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Drink driving car insurance

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What do I need to know about car insurance for drink drivers?

If you’ve been convicted of drink-driving and you’ve come to the end of your driving ban, you might be thinking about getting back on the road.

But you might find that some car insurance providers don’t cover convicted drink drivers. And others might only offer you cover at a much higher price than you paid before your ban.

This can make it tricky to find car insurance.

At Confused.com, we'll help you compare quotes from a range of insurers who may be willing to cover you.

This way you're able to find the right cover for you, at the right price.

But before you start looking, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

You have to tell your insurer about any drink-driving convictions you have for 5 years after the offence. After 5 years the conviction is considered ‘spent’, so you don’t have to declare it to your insurer. The conviction stays on your licence for 11 years.

You’re likely to pay more than you did before your drink driving conviction, as insurers now see you as a higher risk. We’ll show you our best car insurance prices, but they’re still likely to be higher than what you’re used to.

For a better idea of how car insurance for convicted drivers works, see our guide.

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How could I get cheaper drink driving car insurance?

There are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of car insurance if you're a convicted drink driver:

Get a car in a lower car insurance group, as the group your car sits in affects how much you pay for cover. Switching to a car in a lower group could help offset some of the costs of your driving conviction.

Consider black box insurance where your driving is monitored by a box, plug-in device or mobile app in your car. These can often work out cheaper than standard car insurance policies.

Get your estimated mileage right, as setting it too high could see you paying more for your cover than you need to.

Increase your voluntary excess, as the more you’re willing to pay towards the cost of a claim, the lower your cover is likely to be. Just make sure you're able to afford it if you do need to claim.

Try pay as you go insurance where you pay per mile you drive. These telematics policies often work out cheaper than normal car insurance, as long as you keep your mileage relatively low.

Take a look at our guide on how to save money on your car insurance for more helpful tips.

What do I need to get a drink driving insurance quote?

The following information will make it easier to get an accurate quote:

Personal details:
  • Your job and the industry it's in
  • Any points on your licence
  • Your drink driving conviction codes
  • Details of previous claims or accidents from the last 5 years
  • Additional drivers you want to insure, including their licence number and claims history
  • Your driving licence number, as some insurers offer better prices if they know this
Car details:
  • The registration number is useful but not essential
  • The make, model and year of manufacture of your car
  • Any modifications to your car
  • Your estimated annual mileage

If you’ve used us before, you can get a quote quicker by logging in and reviewing your details. Just make sure all your details are up to date, and any new convictions are included.

Failing to fully disclose any points or convictions could invalidate your policy and lead to issues should you need to claim.

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What are the drink-drive alcohol limits in the UK?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you’re considered over the limit if you have over:

  • 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (the blood limit)
  • 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath (the breath limit)
  • 107mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine (the urine limit)

In Scotland, these limits are lower and more in line with other European countries:

  • 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (the blood limit)
  • 22mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath (the breath limit)
  • 67mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine (the urine limit)

How alcohol affects you can vary according to your sex, weight and metabolism. Take a look at our alcohol units calculator for an idea of just how much.

If you know you're going to drink, it’s best not to drive at all.

No insurance company will pay out for a claim that's the result of the insured driver being over the legal drink-drive limit.

Drugs, including legal medication, can also have an impact on your driving ability.

Find out more about drug-driving and the law here.

Drink driving conviction codes

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 date of offence, but are still declarable 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

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Why choose Confused.com?

Even if you're a convicted drink-driver you can still compare a wide range of insurance providers.

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  • We'll do the hard work for you, all you need to do is add in your details, information about your car, driving history and convictions and we’ll do the rest.
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What our car insurance expert says

Having a conviction on your licence will hike up your car insurance prices, and some insurers may not offer you a price at all. But we’ll quickly show you the insurance companies who will offer you cover. It may be expensive at first, but over time your car insurance prices might start to come down.
Alex Kindred car insurance expert signature

Alex Kindred

Car insurance expert

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 109241 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 21/07/22). Read our reviews