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How motoring convictions affect your car insurance

Fri, 16 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700

How motoring convictions affect your car insurance

How everything from speeding to dangerous driving affects your car insurance costs

 

Motoring convictions affect your car insurance. Fact. Poor driving means points on your driving licence and generally a healthy increase in your yearly premiums.

But the extent to which your insurance cover costs may rise following a motoring conviction depends on the level of the offence.

Vehicle insurance comparison website Tiger.co.uk has investigated just that, analysing the financial impact of a motoring conviction on your car insurance on top of the fine for the infraction itself – which, incidentally, is set to rise to £100 from the current £60 fine for the basic fixed rate penalty.

How much is a normal car insurance premium?

The sample quotes looked at a range of different driving infringements for a 30-year-old male advertising account manager from Ipswich driving a five-year-old Ford Focus, analysing everything from minor speeding violations to serious offences, such as causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

With a clean licence, this driver would pay £387 per year for his car insurance. How does that change with different motoring convictions?

How does speeding affect your car insurance?

Exceeding the speed limit – referred to as an SP30 offence – is a common occurrence, with many motorists getting caught by fixed and mobile speed cameras. The penalty can be anywhere between three and six points on your driving licence, as well as a £100 fine under new rules from Friday 16 August 2013.

The associated increase in annual insurance premium for Tiger.co.uk’s fictional driver is almost the same as the fine itself at £91. This is a 24% rise, taking the total price to £478 for 12 month’s cover.

Offence: SP30 – exceeding speed limit
Annual premium: £478
Increase: £91 / 24%

How does running a red light affect your car insurance?

Technically, running a red light is classed as "failing to comply with traffic light signals" and carries a maximum of three points on your licence and the same fixed penalty fine as an SP30 speeding ticket.

In this case, it increased the 30-year-old’s cover costs by £93 to a total of £480.

Offence: TS10 – failing to comply with traffic signals
Annual premium: £480
Increase: £93 / 24%

How do bald tyres affect your car insurance?

Apart from the massive safety implications, running bald tyres on your vehicle (worn below the legal 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre) carries a penalty of three points and the standard fixed penalty notice fine. Per corner.

That means with four defective tyres you could go from having a clean licence to being banned and seriously out of pocket, with a £400 fine to pay. It’ll bump up the price of your car insurance by £93 again, according to Tiger.co.uk, taking your total premium to £480.

Offence: CU30 – using a vehicle with a defective tyre or tyres
Annual premium: £480
Increase: £93 / 24%

How does driving on a mobile phone affect your car insurance?

Driving while using a mobile phone – even if you aren’t talking or texting on it – carries the same three-point penalty as the infringements above and will also be subject to the new £100 fixed penalty notice.

Classed as a "breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle", it’ll hike up your cover costs by £93 again. That’s £480 overall.

Offence: CU80 – breach of requirement as to control the vehicle
Annual premium: £480
Increase: £93 / 24%

How does careless driving affect your car insurance?

While still serious offences, the four convictions above are more widely seen than crimes such as careless driving. And as you would expect, the more serious the wrongdoing behind the wheel, the greater impact it has on your car insurance.

Careless driving – or driving without due care and attention – is one such endorsement. For Tiger.co.uk’s Ipswich driver, it increased his premium by £194, adding another 50% to his cover cost and taking the total to £581 for the year.

Offence: CD10 – driving without due care and attention
Annual premium: £581
Increase: £194 / 50%

How does drink driving affect your car insurance?

Alcohol affects your coordination and therefore your ability to drive a car, but many motorists still drive drunk, with around 100,000 people caught doing so every year.

Although the penalty is anywhere between three and 11 points on your driving licence, it’s highly likely you’ll get a 12-month driving ban. The maximum you could receive depending on circumstances is actually a three-month jail sentence and/or up to a £2,500 fine.

In this investigation into motoring convictions and insurance prices, it kicked costs up by £270 to £657 – that’s a 70% increase.

Offence: DR10 – driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
Annual premium: £657
Increase: £270 / 70%

How does driving with no insurance affect your car insurance?

Driving with no insurance carries an even bigger penalty still, bumping up the Ford Focus owner’s premium by £331.

The DR10 conviction as it’s known – or "using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks" as the police define it – increased the premium by 86% overall to £717.

Offence: IN10 – using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
Annual premium: £717
Increase: £331 / 86%

How does not stopping after an accident affect your car insurance?

While a drink driver may actually be more of a risk on the road and a greater threat to the safety of many motorists, failing to stop after being involved in an accident carries the bigger penalty.

That is anywhere between five and 10 points – potentially pushing you close to the maximum of 12 points through the totting up procedure – and a fine up to £2,500. For Tiger.co.uk’s example driver, it increased his annual premium by £414. That’s a 107% rise to a total of £801.

Offence: AC10 – failing to stop after an accident
Annual premium: £80
Increase: £414 / 107%

How does dangerous driving affect your car insurance?

Causing serious injury by dangerous driving is the single largest escalator of car insurance costs in Tiger.co.uk’s investigation, bumping up the example driver’s premium by £800 to £1,187 – the only conviction that sees his car insurance break into four figures.

That’s a massive 207% rise, meaning the 30-year-old – and potentially other motorists with the same conviction – will be paying over three times as much as normal for car insurance.

Offence: DD10 – causing serious injury by dangerous driving
Annual premium: £1,187
Increase: £800 / 207%

How else do motoring convictions affect your car insurance?

While these examples above show the immediate increase following an endorsement, the financial penalty goes way beyond the initial fine and the first year increase.

Convictions such as drink driving stay on your licence for 11 years, and although your premiums will decrease on a sliding scale year-by-year, it means this Ipswich driver would pay more than £1,100 extra, according to Tiger.co.uk.

At the two extremes, he’d pay £1,550 in the four years after his two-year ban for dangerous driving, while even if caught for a speeding misdemeanour it’d cost him an extra £520 over the three years the points stay on your licence for – surprising, given a drink driver would only pay a little more for what most people perceive as a much more serious offence.

 

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By Sean Carson, contributor, MSN Cars