How Do Driving Convictions Affect Car Insurance?

If you’ve just been caught speeding, possibly your car insurance isn’t at the top of your mind.

But did you know a conviction could significantly increase your premium?

It’s a good thing there are ways to reduce your insurance bill even if you have a conviction. 

In this article we explain how driving offences and other convictions are recorded, how they affect your insurance, and where to find a good value insurance policy even if you don’t have a spotless record. Stay tuned!

What are the most common conviction codes?

The most common driving offence codes are SP30 and SP50 – these are the speeding codes. Almost as common is IN10 – driving without insurance and MS90 – failing to supply the identity of the driver. 

Drink driving, DR10, is actually quite low on the list, and using a mobile phone while driving (CU80) is ten times less common than the two main speeding offences.

Every type of driving offence has a driving endorsement code attached. They are all listed in our article on driving offences.

Some types of offence are simple – for instance, there is only one driving without insurance conviction code  – while other offences have a bunch of different codes. For instance, careless driving has nine different codes depending on the circumstances and consequences of the offence. 

DVLA offences codes

The driving offence codes list below isn’t exhaustive, but shows the most common DVLA conviction codes.

Offence categoryOffence codePenalty pointsFine
Speed offence on motorwaySP50 (speeding fine code)3 to 6£100 fixed penalty up to £2,500 if it goes to court
Speed offence on other roadSP303 to 6£100 fixed penaltyup to £1.000 if it goes to court
Driving without insuranceIN106 to 8£300
Failing to supply information as to the identity of the driverMS906up to £1,000
Drink drivingDR103 to 11may even involve disqualificationup to £2,500or up to 3 months sentence
Breach of pedestrian crossing regulationsPC103£100
Failing to comply with traffic light signalsTS103£100
Licence offences (eg driving after licence cancelled on medical grounds)LC20, LC30, LC400, LC503 to 6£100
Using mobile phone while drivingCU803 to 6£200
Driving without due care and attentionCD10 3 to 9£100
DVLA most common offences codes

Offences and fines

Under speeding offences, we’ve shown two levels of fine;

  1. the fixed penalty fine can be paid within 28 days of being notified of the offence by letter (for instance if you were caught by a speed camera) or on-the-spot if stopped by a police officer. 
  2. If the case goes to court, the fine could be much larger. It’s usually based on a percentage of your weekly income, with the limits shown.

You’ll note that drink driving penalties are particularly onerous and very often involve disqualification. Car insurance after a drink driving offence is also far more difficult and expensive to get than if you just have a speeding fine on your licence.

While the speeding offence code for different levels of speeding is the same, there are different bands applied depending on the severity of the offence, so the penalty points incurred can vary. 

An SP50 fine or SP30 fine can vary from £100 if you pay the fixed penalty up to £2,500, while SP30 points  can vary from 3 to 6 – in exceptional circumstances a magistrate can even order a driving ban.

The DVLA point code will be shown on your online DVLA record along with the number of penalty points.

By the way, driving without insurance (offence code IN10) is what’s called a strict liability offence; there is no excuse, so if you’re driving without insurance you will be convicted even if you thought you were insured. It’s worth checking that your insurance is valid, particularly if you’re driving someone else’s car.

Check out our article Is my car insured?

Driving without an MOT certificate and driving without tax (unless you’re taking your car to a pre-booked MOT test) won’t get you points on your licence, but they will get you fined – £80 if you pay the fixed penalty but up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

What is an SP30 driving offence?

SP30 is the code used for speeding offences committed on any road that isn’t a motorway.  

So if you’re doing 40 in a 30 zone, it’s an SP30 offence – so is doing 94 mph on a dual carriageway.

However, while there’s only one SP30 code, there are different levels of seriousness. And if the case goes to court, magistrates have discretion to impose a wide variety of fines. So if you want to know, for instance, how much is a speeding fine for doing 40 in a 30 zone, the answer is not simple. The one thing you do know, though, is that unless the police decide to offer you a second chance by sending you on a speed awareness course, you’ll get points on your licence.
Check out our articles on  speed awareness courses.

What are IN10 codes?

The codes IN10, IN12 and IN14 relate to the offence of driving an uninsured vehicle.

IN10 is the code applied if you drive an uninsured vehicle, whoever it belongs to. IN12 and IN14 relate to an offence where someone else is doing the driving, but you know they aren’t insured (or the car isn’t insured) and are letting them do it.

How long do points stay on your licence in the UK?

Motoring convictions have an expiry date. Most common offences, including speeding, stay on your licence for four years. Once they have finally been taken off your licence, you no longer have to disclose the offence to insurers.

However, drink and drug driving offences and causing death by careless driving stay on your licence for 11 years.

You can check points on a licence at www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to check your driving licence points, or if you’re lucky, the absence of points!

Is my car insurance affected if I have a conviction? 

Because insurers believe any conviction makes a driver higher risk, you’ll have to pay a higher insurance premium if you have committed an offence. 

It doesn’t matter what your crime is. Even if you have a shoplifting conviction or have been fined for dropping litter, an insurer will want to know. 

Of course if you have a driving conviction, there’s a direct link with your car insurance. If you’ve been caught speeding or been convicted of driving without due care and attention, that makes you a high risk driver – and more expensive to insure.

You may find fewer insurers want your business. You’ll pay more than a driver without convictions. But you will still be able to get insurance.

If you have a really serious conviction on your record and are struggling to find an insurer, UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders can help. And we have a table of good insurance companies for convicted drivers further down the page.

Do I need to declare my convictions when I am getting car insurance?

Insurers will always ask about motoring convictions when you’re getting new insurance, or renewing, and you must declare any unspent convictions.

If you don’t, your insurance could be invalidated. That will mean the insurer won’t pay out on any claim you make, and even worse, you’ll be committing offence IN10 by driving without valid insurance!

However, all convictions – whether for driving offences or for other crimes – have an ‘expiry date’, which varies depending on the severity of the offence. 

A conviction that still has time to run is called an ‘unspent conviction”; once it has reached its expiry date it is a ‘spent conviction’. With driving convictions, the endorsement will remain on your licence till the 4th or 11th year after the offence, and then DVLA will automatically expunge it.

Codes run from the date of conviction, which could be later than the date you committed the offence. Make sure you know which is which.

You only need to declare unspent convictions, and endorsements remaining on your licence. Even if an insurer asks you about spent convictions, or asks “have you ever had an endorsement on your licence?” if you have a clean licence right now,  you don’t need to tell them.

Remember that DVLA keeps a record of all motoring convictions and shares that information with insurance companies. If you lie about having points on your licence, you’ll be found out.

If you have been cautioned, reprimanded or given a final warning, don’t worry. None of those are convictions and you don’t have to disclose them to an insurer.

Do I need to tell my car insurance if I get points?

Technically, you might not need to declare a driving conviction when you get it, if your insurance is already running. But it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution, and fess up.

Some insurers’ policies say that you must inform them if you get a conviction during the year. You’ll need to check the terms and conditions in your policy document. Other insurers don’t say that you need to tell them. 

However, usually you’re bound to disclose “all material facts” that could affect your insurance. An insurer could refuse to pay a claim on the grounds that you didn’t disclose a conviction. So on the whole, it may be worth telling them anyway. In any case, you will need to tell your insurer at renewal time.

What happens if a named driver on my car gets a conviction?

If a named driver on your car has a conviction, you’ll need to disclose it. That will obviously put up the price of your insurance.

It can also make for a slightly difficult conversation, but you do need to address the issue before adding someone to your policy.

Remember that you have to be honest about who is the main driver – the person who drives the car most often. It’s tempting to put the person with the spotless record down as the main driver, and the one with points on their licence as a named driver. But if that’s not actually true, you’re telling fibs to the insurance company. That’s called ‘fronting’ and not only will it invalidate your insurance, it is seen as insurance fraud – which is a crime.

What are the best car insurance for convicted drivers? 

The best insurance for you will depend on the seriousness of the offence. The table below shows insurers who offer good cover for those with three points on their licence.

Standard insurers’ comparison for convicted drivers

Table showing annual premiums

InsurerClean licenceThree points
logo admiral£1262.24£1712.48
logo admiral little box£1036.00£1403.36
logo brightside£2497.87£2615.70
logo diamond£1288.00£1749.44
logo elephant£1275.68£1730.40
ford insure logo£1302.56£1768.48
logo general accident£1613.56£2261.32
logo go girl£2532.32£3273.76
logo hastings direct£2072.73£3461.85
logo hastings essential£1936.10£3243.70
Insurance premiums for clean and convicted drivers comparison

Those quotes are for a 35 years old driver in a mid-size car, living in the area of London and choosing a fully comp policy.

Some of the high volume car insurers don’t want to insure convicted drivers, or quote very high rates. That’s particularly the case for drivers who have committed more serious driving offences such as drink driving, or who have totted up two or three different minor offences. 

Car insurance with a drink driving conviction is particularly difficult to get, though taking a rehabilitation course may help you. But there are a number of specialist insurers who will help convicted drivers to get insured. A CD10 conviction might also mean you’re better off with a specialist insurer.

Companies specialized in insuring convicted drivers

If you have a criminal conviction or a serious motoring conviction (eg drink driving) then a number of specialised insurers can help you find the right quote. We’ve shown them in the table below.

InsurerComment
logo think insuranceSpecialist in young driver insurance and convicted driver insurance
logo reform cover 1Specialist in helping get convicted drivers back on the road
logo insurance revolution 1Specialist in serious driving convictions
adrian flux logoLarge insurance business with special niche in convicted driver insurance
Insurers specialized in convicted drivers policies

It’s also worth knowing that some insurance companies don’t ask about convictions other than driving convictions These include:

  • Churchill,
  • Co-Operative Insurance,
  • Direct Line,
  • LV=, and
  • Privilege.

Can I insure my car if I am disqualified?

No. You need a valid driving licence to be able to insure your car. 

However, your car still needs to be insured if it is parked on the road. You’ll need to park it on your own property, or in long term storage, and make a SORN declaration. Then it won’t need to be taxed or insured. Once you get your licence back, you’ll need to tax and insure it before you can drive it again.

Can I insure my car if I am temporarily banned? 

You will need to inform your insurer immediately. They may revoke your insurance.

You’ll have to make sure your car is in storage and make a SORN declaration until you get your licence back.

If you’re going to court and think you might get a ban, then it’s wise to make sure your car is parked securely off-road first.

Is not being insured a driving conviction?

Driving without third party insurance is a criminal offence leading to points on your licence, and is referred to by the IN10 DVLA code. 

Remember that even if you have car insurance for your own car, it doesn’t automatically give you the right to drive other cars. Allowing someone to drive your car who is not insured to drive it (ie not a named driver, and doesn’t have their own insurance to cover them for driving any car) is also an offence. Always check before you lend or borrow a car!

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