-3), drivers in those cities are collectively paying out £2.4million, £1.5million and £1.2million more than they would if everyone had clean licences. Across the UK, having 1-3 points on their licences costs drivers £49.5million extra in car insurance costs. In the 4-6 points bracket that figure rises to £57.4million, at 7-9 points it’s £18.9million, at 10-11 it adds up to £3.5million and at 12 or more: £2.6million. Here are the top 10 locations where drivers pay more because of the points on their licences, and just how much it collectively costs them:

  • London                      £8,079,529
  • Glasgow                     £4,080,190
  • Birmingham               £3,423,840
  • Nottingham                £2,833,865
  • Newcastle                   £2,642,079
  • Cardiff                          £2,586,075
  • Sheffield                      £2,535,609
  • Edinburgh                   £2,070,783
  • Swansea                      £2,036,358
  • Manchester                 £2,026,561

Drivers in Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Chester, Coventry, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Norwich, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Stoke and York have all paid more than £1 million in additional insurance premiums, too.

Keeping your points and prices down

Kevin Pratt, insurance expert, MoneySuperMarket, said: “Drivers with points on their licence should shop around and compare prices when it is time to renew their insurance as it is highly likely they will get a cheaper offer with another provider. “The message is simple: points on your licence puts pounds on your premium. So stick to the speed limits and drive with care, courtesy and attention to avoid unnecessary costs.”

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