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Car insurance for drink-drivers

There's no specific drink-driving car insurance policy - you should still be able to get standard car insurance even with a drink-driving conviction.

But a conviction or driving ban for drink-driving usually means your car insurance costs go up. And some providers might refuse to cover you. Although your options are limited, we're here to help you find the best policy for you at the right price.

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How much is car insurance after a drink-driving conviction?

Conviction Code Conviction Description Average quoted price*
DR20
Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink
£1,498
DR30
Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
£2,070
DR31
Driving or attempting to drive then refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity
£1,941
DR40
In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit
£1,648
DR50
In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink
£2,353
DR60
In charge of a vehicle and or refusing a specimen for Analysis
£1,627
DR61
Failure to provide a specimen for drug analysis in circumstances other than driving or Attempting to drive
£1,578
DR70
Failing to provide specimen for breath test
£1,960

The figures shown are the average quoted car insurance price for drivers with conviction codes related to drink-driving offences. Taken from our own data, the figures are only a guideline and your own quote will vary depending on your personal circumstances. These include:

  • The specific drink-driving conviction
  • Your vehicle details

As with any motoring conviction, drink-driving is likely to see your car insurance costs increase for as long as the conviction remains in place.

You're also likely to find fewer car insurance companies willing to offer you a policy due to your level of risk. That's why it's even more important to compare car insurance quotes from the insurers available to you to make sure you're getting the best deal.

If your conviction is still pending, take a look at our driving fines calculator to see how much you're likely to pay. Waiting on a specific speeding fine? Try our speeding fines calculator instead. 

*Based on confused data, average price of quotes given between October - December 2023

How long do I have to declare drink-driving convictions to my insurer?

You need to declare any drink-driving convictions to your insurance company for 5 years. Even if the conviction expires with the DVLA after 4 years, you still need to declare it with your insurer for the following year.

When you get a car insurance quote with us, we'll ask you about, 'any motoring convictions, driving licence endorsements or fixed penalty points within the last 5 years?'. You'll find this under 'Claims & convictions' in the Driver section of your quote form.

We'll need the following information from you when you complete this:

  • The motoring conviction code - for example, DR10
  • The number of points you had for the conviction
  • How much you were fined - if there was no fine, enter £0
  • If you had a driving ban and for how long
  • Were you breathalysed?
  • Was the offence related to an accident?

How do I find convictions on my licence?

You can find out about any current motoring convictions using the government website. To get this information you'll need your:

How do I get cheaper car insurance after a drink-driving conviction?

You’ll pay more after your conviction, but there are still ways to save. You can help lower your costs by:

  • Completing a drink-driving rehabilitation course
  • Shopping around and comparing quotes
  • Considering a black box insurance policy
  • Getting your estimated mileage right
  • Increasing your voluntary excess
  • Considering a pay as you go insurance policy
  • Adding an experienced named driver
  • Completing a Drink-Driving Rehabilitation Course. In certain cases, such as if your driving ban is for 12 months or more, the court may offer you the opportunity to take a drink-driving rehabilitation course. These are carried out by a range of providers such as IAM RoadSmart. This is a good opportunity to reduce the length of your driving ban by up to 25% and potentially lower what you pay for your car insurance in future. When you’re ready to get reinsured, you’ll be asked for the certificate you had on completion of the course as proof when you buy your insurance.
  • Shopping around and comparing quotes will ensure you get the best price and the right policy for your needs
  • Considering a black box insurance policy where your driving is monitored by a telematics device. Having your driving monitored by your insurance company could lower your costs if you can prove you're a safe, consistent driver.
  • Getting your estimated mileage right, as setting it too high could see you paying more than you need to. The average yearly mileage is around 6,621**, but think about the types of trips you do and how often you do them. You can check the mileage between your most recent MOTs to show your exact mileage for 12 months.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess, as the more you’re willing to pay towards the cost of a claim, the lower your costs are likely to be. Just make sure you're able to afford this amount if you do need to claim.
  • Considering a pay as you go insurance policy where you only pay per mile you drive. These telematics policies often work out cheaper than standard car insurance as long as you keep your mileage relatively low.
  • Adding an experienced named driver to share the driving. Having a safe driver with a clean licence on your policy could help lower your overall insurance risk. But make sure that whoever's doing the majority of the driving is the main policyholder.

For more tips, take a look at our guide on how to save money on your car insurance.

**Based on Confused.com data December - May 2023.

I’m currently serving a ban, do I still need car insurance?

Yes - even though you're not allowed to drive, it's a legal requirement for your car to have at least third-party car insurance while it's parked a public road.

But it's important to know while serving a ban, your licence is invalid. So if you need cover, you need a specialist policy called 'laid up' insurance, which we don't offer through our site.

The alternative is giving your car a statutory off road notification (SORN), which means you don't have to pay for car insurance or car tax on it. But you must make sure the car is kept off the road while the SORN is in place.

Once the DVLA reinstates your licence, you can:

  • Tax your car to remove the SORN
  • Shop around for a new car insurance policy

If you car has been sezied, you may need to take out a temporary policy known as impound insurance to get it back home. Once it's there, you can then either look for a a full annual policy, SORN it or extended your temporary cover. 

What do the different drink driving conviction codes mean?

The following motoring conviction codes stay on your driving licence for 11 years from date of conviction:

Code Offence No. of points
DR10
Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
3-11
DR20
Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink
3-11
DR30
Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
3-11
DR31
Driving or attempting to drive then refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity
3-11
DR61
Refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive
10

The following stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of offence. But you must still declare them to your insurer for 5 years:

Code Offence No. of points
DR40
In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit
10
DR50
In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink
10
DR60
Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive
10
DR70
Failing to provide specimen for breath test
4

What our car insurance expert says

"Fewer insurers are likely to offer you cover with a drink-driving conviction, and you pay more compared to having a clean licence. That's why it's so important to shop around, compare quotes and look for ways to reduce your price to get the best possible deal.

We can help you find the right policy for you based on your conviction code and personal circumstances."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
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