Compare convicted driver car insurance

If you’ve been convicted of a criminal offence, it can make car insurance difficult to find and it might be more expensive. It doesn’t have to be impossible though. Compare car insurance with us and we’ll help you find cover that you can afford.

If you’ve been convicted of a criminal offence, it can make car insurance difficult to find and it might be more expensive. It doesn’t have to be impossible though. Compare car insurance with us and we’ll help you find cover that you can afford.

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 19 NOVEMBER 2021

How does a criminal conviction affect my car insurance?

Any kind of criminal conviction will almost certainly affect the cost of your car insurance. This is because insurance providers see drivers with criminal convictions as high risk so they charge you more for your premium. 

If you’re finding it difficult to get car insurance from regular insurance providers as a convicted driver, there are specialist providers who should be able to help you find an affordable policy. 

Insurance for drivers with a drink driving conviction: if you’ve received a DR10 penalty, you’ll likely notice an increase in car insurance premiums and many insurance providers could refuse to insure you. Those who opt to take the risk may up your premium, as well as your voluntary excess. 

Insurance for banned drivers: you may struggle to find insurance providers willing to insure you if you’ve had a driving ban in the past. Any car insurance quotes you receive are likely to be significantly more expensive. 

Car insurance for drivers with points: if you have penalty points on your licence, you can expect to pay higher premiums for your car insurance. However, the premiums probably won’t be quite as high as those paid by drivers who have convictions.

Do I need to declare criminal convictions?

You only need to give details about unspent convictions to a car insurance provider. Convictions considered ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 do not have to be disclosed. 

Criminal convictions become spent after a specified amount of time – the amount of time depends on the sentence you were given and how old you were when you were convicted.

For example, if you were sentenced to fewer than six months in prison, your conviction might become spent two years after the end of your sentence. However, if you were given a sentence of more than four years, your conviction will always be considered unspent.

Cautions, reprimands and final warnings are spent immediately and do not have to be disclosed.

If you’re unsure whether your conviction is spent, you can check its status online

If you don’t tell your insurance provider about any unspent convictions (driving related or not), it could make your car insurance invalid. That means if you make a claim, your provider might not pay out, leaving you with a potentially very large bill to pay. You might also find it even more difficult to get insurance in the future. It’s not worth lying to your insurance provider and it could cost you a lot more down the line when they find out.

Do I need to tell my insurance provider if I’m convicted while I have car insurance?

If you’re convicted of an offence while you have car insurance, you might not have to declare it to your insurance provider until it’s time to renew your policy, unless the terms and conditions of your insurance state otherwise. Check the small print and make sure you know exactly what your provider expects.

What can I do if my insurance provider refuses to pay a claim?

If your provider refuses to pay a claim on the basis of non-disclosure or misrepresentation, you’d need to register a complaint with your provider first. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can then complain to the free Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) after eight weeks has passed.

Non-disclosure is failing to provide information when asked for it. It’s always best to be upfront and honest.

Misrepresentation is when you give your insurance provider information that isn’t accurate. For example, if you lie about what your conviction was for.

How can I get cheaper convicted driver car insurance?

There are various things that could help to lower the cost of your premium. For example, you might want to consider:  

  • Applying for a telematics insurance policy. Telematics insurance, also known as black box insurance, uses technology that allows an insurance provider to track your driving. The better and safer you drive, the lower your car insurance premiums could be.   
  • Increasing your voluntary excess. A higher voluntary excess means you’ll pay a specified amount on top of the compulsory access, if you need to make a claim. A higher voluntary excess can sometimes lower your car insurance premium. 
  • Restricting your mileage. As far as insurance providers are concerned, the more often you drive, the higher your risk of getting into a car accident. If you drive less, you’re likely to pay less for your car insurance.  
  • Maximise vehicle security. By investing in some new car security features that could reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen, an alarm or an immobiliser for example, you could see a slight decrease in your premiums. 

When the time comes to renew your car insurance, compare deals with us to make sure you get a great deal to suit your needs. There are lots of policies on the market so never settle for the first one you see – comparing is the best way to find an affordable policy that works for you. 

How can I get car insurance if I have a criminal conviction?

Finding car insurance if you have a criminal conviction, whether it’s related to driving or not, can be tricky. It’s not impossible though and you don’t have to stick with an expensive policy just because of your past. A good place to start is our car insurance comparison service.

We’ll ask you for your details and you’ll need to declare any unspent criminal convictions when asked. Based on the information you provide, we’ll show you a list of appropriate quotes. However, you may find you’re restricted by the amount of policies on offer.

If you’re still finding it difficult to get car insurance, there are specialist providers and brokers. Unlock, a charity that provides support for people with convictions, has a list of specialist insurance brokers that may be able to help you. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) can also help.

What is Continuous Insurance Enforcement?

Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to drive without insurance.

Continuous Insurance Enforcement became official in 2011 and is focused on cracking down on uninsured vehicles on the roads.

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) compares the DVLA driver and vehicle record database against the records from the Motor Insurance Database (MID) on a regular basis.

If the authorities have reason to believe that you’re the owner of an uninsured vehicle which hasn’t been registered as ‘off the road’ (SORN), you’ll be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter prompting you to take action.

If you ignore the letter, it’s highly likely you’ll get a fixed penalty of £100, and you could face a hefty fine of up to £5,000 if the case goes to court. The uninsured vehicle itself could also be clamped, seized, or even destroyed.

An uninsured vehicle could lead to an automatic endorsement of your licence, along with up to eight penalty points. This will probably make it very difficult for you to get affordable car insurance in the future.

What is the National Driving Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS)?

In some parts of the UK, some convicted drivers may have the option of taking a training course instead of being prosecuted. The courses are focused on helping convicted motorists become better drivers. You usually have to pay for one of these courses, but it also means you won’t be prosecuted and could avoid points on your licence.

The course that you take will depend on your conviction or driving offence. They include: 

  • Safe and Considerate Driving Course. This course is recommended for drivers who have caused an accident as a result of careless or inconsiderate driving.
  • National Speed Awareness Course. This course is for drivers who have been caught speeding.
  • National RIDE Course. Aimed directly at motorcyclists who have committed a driving offence.
  • What's Driving Us? Course - non collision. This course is for drivers who have committed a number of different types of offences.

What are my options if I am refused cover?

If, despite your best efforts, you’re unable to find an insurance provider willing to provide you with car insurance, you still have some options. It’s never worth lying or driving without insurance. 

You may need to go in search of a specialist insurance provider that focuses solely on car insurance for convicted drivers. 

A good place to start is by getting in touch with Unlock (the National Association of Reformed Offenders). They can supply you with a comprehensive list of the different brokers that specialise in convicted driver insurance, plus information on which brokers may accept which convictions.

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