How Do Penalty Points Affect Your Car Insurance?

Find affordable car insurance for drivers with convictions and points by answering below.

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Janine Marsh
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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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Updated 24 August 2023
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Penalty Points Affect Your Car Insurance

What sort of problems can you encounter when looking for insurance with points on your licence? 

This is a common question I frequently get asked, which is why I’ve decided to dedicate a detailed blog on the subject. 

You’re in the right place if you want to know more about the impact of penalty points on your licence in the world of insurance. Let’s turn on the engine and get going…

How to find the cheapest insurance with a conviction

If you’ve got a conviction or points, getting insurance through a standard provider could be more expensive. 

You might find cheaper deals through specialist insurers.

I’ve partnered with Quotezone who can help you find the best insurance specifically for convicted drivers with points.

Fill out the simple form below to find great quotes for convicted drivers today. 

Find the cheapest insurance for drivers with a conviction

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What are penalty points?

Penalty points are added to your driving record when you’re convicted of motoring offences. You may also be given a fine, community service, and for the most serious driving offences, a prison sentence. 

Some people think they don’t have a driving conviction if they accepted the points and fine as part of a Fixed Penalty Notice, but that isn’t the case. Just because you avoided prosecution in court by accepting the FPN, it doesn’t mean you didn’t get a driving conviction. 

How many points until my licence gets taken away?

You will be disqualified from driving if you accumulate 12 penalty points or more within a three-year period. This is known as a totting-up driving ban, as opposed to a ban for an individual motoring offence. 

The length of the ban is at the discretion of the court, but it’s usually a ban of at least six months. If you have previously been banned from driving within the last three years, the totting-up ban will usually be one year or more. 

As mentioned above, you can also get banned regardless of how many points you have for the most serious driving offences, such as in instances of causing death by dangerous driving or drink driving

Once your driving disqualification is over and you have got your licence back, you will be allowed to drive again. But getting insured at an affordable price can be difficult. If you’re in this situation, you may need to consider disqualified driver insurance policies.

How are penalty points issued?

You may need to hand over your driver’s licence to have the penalty points endorsed to your driving record. This would require you to hand your driving licence in at a police station or at a Fixed Penalty Office (FPO). 

You must do this by the deadline given. The driving licence will be returned to you unless you are banned from driving. In this case, the licence would be sent to the DVLA

Don’t get ripped off by insurance companies

Getting affordable car insurance with a conviction or points can feel impossible, especially if you’re using standard comparison websites. 

Luckily, there are some specialist insurers out there… you just need to know where to find them!

I’ve partnered with Quotezone to provide access to some of the best specialist convicted drivers’ insurance deals available.


In partnership with QuoteZone

Do points on your driving licence expire or get written off?

Penalty points on your driving record will only remain on your record for a fixed period of time. The type and nature of the offence determine how long the points stay on your licence before being automatically removed. 

How long do penalty points last on your driving licence?

For lesser offences, the penalty points stay on your record for four years from the date of the offence. However, the most serious driving offences and penalty points stay on your record for eleven years, usually from the date of conviction rather than the date of offence. 

Every driving conviction is identifiable through an endorsement code made up of two letters and two numbers. You can look up individual endorsement codes to find out the consequences of the conviction. 

However, the driving conviction doesn’t become spent when the penalty points disappear from your record. I’ll explain this in more detail shortly…

Can you get car insurance with points on your licence?

Yes, with over 2.6 million UK residents estimated to have at least three points on their licence, you can still get vehicle insurance with penalty points. 

But it’s likely that the more penalty points you have, the fewer companies there’ll be willing to offer you a policy. 

Do I need to tell car insurance about points?

Depending on how long ago the driving conviction occurred, you may need to tell your vehicle insurance company about the conviction and penalty points when you apply for a policy or try to renew a policy. 

You may also need to tell as soon as you receive penalty points part-way through an existing policy term, but this depends on the terms and conditions of the policy. Always ask and don’t assume when it comes to this. 

How long do you have to tell insurance about points?

You must disclose penalty points to your (prospective) insurer if the driving conviction and penalty points are unspent.

These types of convictions don’t usually become spent for five years, so you will need to declare the conviction and points to the insurer for five years.

Once the conviction has become spent, you don’t need to tell the insurer about it. Some insurance providers still ask about older convictions, but it’s illegal for them to use this information to influence the policy you’re offered. 

How do penalty points affect insurance?

Having points on your licence when looking for insurance can cause three problems, namely:

  1. Some companies might refuse you for vehicle insurance because you’re considered too much of a risk.
  2. Most, if not all, companies will charge you more in insurance premiums compared to someone with a clean driving record trying to insure the same type of vehicle
  3. Some insurers may include higher excess charges within their policy

So, why is this the case?

People with penalty points are considered somewhat riskier to insure. The insurer believes the points indicate that they take more risks on the road and are therefore more likely to be in a future road incident. 

After all, this is all the information the insurer has to go on to calculate the risk. To offset some of the increased risks, they ask you to pay more. Otherwise, they simply reject you for insurance. 

Do all penalty points affect insurance?

Yes, all penalty points can negatively impact the availability and cost of insurance.

Some insurers may look past the points at the exact offences to determine how much more of a risk it is to ensure you behind the wheel. But all in all, all points will negatively impact an insurance search to some degree. 

How much do penalty points increase the cost of insurance?

The cost of insurance will typically increase based on the number of unspent penalty points you have on your record. 

The more points you have, the greater the increase you should expect in your car insurance premiums. 

Does 3 points on a licence affect insurance?

Yes, three points on your licence could increase premiums by around 5% to 10%. The exact increase will depend on the insurer. 

How much does 6 penalty points affect insurance?

On average, it’s believed that having six points on your licence will increase premiums by around 25%. Again, this depends on individual circumstances and the insurer. 

How much does 9+ penalty points affect insurance?

Having nine points on your licence will increase premiums by an estimated 45% or thereabouts. Any more and your insurance could double!

What happens if I don’t tell my insurer about points on my licence?

Failing to disclose unspent convictions and penalty points is serious. Your vehicle insurance policy will be void and you won’t be covered if you or any named drivers need to make a claim. This could have significant financial consequences.

Insurance offences can also make it even more difficult to get insured elsewhere. 

On top of this, there have been instances when the insurer asks you to pay a lump sum to cover what your insurance premiums would have been if you had correctly disclosed your (or a named driver’s) unspent motoring convictions. 

How can you avoid penalty points?

Driving safely and obeying road laws is the only way to avoid a driving conviction and penalty points. 

But you might be able to avoid penalty points after a lesser speeding offence by agreeing to take a speed awareness course instead, provided you meet strict eligibility criteria.

How do I check how many penalty points I have?

You can check how many points are on your driving licence by calling the DVLA or by using the online gateway to view your driving record

You usually need your driving licence number, the postcode on your licence and your National Insurance number to access this information online. 

How can I get cheaper car insurance with penalty points on my licence?

Asking how to get cheaper insurance with points on a licence is very common. It’s a frequent search on Google and it gets a lot of attention on forums. 

Here is just one example of someone asking this question in their own way:

How can I get cheaper car insurance with penalty points on my licence


As the forum poster suggests, there are some insurance companies that are supposedly more understanding and won’t increase premiums as much as the others. 

These companies usually advertise their policies to the convicted driver market. They might do this by referring to the conviction endorsement code in their policy title, or they might simply call it high-risk car insurance. 

Another top tip is to engage the services of a car insurance broker. But instead of using a standard broker, try to find one that has a proven record of helping convicted drivers get insured at a cheaper price. 

Not enough motorists know about these brokers who may have industry connections and access to unseen deals. 

Is there any way I can reduce my insurance premium if I have points on my licence?

Another way to potentially lower your premiums is to choose a vehicle that is considered cheaper to insure because it’s less powerful. Some of the vehicles that are often cheaper to insure are:

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Ford Ka
  3. Hyundai i10
  4. Renault Clio
  5. Volkswagon Polo 

Affordable Convicted Driver Insurance

To help you avoid some of the ludicrously expensive packages out there and actually find something reasonable I’ve partnered with Quotezone.

They bring together some of the best specialist deals for convicted drivers to make your search easier. 

Try it below.


In partnership with QuoteZone

Does having points on my licence affect my ability to get a car on finance?

Penalty points shouldn’t impact your ability to get finance for a vehicle. However, your credit score might!

What’s the most common motoring offence?

The most common motoring offence in the UK is speeding offences, which usually comes with a fine and three or six penalty points added to your licence. 

Refusing to give a sample is also a common offence with many motorists doing this to evade a drunk driving or drug driving conviction. 

Do men have more penalty points than women?

Data released by the Department of Transport (DfT) suggests that UK male drivers have around double the number of penalty points than UK female drivers. 

Ask me your question today!

Have I missed something? Let me know by getting in touch today. You’re welcome to ask your own personal question, which I may then answer in an anonymous blog to help other readers as well!

The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.
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