How much do penalty points increase the cost of insurance?

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Penalty points and the effect on your insurance

There are a broad range of factors that could affecr the cost of your car insurance. These factors can affect your premium positively or negatively, these factors include but are not limited to, your occupation, the vehicle you drive, your claim history and, of course, your penalty points. Unfortunately, points on your licence will only affect the cost of your insurance negatively, as insurers will deem you more of a risk than someone with a clean licence.

What are penalty points?

You will receive penalty points on your licence if you are convicted of a driving offence. Not all motoring convictions have the same amount of penalty points given as punishment, the more serious the offence, the more points given. In most cases if you receive 12 penalty points within a 3-year period you will then receive a driving ban. 

What do you get penalty points for?

There are many different ways you can receive penalty points on your licence. These can range from speeding to driving with defective tyres. Below are the main examples of how you would receive points on your licence and how many points the convictions would give you. Each section has an array of different convictions within it, for example there are 5 different speeding related offences, (SP).

The full list can be found here.

(Code) - Offence Number of penalty points received
Accident Offences eg: Failing to stop after an accident (AC10) 5-10
Disqualified Driver eg: Trying to drive despite being disqualified by the court. (BA10) 6
Careless Driving eg: Driving without care and attention. (CD10) 3-9
Construction and Use offences eg: Using a vehicle with faulty brakes. (CU10) 3
Reckless Driving eg: dangerous driving (DD40) 3-11
Drink eg: Driving or trying to drive with alcohol levels above the legal limit. (DR10) 3-11
Drugs eg: Driving or trying to drive while under the influence of drugs. (DR80) 3-11
Insurance Offences eg: Driving a vehicle uninsured by third party dangers. (IN10) 6-8
Licence Offences eg: Driving after a licence has been cancelled. (LC50) 3-6
Miscellaneous offences eg: Refusing to do an eyesight test. (MS80) 3
Motorway Offences eg: Breach of special road rules. (MW10)  3
Pedestrian Crossings eg: Infringement of pedestrian crossing rules. (PC10) 3
Speed limits eg: Going over motorway speed limits. (SP40) 3-6
Traffic Direction and Signs eg: Not following traffic light signals. (TS10) 3
Theft eg: Stealing a vehicle. (UT50) 3-11

How many penalty points result in a driving ban?

It is possible to be banned from driving if you are convicted of a driving offence or receive 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years.

You can be banned from driving if you have an existing 12 or more penalty points on your licence. The ban can last 6 months if you receive 12 or more penalty points within 3 years, or 12 months if you receive a second disqualification within a 3-year time frame, and finally a 2 year ban for a third disqualification within 3 years. 

How do penalty points affect my car insurance premiums? 

When insurers are calculating a particular premium they are doing so based on risk. Prices are based on the likelihood of a claim occurring, simply put, the lower the chance of a claim, the lower the premium.

Insurers take into consideration many factors when working out the premium as there are a large number of elements which can change the risk. Some of these factors include but are not limited to, your occupation, your address, the vehicle you are driving and of course one of the biggest factors, is you. Insurers will consider how safe the driver themselves are.

If someone has been driving many years and has never been involved in a claim or received any penalty points I am sure you can guess they would be seen as a safer driver than someone who has received penalty points. This is why having penalty points can affect your premiums negatively, as you are seen as a bigger risk, and therefore more likely to be involved in a claim.

Points do not stay on your licence forever though, if you drive for a few years without incident, eventually, these points will be removed from your licence and will not need to be considered by insurers any more during a quote.  

Is there a way to lower my car insurance premiums even if I have penalty points?

Yes, as mentioned above there are many factors that determine the risk of the policy. It is obviously not feasible to change your occupation or your address just to try and bring your car insurance down but there are a couple of things you can do.

For example, if you have a garage you can make sure the vehicle stays in there overnight rather than on the road, but the easiest thing you can change is the vehicle itself. Bigger cars and those that have a more powerful engine are usually more expensive to insure, so to bring the price of your car insurance down you can opt for a cheaper car to insure, there are more details on the cheaper cars to insure here. 

So while it is true that having penalty points can affect your car insurance premiums negatively in the short term, this will not last forever, and there are ways you can keep the premiums as low as possible before the points are no longer on your licence. 

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