5 top tips if you are a convicted driver

Hundreds of thousands of drivers in the UK were convicted of driving offences in 2018, reveals the latest Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly from the Ministry of Justice.

The number of drivers prosecuted jumped from 670,000 in 2017 to 691,000 last year, and convictions rose from 600,000 to 619,000. More than half (52%) of these drivers were prosecuted for speeding and vehicle insurance offences.
The ratio of conviction stood at 90% in 2018 – this figure has been increasing every year since 2013, when the ratio was 85%.
Breaking it down further, the report shows that careless driving offences (excluding mobile phone offences) saw the largest drop in prosecutions, falling 8% from 13,300 in 2017 to 12,300 last year. Meanwhile, speed limit offences saw the biggest increase in defendants being prosecuted, jumping 7% from 176,000 to 189,000. This figure has been rising steadily since 2011, and now stands at its highest level in a decade.
There was also an increase in prosecutions for vehicle registration and excise licence offences, which jumped by 8% from 92,300 in 2017 to 100,000 in 2018. This figure has also been steadily growing since 2014.
If you’ve committed a driving offence in the last few years, then you’ll probably already be aware of the impact it can have on insurance – specifically, the cost of cover. The Insurance Factory provides convicted driver insurance to motorists that takes into account their individual circumstances, and we strive to be as competitive as we can with our pricing.
As well as choosing the Insurance Factory to provide you with convicted driver insurance, there are other things you can do to keep your premium as low as possible. Here are our five top tips:

1. Be honest

First things first: honesty is key to securing competitively-priced convicted driver insurance. Insurers will typically request details of any convictions you’ve had in the past five years – you have to give this information by law.
If you fail to give the necessary details, it could invalidate your insurance policy. Meaning, if you were involved in an accident and tried to claim, it’ll probably be denied and your insurer will refuse to pay out. So, you’ll stand to lose a lot of money if your car needs repairing or replacing. More than this, though, if you bend the truth to get cheap cover, this is likely to go on your driving record for as long as you’re driving, and could make it very hard for you to secure cheap cover in the future. Take it from us: honesty really is the best policy!

2. Get a dash cam

If you’re involved in an accident where both of you believe the other is at fault, it’ll be your word against theirs – and your conviction is unlikely to work in your favour. This is when installing a dash cam can come in handy.
As Which? explains, dash cams can provide valuable information in court cases that would have otherwise had to rely solely on testimony and conjecture. However, footage from a dash cam can only be put forward as evidence if it contains details like number plates. You also need to fit it correctly and legally – again, Which? has this useful guide.

3. Increase excess

When you apply for convicted driver insurance, or any type of insurance for that matter, you’ll notice that there are two excess amounts. The first is compulsory excess stipulated by the insurer, which is the amount they require you to pay towards a claim. The next is voluntary excess – i.e. what you agree to pay on top of the compulsory amount. In the majority of cases, the higher you set the voluntary excess, the cheaper your premium will be, as you’re essentially accepting more risk.
But, a note on this: you should only set voluntary excess to an amount you could realistically afford to pay if you needed to make a claim, bearing in mind you’ll have to pay the compulsory excess on top of this. You wouldn't want to be left in a situation whereby you couldn’t afford to settle a claim because you agreed to pay too much excess.

4. Choose a low risk car

In the market for a new motor? Unsurprisingly, the make and model of your car has a big impact on car insurance. This is down to a number of things, including its performance (i.e how powerful it is), value, security and costs associated with repairing it.
All cars on the market fall under an insurance group of 1-50 – group 1 being the cheapest to insure. This so-called Insurance Group Rating is a really useful guide when picking your next car, particularly if you want to keep the cost of cover down. You can search vehicle ratings via Thatcham Research’s website here.

5. Lower your mileage

Ultimately, less time on the road means there’s less chance of you being involved in an accident and claiming on your insurance policy. So, if there’s any way you can reduce your annual mileage, then insurers may reward you with a cheaper premium.
Perhaps you could ride or walk to work a couple of days a week. Or if it’s too far, see if you could lift share with someone who lives nearby. The important thing is not to rely on guesswork when working out your mileage – underestimating it could invalidate your policy, while purposely lying could make it difficult for you to get insured in the future. A good way to work out mileage is to check your MOT certificate, which will show your mileage from the previous year.

Get covered with Insurance Factory

We’ve got over 20 years of experience helping convicted drivers get back behind the wheel. We understand that the past is the past, and we’ll work hand in hand with our expert panel of insurers to find you great cover, for a great price. Get a free, no obligation quote for convicted driver insurance today.