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Penalty points on your licence and looking for cheap car insurance?

The driving licence points system in the UK is a well-known part of our road safety setup. Rack up 12 points in a three-year period and you could face a driving ban. But a less-discussed issue is how these points can affect your car insurance.

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The Impact of Points on Insurance

When an insurer quotes you for car insurance, they're essentially placing a bet on how likely you are to make a claim. Factors such as age, car type, location, and, importantly, your driving record all contribute to your perceived risk. It stands to reason then that penalty points on your licence will bump up your insurance costs, as they serve as red flags to insurers.

Even a seemingly small offence, such as a single speeding ticket, can impact your insurance premium. Accumulate more points, and the consequences are compounded. In fact, having a large number of points could make it harder to find insurance at all, as some providers might consider you too high a risk.

Common Convictions and Point Accumulations

Let's delve into how you might end up with these points. Unsurprisingly, the most common driving offence in the UK is speeding, with many drivers underestimating the impact of a few miles per hour over the limit. A typical speeding offence can add three points to your licence, not to mention a hefty fine.

A similar offence that can add points is driving without proper attention to the road, or careless driving. This offence is somewhat broad, and can include tailgating, lane hogging, or being distracted by your mobile phone. This can result in three to nine points on your licence.

More serious offences, such as drink driving or causing death by dangerous driving, can add up to 11 points and can result in an immediate ban.

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I've got points on my licence. Where do I find cheap car insurance?

Pathways to Affordable Insurance

The news isn't all doom and gloom, though. Despite the potential complications, there are ways to find reasonably priced car insurance even with points on your licence.

Specialist Providers

Seek out insurance companies who specialise in offering policies to drivers with points. These providers understand that people make mistakes and are typically more forgiving of a spotty driving record.

Get Comparison Savvy

Using comparison websites can help you to quickly find quotes from a broad range of insurers, but remember that not every company appears on these sites. You might find a better deal by going directly to the insurer's website.

Think About Your Excess

You could consider increasing your voluntary excess (the amount you pay in the event of a claim) as this can lower your premium. But remember, if you do need to make a claim, you'll need to cough up that amount.

Boost Your Skills

Look into taking a driver improvement course. A number of insurers offer discounts for drivers who complete recognised courses, as they can demonstrate a commitment to better driving.

Reduce Your Mileage

If you can manage to drive fewer miles, you might see a reduction in your premium. Insurers often consider lower mileage to be indicative of lower risk.

Be Secure

Invest in car security features such as an immobiliser, steering lock, or car alarm. These can help lower your premium by reducing the risk of theft.

Consider Telematics Policies

Telematics, or 'black box', policies are another potential route to more affordable insurance. These policies involve a device installed in your car that measures your driving habits. Drive safely, and you could see your premiums reduced.

Time Heals

Lastly, remember that as time goes by, points on your licence will expire. In most cases, points must be declared to insurers for five years. Over that time, if you manage to keep a clean record, you'll gradually see your insurance premiums decrease.