Here is a quick guide to penalty points and driving convictions. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic understanding of how the penalty point system works in the UK and also to provide a brief overview of common driving offences and the resulting convictions.

Penalty Point System

If you commit a driving offence in the UK, it is likely that you will have “penalty points” added to your driver’s license. The number of penalty points that you receive will depend on the offence committed and the severity of the offence committed. Most driving offences also result in a motoring conviction being added to your license and you may even need to attend court for the conviction to be passed. Each motoring conviction has a designated code which we will provide a link to later in this article.

Penalty Points & Convictions InsuranceFor most offences, penalty points and conviction codes will generally remain on your driving record for a period of 3 years. Some more serious offences, such as receiving a drink driving conviction, will result in points remaining on your license for up to 10 years. Any period where your driver’s license has expired will not count towards the number of years it takes for the points and convictions to expire or become “spent”.

There is a limit to the number of penalty points that you can receive before you face further punishment. If you amass 12 or more current penalty points on your driver’s license, you will most likely be banned from driving. This is known as a “totting up” offence and you will receive a code TT99 motoring conviction.

A totting up offence usually results in a driving ban of 6 months, however the disqualification is not mandatory and if you are successful in fighting the conviction you may be allowed to continue driving with 12 points or more. Special car insurance policies are usually required for a driver that has committed this offense, known generally as “totting up insurance” or “TT99 insurance”.

Common Driving Offences & Convictions

Speeding Conviction

The most common driving offence is speeding. Speeding convictions usually carry between 3 and 6 penalty points and there are different conviction codes that are used depending on the individual offence. It may be difficult or expensive to take out car insurance for people with speeding points.

Drink Driving Conviction

Also quite common but considered as much more serious are drink driving offences. There are several different offences that are grouped under the “drink driving” banner.

A typical drink driving offence for “driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit” can result in a mandatory driving ban of at least 12 months, a potentially unlimited fine and even possibly up to 6 months in prison. If you are convicted a second time within a 10 year period, the driving ban will be at least 36 months.

There are also numerous other problems that you may face if convicted of drink driving. If you drive for work you may lose your job and potential future employers would also have to be made aware that you have a drink driving conviction, if they were to ask if you have a criminal record.

Car insurance for convicted drink drivers is also very expensive and often hard to find. Many insurance companies will simply not offer convicted drink drivers insurance as they are considered at higher risk of making an expensive claim on their policy.

Insurance Related Conviction

Insurance and license related offences are also quite common. If convicted of one of these offences you can expect to face some quite severe penalties.

Insurance conviction - Convicted InsuranceAn insurance offence means driving a vehicle without a valid insurance policy, or driving a vehicle that your policy does not cover you to use. The official wording for the offence is “using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks”. If you are found guilty of this offence you can expect to receive an IN10 conviction, which carries between 6 and 8 penalty points.

There are other problems that you may face if found driving without insurance. You will need to declare your conviction on any insurance applications, meaning you will need to find a provider that offers IN10 insurance.

The vehicle that you are driving at the time may also by seized by the police and you will need to go through the process of releasing it from the compound. You will need a special impounded car insurance policy to do this.

For a full list of driving convictions, visit the official  GOV.UK page for penalty points & endorsements.

Finding Car Insurance For Convicted Drivers

If you have received penalty points or a motoring conviction it can become difficult to find affordable car insurance. Convicted driver insurance tends to be a more specialised product.

Once somebody has a conviction on their record, they are seen as a high risk candidate because statistcally they are more likely to make a claim on their insurance.

Many of the bigger providers either don’t offer car insurance for drivers with convictions or will drastically increase their quoted premiums.

The best way to find convicted drivers insurance is to use a service that will request quotes from a variety of leading insurance specialists so that you can compare them and be sure you are getting a fair deal.