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How do penalty points affect your insurance?

conviction codes

Motoring conviction codes, fixed penalty notices and endorsements. These are lots of different words which mean the same thing:  penalty points on your driving licence.

Our data shows that 198,752 UK full driving licence holders faced driving convictions in 2021.

Sometimes the convictions are caused by drivers no knowing their SP30s (exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road) from their SP50s (exceeding speed limit on a motorway).

Thankfully, we have the lowdown on penalty points and car insurance.

Do all penalty points affect insurance?

Yes, all penalty points can potentially increase your insurance premium.

When getting a car insurance quote you must be honest about any previous claims or motoring offences as it could affect your cover. The actual impact depends on how old the conviction is and the number of points the you have.

We list some examples of how your driving offences can impact other car costs below. Figures only apply to new customers getting a quote from Admiral.

How much do motoring conviction codes affect your car insurance by?

As an example, committing a mobile phone offence can lead to six points on your licence and a £200 fine. However, your insurance will also get more expensive. Premiums could increase by up to 86%, meaning you could be paying nearly twice the price.

With a CU80 conviction (breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, like using a mobile phone), the average increase is 42% for three points but could be 72% and higher for more than 3 points. The average for six points is 55% but could be as high as 86%.

Recent convictions for speeding see an average premium increase of 23% with three points.

For someone with multiple convictions or someone who receives seven or more points, the maximum increase could be as much as 75%.

A member of Admiral's Pricing team said:

"Our claims statistics have proven that customers with penalty points and motoring offences in the last five years, have more driving incidents and make more claims. This is why we need to know about them before offering a quote."

How much are the increases for the most common driving offences?

Average Increase (%)

Conviction code 3 points 6 points 9 points
SP30 23% 45% 68%
SP10 23% 46% 70%
SP50 23% 45% 68%
CU80 42% 55% 135%

Do men have more penalty points than women?

Yes. Penalty points are a major reason why men have more expensive insurance than women on average.

You can see the difference with the below data.

 

The five most common motoring convictions for men:

Conviction code Total
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 96,569
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 25,549
SP10 Speeding in a goods vehicle 3714
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit 2944
CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc 2558

 

The five most common motoring convictions for women:

Conviction code Total
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 45,509
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 8749
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit 944
CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc 654
SP20 Exceeding the speed limit in a vehicle that is not a goods or passenger vehicle 431

How are penalty points issued?

The police are responsible for handing out penalty points to drivers, but how you get the points depends on the offence.

Speeding penalty points, for example, could come from a fixed camera, a parked speed van, an officer with a speed gun or you may just be pulled over by a police officer.

You may be given a verbal warning if you're pulled over, or potentially an on-the-spot fine and an endorsement if you have your licence with you.

If you don't, you'll be required to produce your licence to the police within seven days to have the points added.

If you're caught speeding by a camera, you'll be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) which will explain the offence. You'll need to reply within 28 days, sending back the name and details of the person driving at the time.

How long do penalty points last on your driving licence?

Most types of penalty points, things like SP30s (speeding on a public road) and CU80s (using your mobile phone) are on the licence for four years.

We ask for convictions in the last five years. This comes from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act as the time frame for when an endorsement to the driving licence becomes spent. That’s why there can be a disparity between how long an endorsement appears on the licence and how long we ask for.

SP30s and CU80s are usually two of the most common driving offence codes held by drivers in the UK, with over 145,000 drivers having at least one of them in 2021.

However, some offences could remain on your licence for up to 11 years because of their severity:

  • Drink driving or drug driving, offence codes which start DR
  • Offence codes CD40 to CD70, causing death by careless driving, whether due to alcohol or drugs

How can you avoid penalty points?

The best way to avoid penalty points is to drive sensibly. We help to reward good driving habits with our black box insurance, which tracks how our drivers behave on the road.

You can also try advanced driving lessons and refresh your Highway Code knowledge regularly.

Overall, always try to drive safely. It’s not just the penalty points you have to worry about, it’s the long-term impact too.

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