Recent Department for Transport data shows there are currently 2,711,493 motorists in Great Britain with penalty points on their licence –That’s 6.65 percent of the total driving population!
But what does it really cost you to have penalty points on your driving licence?
Well, the obvious cost is your motor insurance. If you already have penalty points on your driving licence or have recently been convicted of a driving offence, you are legally obliged to tell your existing insurer and you also must declare this when buying a new motor insurance policy. Failure to do so, or withholding this information in order to obtain a cheaper policy, could lead to your insurance becoming invalid due to non-disclosure, which in turn, could lead to you receiving even more penalty points or even prosecution for driving an uninsured vehicle.
The likelihood is that there would be an increase in the cost of your policy, however, this would be less than finding yourself involved in an accident with invalid insurance!
Driving offences such as speeding are very likely to increase the cost of your motor insurance, and the more serious the offence (drink driving or dangerous driving for example), the higher the increase is likely to be! This is because claim statistics show that people with penalty points have more driving incidents and are therefore are more likely to make a claim.
So are there ways to get cheaper car insurance with points on your licence?
Driving safely is the easiest way to avoid getting any penalty points in the first place, but should you already have driving convictions, there are a few ways that you can help mitigate the cost of points on your licence:
- Using a specialist insurance broker for motorists with driving convictions can help you to find more competitive quotes.
- Improve your driving by using telematics. ‘Black Box’ insurance uses a device installed in the car to measure your driving. This can not only help to cut the cost of your insurance but can help you to become a safer driver which far outweighs any financial saving.
- Up the security on your car. If your car is fitted with an immobiliser and approved alarm, it may help reduce the cost of your policy.
- Increasing your voluntary excess would usually help to reduce your premium, however, you need to bear in mind affordability as you will have to pay this upfront in the event of a claim. There will usually be a cost for compulsory excess too so you need to make sure you can afford the combined cost of both.
If your insurer asks if you have any unspent motoring convictions (normally if you have had any penalty points in the past 5 years) you must always answer this honestly.
Will a speed awareness course affect my insurance?
This is a question often asked by motorists and there is some confusion around whether a speed awareness course has the same impact on your insurance as penalty points. The answer is that it is unlikely that attending a speed awareness course will have a major impact on your car insurance, however, every insurer has its own criteria so you do need to check with your provider. A speed awareness course is NOT a driving conviction, however, some insurers may ask specifically if you have attended a speed awareness course, therefore you would need to answer this truthfully.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid the financial impact of penalty points on your licence is to drive safely at all times!
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