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Convicted driver insurance

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Car insurance for convicted drivers

It’s an unfortunate fact that an unspent conviction – whether it’s for a driving infraction or something else – will increase your car insurance premiums.

What’s more, a criminal conviction may make it more difficult for you to get car insurance in the first place, as many insurers won’t want to provide any cover at all. This is because convicted drivers are at a statistically higher risk of being involved in accidents and making claims.

Fortunately, if you do have a conviction, there are plenty of insurers who will still insure you,  –  albeit for higher premiums than you previously enjoyed, – particularly if your conviction is related to driving offenses.

 

Failure to disclose a driving conviction will invalidate your policy and you may be guilty of insurance fraud.

 

What do you need to declare?

When you take out car insurance, you must be completely honest with your insurer. This means when it comes to driving convictions:

  • You must declare any unspent convictions:

    A conviction can stay on your record for varying amounts of time, meaning it’s ‘unspent’. If you don’t declare it, you risk invalidating your cover and committing fraud. However if you get a conviction during the term of your current policy you won’t need to say til you renew. This goes for all drivers on the policy, not just the main driver

  • You don’t need to declare spent convictions:

    All convictions expire after a certain length of time, depending on your circumstances and the sentence you receive, and once this happens it becomes ‘spent’. You won’t need to tell your insurer about any spent convictions you might have, even if they ask – they won’t be able to count against you under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

How is car insurance affected if you have driving convictions?

 

Car insurance for drink drivers

Drink driving is seen as a very serious offence by insurance companies due to the risk to property and people’s safety, and a conviction will make your premiums shoot up. You’ll also have to agree to a much larger voluntary excess

Car insurance for banned drivers

Drivers are disqualified from driving after accumulating 12 or more penalty points on their license within three years – if you’re disqualified you won’t be able to take out cover until you’ve served the ban.

Car insurance with points

Driving offences all come with a number of penalty points (endorsements) attached, and the more points you have on your licence the higher your premiums are likely to be. These points will stay on your license for between four and 11 years

 

 

Number of offences Average annual premiums*
0 £600.66
1 £761.75
2 £985.70
3 £1,220.71
4 £1,683.95
5 £1,829.20

 

*Based on fully comprehensive car insurance policy enquiries with one driver holding a full UK driving licence. MoneySuperMarket data, collected between January and June 2021, accurate as of July 2021.

Sara Newell

Our expert says

"It’s definitely harder to find cheap car insurance with unspent criminal convictions, but it’s certainly not impossible to find a good deal. We work with numerous insurers who specialise in insuring drivers with challenging personal circumstances"

- Sara Newell, Motor and Van Insurance Lead

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How to get cheaper car insurance if you have a conviction

Having driving convictions might bring your car insurance premiums up, but there are still things you can do to help with the increased cost of cover. For example, you can:

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    Pay a higher excess:

    Volunteering a higher excess payment will usually bring your insurance premiums down – but be sure you can still afford to pay it if you need to claim

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    Pay annually:

    Paying an annual sum for your car insurance might mean a greater initial outlay, but it often works out cheaper than spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments

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    Choose your car wisely:

    Insurers sort car makes and models into different insurance groups based on factors like their value, repairability and performance. The cheapest cars to insure are generally found in lower groups

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    Spend less time on the road:

    Driving fewer miles or giving a lower estimated mileage may also help cut costs, as the less time you spend on the road the lower your chances are of being involved in an accident

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    Keep your car safe and secure:

    Factory installed alarms and immobilisers will help keep your car safe, as will keeping your car parked off the street at night (or at least in a well-lit area)

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    Consider telematics cover:

    Drivers with criminal convictions may find that telematics cover helps you earn lower premiums by driving with tracking software in the car that monitors your driving habits and rewards good behaviour

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* 53% of consumers would save up to £217.95 on their anual car insurance premiums. Consumer Inteligence, December 2020

 

 

Yes for the most part, but your premiums will be a lot more expensive than you’re used to. However, depending on the severity of the offence – especially if it’s a serious driving offence – many mainstream insurers may refuse you.

If you have a criminal conviction and you can’t find an insurer who will provide you with motor insurance, UNLOCK (the National Assocation of Reformed Offenders) can provide you with a list of brokers who specialise in convicted driver insurance.

Don’t be tempted to hide your conviction just to get a cheaper quote. If you don’t reveal convictions, you could invalidate your policy, meaning that any claims would be refused and you would essentially be driving while uninsured – which is illegal.

You only need to declare unspent convictions. A conviction becomes spent after a certain period of time – which depends on the nature of the offence. Certain convictions are never spent however, depending on how severe they are.

No, you don’t need to declare spent convictions when applying for insurance.

Speeding offences are by far the most common type of driving offence in Britain. 

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