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Convicted driver insurance

If you’re looking for insurance but have a driving or criminal conviction, there are options available but they’re likely to be limited and cost more. Your choices depend on the type of conviction and often whether it's spent.

We're here to help you compare quotes and get insurance - we work with lots of providers who are experienced in getting cover for people who've had challenging circumstances.

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Can you get car insurance with a conviction?

Generally yes, but convicted drivers often find it difficult to get a competitive deal.

You can find any convictions, including drink-driving on your DVLA or criminal record. Whether either will affect you getting insurance depends on:

  • The type of conviction
  • Whether it’s spent or unspent
  • Your personal circumstances

Some car insurance providers may decide not to cover you at all as they may not want to take the risk. If none of our providers can offer you a quote, there are specialist insurers in the market who might be able to help. But be aware, car insurance costs post-conviction are almost certainly higher.

If your conviciton is still pending, take a look at our driving fines calculator to see how much you may have to pay in fines. Or, for a more specific look at the fines speeding convictions carry, try our speeding fines calculator

Do you have to declare spent convictions when you get a car insurance quote?

Only if it’s a conviction that's happened within the last 5 years. Once a conviction has passed a certain amount of time – normally called the ‘rehabilitation period’ – a conviction is ‘spent’. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) suggests the individual should be treated as though the offences never happened if the conviction is spent.

When your conviction is ‘spent’ you don't have to disclose it when you get a quote and buy a policy. The only exception is for any prison sentence that lasts more than 4 years.

Unspent convictions are convictions, final warnings, and/or reprimands from the Police National Computer (PNC) that have not passed a specific amount of time. If you’re getting car insurance, you should disclose any unspent convictions. An unspent conviction should appear on all criminal record checks – basic, standard and enhanced.

All recordable offences against you stay on the Police National Computer until you reach 100 years of age.

Do you have to declare driving convictions?

Yes, all insurance companies have to know about all driving convictions within a 5-year period, whether they’re spent or unspent. When you get a quote, you’ll need to tell us:

  • The date the conviction happened
  • The conviction code
  • Number of points given for the conviction (if any)
  • Driving fine amount (if any)
  • Length of driving ban (if any)
  • Whether the driver was breathalysed
  • Whether the offence was related to an accident.

If you don’t declare a conviction, you’re at risk of having your policy cancelled and invalidated. This means if there are any claims outstanding, you’d be responsible for paying for those costs.

Remember:

  • Many accident offences stay on your driving record for 4 years.
  • Driving or attempting to drive when over the alcohol limit stays on your record for 11 years. The courts take a similarly strong line with drug-related offences.
  • You may be completely disqualified from driving if you get 12 or more penalty points within 3 years.

If you drive for work, your employer can check your record via the DVLA Shared Driving Licence Scheme. They shouldn't be able to see any offences already spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

How long does a driving conviction affect your insurance?

You need to tell your insurer about any convictions that have happened within the last 5 years. As a result, this is how long it could affect your insurance costs, unless a conviction is still unspent after this period.

All motoring convictions have a set period in which they're active. This usually ranges between 4 and 11 years. Once they're spent they shouldn't affect your insurance price or getting covered.

How much is car insurance with a driving conviction?

According to our data, the most common driving convictions and the average quoted insurance price for a driver including them on their record are:

Conviction code Average price*
SP30 - Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road
£2,540
SP50 - Exceeding speed limit on a motorway
£1,113
IN10 - Driving without insurance
£1,324
DR10 - Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
£2,258
CU80 - Use of a hand held device whilst driving
£1,467

*Based on Confused.com median average quote data, October - December 2023

How can you keep car insurance costs down with a conviction?

Looking at your motoring needs and making some changes could lead to a saving. Here are our top tips:

  • Shop around for the best quote.
  • Book an advanced driving course. If you’ve got a conviction, some insurers might see you as less of a risk if you take extra training.
  • Avoid car modifications. Modified vehicles could increase your car insurance prices.
  • Limit your annual miles. The fewer miles you cover, the less risk you could be to your insurer.
  • Increase your voluntary excess. You can set your voluntary excess between between £0 and £1000. You can’t change the compulsory excess but you can change this voluntary amount. Make sure you're able to afford this amount, though.
  • Change your car. A less powerful and safe car or a vehicle with better security will likely be a cheaper car to insure.
  • Consider black box or telematics policies. Some insurers might include telematics otherwise known as ‘black boxes’ as a condition for getting a policy with them. These can also offer a discount and be cheaper than normal policies.
  • Build up your no-claims bonus. It might not be instant, but the longer you drive without a claim the cheaper your insurance becomes each year.

You can find more ways to save with our tips on how to get cheaper car insurance.

What our car insurance expert says

"Don’t be disheartened if you're having trouble finding insurance with a criminal or driving conviction - many of the insurers we compare have lengthy experience in helping convicted drivers. Like any insurance quote, it’s all down to individual circumstances, so the best way is to get a quote to see what your options are.

You might find your costs are higher, but there are lots of ways to bring the cost down and save a bit of extra money."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
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