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Penalty points and their impact on your car insurance

Penalty points are there to keep UK roads safe and to encourage drivers to drive cautiously and courteously. Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, how they work and how they could affect your car insurance.

Penalty points are there to keep UK roads safe and to encourage drivers to drive cautiously and courteously. Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, how they work and how they could affect your car insurance.

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
24 FEBRUARY 2022
3 min read
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What are penalty points?

Penalty points, also called endorsements, are assigned to you if you commit or are convicted of a driving offence. The points will vary according to the driving offence committed.

How long will penalty points stay on my licence?

Penalty points will stay on your driving licence record for a minimum of four years. However, points for serious motoring offences can stay on your licence for up to 11 years.

What are the different types of offences and how many penalty points do they carry?

What are the different types of offences and how many penalty points do they carry?

Offence Number of penalty points
Failure to stop after an accident 5-10
Failure to report an accident within 24 hours 5-10
Driving while disqualified 6
Causing death or serious injury by driving while disqualified 3-11
Careless driving 3-9
Driving a vehicle with defects 3
Using a mobile phone while driving 3-6
Dangerous driving 3-11
Driving while under the influence 3-11
Driving without insurance 6-8
Speeding 3-6

Will my licence be taken away if I accumulate too many penalty points?

Yes, it will. If you’re assigned 12 or more penalty points over a period of three years, you will be disqualified from driving. The length of the driving ban will be decided by the courts and will depend on the circumstances surrounding the situation.

Most driver disqualifications will last less than 56 days. If yours is longer than that, you’ll need to apply for a new licence once the ban comes to an end.

If you’re a new driver, the rules are more strict. You could have your licence taken away if you get six or more penalty points within two years of passing your driving test. If this happens, you’ll need to re-do both parts of the driving test (theory and practical) to get your full licence back.

How do I check my penalty points?

You can check your penalty points on the gov.uk website.

You’ll need your driving licence number, your national insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

How do penalty points affect car insurance?

Penalty points are bad news for your car insurance premiums. Drivers with penalty points and convicted drivers will not only pay more for their car insurance, they may also struggle to find an insurance provider willing to cover them.

Here’s a breakdown of premiums based on the amount of penalty points our customers have:

Number of penalty points  Car insurance premium[1] 
0 £554.70 
3-5 £579.51 
6-8 £897.64 
9-11 £1,057.74 
12+ £1,364.05 

[1]Separating our customers by the number of penalty points in each category, 51% of our customers were quoted less than these prices for their comprehensive car insurance between February 2022 and January 2023. 

Where can I find car insurance if I have penalty points?

Compare the Market can help by generating insurance quotes from a wide range of car insurance providers in the UK. We can also connect customers with insurance providers who specialise in insuring convicted drivers and drivers with penalty points. Start a quote now.

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Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Kate Hughes - Insurance and finance expert

As an award-winning journalist, author and broadcast commentator, Kate has been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She’s the former Money Editor for The Independent. Her work has appeared across the UK broadsheets as well as a number of international titles. Kate brings her financial expertise to inform her readers on ways to save money. She’s also written a book. ‘Going Zero: One Family’s Journey to Zero Waste and a Greener Lifestyle’ is available now.

Learn more about Kate

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