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A guide to driving offencesBack

DrivingOffencesMost drivers are aware of driving offences such as failing to stick to speed limits or using a mobile phone behind the wheel, but there are a surprising amount of motoring penalties that many motorists may not be aware of. Below, we have outlined a brief guide for motorists on driving offences.

The facts

If you break the law in a vehicle and are caught, the police are within their rights to issue you with a driving conviction. Driving convictions can have a direct effect on your car insurance premium, and will be taken into account when your next quote is calculated. A motoring conviction will also tell insurers you are a greater risk on the roads, meaning your quote will more than likely increase.

How will an offence effect the cost of my premium?

How much your premium will go up will depend on a number of factors. Some of the key factors include a particular insurance companies’ conviction policies, the type of conviction you have been issued, the type of vehicle you are driving and your current age.

How are driving offences assessed?

Insurance companies will assess convictions differently, but in general, offences such as drink driving will be treated more severely than a single speeding fine, and will result in a significant rise in your premium.

Licence points

Some offences will result in a series of points being added to your licence. The amount of points you receive will depend on the type of offence committed. The offence will also determine how long the points will remain on your licence, which could be anything from 4 years for offences such as speeding or dangerous driving and up to 11 years for serious motoring offences such as drink or drug driving.

PointsPrevious offences

Most insurance companies will request details from you of any previous driving convictions you’ve received in the past 5 years. It’s illegal to withhold the information as this could affect any future claims. For example, if you’ve not disclosed a conviction and you then make a claim on your policy, the claim could become invalid and your insurance company may be within their rights to refuse to pay out any money. Furthermore, non-disclosure or mistakes on your licence can stay on your record for life and affect any further insurance applications.

Speed awareness

Getting caught speeding is a very common offense, and in recent years, the Government has introduced speed awareness courses in a bid to educate drivers. The National Speed Awareness Scheme course is an alternative offered to some drivers based on the circumstances surrounding the type of speeding offence committed. The course serves as an alternative to receiving a fine and penalty points on your licence. However, insurers are still within their rights to take a speeding offence into account when calculating your premium, even if you’ve attended a course.

Finding a premium post-conviction

It will no doubt be harder to find a suitable insurance policy if you have a serious motoring conviction, but it is still possible if you shop around to find out which policies suit your particular driving history and current circumstances

Non-endorsable offences

A non-endorsable offence is an offence which is not included on your paper counterpart driving licence.No penalty points are attributed to these offences but they do carry a period of disqualification.

There are many different types of driving conviction; to familiarise yourself with the conviction codes and penalty points issued click here.

Posted by Leana Kell on 20/03/2015