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Top 10 motoring convictions

Policeman giving driver roadside sobriety testExclusive research by Confused.com reveals the 10 most common motoring convictions – and how breaking the law can cost you hundreds of pounds when renewing your car insurance.

Speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel and drink-driving top the list of motoring offences most regularly committed on UK roads.

But as well as a conviction, points on your licence and a fine, falling foul of the law while driving could also add hundreds of pounds to your car insurance premiums, as our research shows.

The cost of a motoring conviction

The figures in the table below are based on a test quote we ran for a 30-year-old female marketing manager living in Cardiff and driving a 2003 Mini Cooper.

With an annual mileage of 6,000, five years' no-claims discount, and the car parked on a driveway when not in use, she would pay £682 a year for cover.

Top 10 motoring convictions

% increase in car insurance premium after conviction

How much car insurance increased by after conviction

1. SP30 - Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road

34%

£231

2. CU80 - Use of a hand-held device whilst driving

49%

£337

3. TS10 - Failing to comply with traffic light signals

24%

£162

4. SP50 - Exceeding speed limit on a motorway

34%

£231

5. IN10 - Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks

131%

£896

6. DR10 - Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit

115%

£782

7. CD10 - Driving without due care and attention

51%

£346

8. LC20 - Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence

49%

£331

9. CU30 - Using a vehicle with defective tyre

69%

£471

10. SP40 - Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit

34%

£231


This table is based on customers who obtained a car insurance quote from Confused.com between October and December 2012, with motoring convictions in the last five years prior to the date of the quote.

Factors affecting your car insurance cost

Now, the actual cost of a motoring conviction on car insurance costs will vary depending on the individual driver.

Why? Well, there are a number of factors car insurers take into account when calculating your motor insurance premium.

This includes the car you drive, where you live, your age and driving history, and your annual mileage, among other things.

But Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com, says: "Any conviction will likely cause a change in the cost of car insurance.

"Our advice is simple: drive carefully and be mindful of the rules of the road."

The cost of fines

As well as a conviction affecting car insurance costs, fines for various driving offences will also leave drivers feeling the pinch.

When it comes to speeding, for example, drivers face a fine of up to £1,200.

Driving without insurance also come with hefty penalties.

First-time offenders may receive six points on their licence and a fine of £180, but the penalties can be far more serious depending on the incident.

But in the worst cases this can result in a complete ban and fines of up to £5,000.

Take care of your tyres

One of the less obvious motoring convictions is driving with defective tyres.

But according to tyre-safety organisation Tyresafe, drivers can face fines of up to £10,000 if convicted of this offence.

One defective or bald tyre could see drivers hit with a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points on their licence, and up to £5,000 and six points for two defective tyres.

If all four tyres were defective, the maximum fine could be as much as £10,000 with a whopping 12 penalty points.

The cost of non-disclosure

Kloet urges drivers looking to cut motoring costs to resist the temptation to simply not disclose a motoring conviction when shopping around for cheap car insurance.

He explains: "If you don't disclose a conviction and you make a claim on your policy, your insurance company could refuse to pay the claim.

"Alternatively, they could make an additional charge for the conviction and won't authorise the claim until the charge is paid.

"How big an impact a conviction will have on the cost of your insurance depends on a number of factors, including insurance companies' conviction policies, the type of conviction, the car you drive and your age.

"Make sure you shop around on a price comparison site like Confused.com to ensure you get the best price."

Read motoring lawyer Jeanette Miller's exclusive blog for Confused.com on the impact of a motoring conviction on her car insurance policy.

What do you think?

Have you seen the price of cover rise after a motoring offence? Do you think this is fair?

We want to hear from you! You can share your views on the message board below.

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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick reports on all things personal finance at Confused.com. She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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