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The Ultimate Guide to Penalty Points and Your Car Insurance



The Ultimate Guide to Penalty Points and Your Car Insurance

Penalty points can stop you getting the cheapest car insurance quotes, but why, and what can you do about it?

Here, comparison site, take a look at how it works and how it can affect the cost of car cover.

How do you get penalty points?

If you commit driving offences, you’ll be given penalty points which stay on your licence for either four or 11 years.

The number of points you’ll get will depend on the specific offence. Some correspond to a fixed number of points whereas others are based on a sliding scale.

For example, using a vehicle with defective tyres carries three penalty points, but dangerous driving can mean you get between three and 11 penalty points. Needless to say, the more serious the incident, the more points you’re likely to get.

What does ‘endorse’ mean in penalty points?

Endorse is an official term that simply describes the process of putting the penalty points on your licence. It’s also why points are sometimes referred to as endorsements.

If you end up with more than 12 penalty points (or endorsements) within three years, you can be banned from driving.

If you’re a new driver, the threshold for disqualification is much lower. You only need six points within two years of passing your test to end up disqualified.

Why do penalty points affect your car insurance?

Penalty points suggest that you’re a risky driver. For insurers it serves as a red flag and increases your risk profile.

The implication is that there’s a greater chance of you being involved in an incident and making a claim, which is reflected in your premium.

But while some mainstream insurers will cover you for a higher premium, others might not be willing to. Depending on your circumstances, you might need to consider a specialist provider instead.

What are the most common driving offences?

Unsurprisingly, some of the most common offences are the ones that many of us do without even realising, for example, speeding or not following road regulations. Other common offences include:

  • Careless driving (between 3-9 points)
  • Using a mobile phone (between 3-6 points)
  • Drink driving (between 3-11 points)
  • Driving without insurance (between 6-8 points)

You can see a full list of driving offences and their corresponding penalty points at GOV.UK.

How do I get cheap car insurance with penalty points on my licence?

If you’ve got penalty points, you can expect to pay higher than average premiums. Most insurers will also ask whether you have any points or convictions directly so it’s not something you can really avoid.

If you don’t tell your insurer, it counts as non-disclosure which can invalidate your policy. It means that your insurer can refuse to pay out if you need to make a claim.

However, the cost of car cover shouldn’t stop you from getting a policy; here are some ways to keep costs down:

  • Pay for your policy in one lump sum – although it’s a lot of money upfront, it means you’ll avoid monthly interest fees.
  • Consider a telematics policy – these policies monitor the way you drive and reward good driving with lower premiums.
  • Add a named driver – from an insurance viewpoint, adding a more experienced, conviction-free driver means you’ll be spending less time behind the wheel which reduces the risk of an incident and claim.
  • Increase your excess – whatever figure you settle on, remember to make it affordable because unless you pay it, you won’t be able to proceed with a claim.
  • Consider all policy types – although it sounds like a contradiction, comprehensive insurance can often be the cheapest option, rather than third party only.
  • Compare quotes – this is the quickest and easiest way to find the most competitive deals on the market. At, you can compare leading UK insurers in just a few minutes, so why not start now and see how much you could save. Alternatively, you can speak to an expert on 0330 022 8812.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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