Drivers caught disregarding driving laws can expect to fork out more for their insurance. Statistics show an extra 3 penalty points can see premiums rise by £209. Those receiving their first 3 points won’t see much of a change in premiums, with average insurance costs coming in at £746. However, for drivers who rack up 6 points on their licence, insurance increases by £400 to an average of £1,160, according to Comparethemarket.com. As expected, the more points a driver has, the higher price they will have to pay for cover, with premiums rocketing to an average of £1,466 for those with 12 points. If a motorist has 12 points on their licence, they are automatically disqualified from driving for 6 months.
Comparethemarket analysed the DVLA licencing statistics and they revealed that 70% of all penalty points were given to men; approximately 2 million men racked up penalty points but only 786,000 women did the same. In the UK around 2.6 million drivers have penalty points, this means there is over £230m in increased insurance premiums. As men have received nearly 70% of penalty points, its not difficult to see why insurance costs much more for men, in spite of the recent EU regulations on gender discrimination.
The main culprit for drivers receiving penalty points is speeding, which accounts for 85% of all those imposed. Using a mobile phone while driving (5%) and Running a stop sign or traffic light (7%) were the next most common driving violations. Researchers have found that the system of penalty points is an excellent deterrent, with 75% of drivers admitting they actively changed their driving habits after being penalised, in order to be safer on the road.
The cost of vehicle insurance policies depends on the risk profile of the driver. Those who are deemed to be a higher risk of being in an accident are more likely to have more expensive premiums as insurers are at an increased chance of having to pay out. Insurers analyse risk in many ways, one of which is the number of penalty points that you have on your licence. Other ways include:
Credit history- Having a good credit score indicates that you are responsible and are trusted to pay bills on time. Research indicates adult drivers with the worst credit history tend to be poorer drivers, making bad credit a risky behaviour.
Age- Youth has many advantages but not when it comes to car insurance as they are deemed more accident-prone in comparison to experienced drivers. Because of this, there is an established rule that young drivers pay more until the age of 25. Those who see themselves as lower risk must prove this to benefit from discounts. Lower premiums may be offered to teens when they reach 21, if they have maintained a clean driving record.
Address- Motorists who live in the city have to pay more for their insurance than those who don’t, this is down to the higher risk of theft, accidents or vandalism. Also, the cost of a driver’s premium can differ between which city they call home. For example, drivers in London pay annually in the region of £1,102 which is almost 50% more than the national average, whereas in South West in cities like Bristol motorists only pay on average £557.39.