1-minute guide to Car Insurance with penalty points


Car insurance with penalty points

Penalty points can have a drastic impact on your insurance

You MUST declare all penalty points to your insurer as soon as you get them. If you don’t, your insurance could be invalid

Penalty points are now VERY likely to increase your car insurance premiums.

You can still find a good deal on your car insurance so DO NOT be tempted to auto renew

Need to know

  • Insurers are now starting to punish even first time offenders with 3 points. Some may increase your premium immediately whereas others will wait until renewal.
  • You must declare the TYPE of conviction that you have received as insurers think that this has a bearing on your likelihood to make a claim. Drink driving will have a bigger premium increase than a low level speeding offence.


If you have penalty points, to get the best deal on your car insurance you should take 4 steps.

  • Go to a comparison site. It takes less than 10 minutes to search each one. When you declare your points, don’t be alarmed if you are directed to a page called Convicted Drivers Insurance as this title can refer to even the smallest speeding offence. To get the best deal you should compare the MAIN 4 comparison sites to cover 90% of the market
  • Play around with the variables to try and decrease your quote even further. We have done it and found that the savings can be HUGE!
  • Go direct to talk through your convictions to see if you can decrease their quote
  • Make your decision and transact!

Play with the variables

  • No claims bonus – This is THE BIG ONE. The longer you have gone without making a claim, the lower your premium. In a lot of cases, no claims of 5 years or above could lower your premium by 60 to 70%!(1) You will find your current no claims bonus on your insurance certificate
  • Excess – Raising your excess by a couple of hundred pounds can cut your premium by up to 20%(2). However, you will have to pay this amount at short notice if an accident happens so please make sure you can really afford it
  • Security – don’t forget to mention any alarm you have, this lowered our premium on average by about 5%(3)
  • Your job title – your job can add HUNDREDS to your premium. Choose different titles that apply to you (but do not lie) and see if the premium changes. E.G. Don’t put unemployed if you are a housewife / househusband
  • Estimating mileage – do not pay more for mileage than you have to. Driving less than 12,000 miles a year can lower your premium by up to 10%(4). Don’t be tempted to lie to get cheaper insurance, just try and be more accurate
  • Adding an additional older driver – It can make the policy cheaper, but they must legitimately be driving the car. In our test even a younger additional driver made the policy cheaper more often then not.

The inside track

  • Check how long the endorsement stays on your licence for as some convictions can be removed from your licence after four years. However, many insurers will still ask you to declare any previous convictions, even if they are no longer appear on your licence
  • Despite being illegal, a lot of people still use their mobile phone whilst driving. In most accidents, the police run a check immediately to see if a mobile phone was in use at the time so you WILL be found out
  • Never get someone else to take your penalty points for you as this is perverting the course of justice and therefore a criminal offence
  • Under the New Drivers Act, if you receive six penalty points within the first two years of passing your test then you will automatically lose your licence
  • To cut your premium costs you could consider switching to a car rated in a lower group. For details of your car rating you can go to the Thatcham website
  • Pay your premiums annually. It can be convenient to spread your payments over monthly installments, but it is almost always more expensive because firms charge an additional admin fee
  • Try to make a one-off payment each year and it could save 10%!(5) On the downside though, if you cancel the policy mid way through the year, you may only get a percentage of the remaining premium refunded back
  • Don’t panic if you do not have a garage to park in. We found that parking on a driveway was just as good and didn’t increase the premium
  • Whilst we would encourage all new and young drivers to take the Driving Standards Agency’s Pass Plus course, we did not find that it made a difference to premiums when using a comparison site. In this case, it is probably worthwhile to make a phone call
  • Do not assume that third party insurance will be considerably cheaper than fully comprehensive. It probably won’t be and doesn’t give you as much cover
  • Ask yourself whether you really need those extras being offered to you. For example, is it really necessary to have a courtesy car while yours is being repaired? Anything you add on to your policy will show up in your premium





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Sarah Willingham
Sarah Willingham is a serial entrepreneur, business investor and leading consumer expert. She has received a number of accolades for her contribution to business including The Sunday Times 500 Most Influential People in Britain 2016, The Times 35 Most Successful Women Under 35, Business Weekly’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Courvoisier Top 500 and an entry into the Who’s Who of British Business Leaders. She holds three business degrees including an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, where she is also an advisory board member.