A penalty for speeding will make your car insurance more expensive but there are things you can do to manage the costs and, most importantly, avoid speeding in the future.
In the UK, the courts can fine you and ‘endorse’ your driving record with penalty points if you’re convicted of a motoring offence. The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence.
Endorsements must stay on your driving record for four or 11 years, depending on the offence (starting from either the date you’re convicted or the date of your offence). You could be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years – check your driving licence record to see if you have points on your licence.
Other ways in which you can get points on your licence include failing to report and accident, drink, drugs and reckless driving. A full list can be found on www.gov.uk.
Speed awareness courses as an alternative to points
Nearly every police force can offer an option to attend a speed awareness course as an alternative to a speeding conviction. The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) is run and regulated by UK Road Offender Education (UKROEd) for the police.
The general philosophy is that motorists may be offered a course as an alternative to enforcement sanctions, only where their driving may have amounted to a lapse of concentration or an error of judgement, with no serious consequences or high risk. Courses are only offered if you haven’t been convicted of any other speeding offences in the past three years.
A person volunteers to attend an NDORS course and upon completion, this puts a halt to any criminal proceedings, and no further action is taken against the driver/rider for the offence they have allegedly committed on the occasion which led to the offer of a course. Depending on the police force, a virtual speed awareness course costs between £73 – £90 (June 2022).
If I get a conviction, when do I have to tell my insurer?
You are required by law to tell your insurer about unspent (current) penalty points or a conviction, and also if a named driver on your policy has points. If you don’t, your insurance policy will be invalidated, meaning any future claims could be turned down and you could face also criminal charges for fraudulently withholding information from your insurer.
For most policies, you do not need to inform your insurer until renewal. But you should always check the terms and conditions of your policy as it may differ by company or by severity of the conviction.
How much more will my insurance be?
In 2018 Consumer Intelligence analysed nearly 36,000 insurance quotes and found that drivers without any speeding convictions paid an average £693 a year but that jumped to £743 a year with any speeding conviction. The biggest impact on bills however came from being caught speeding on a motorway — the so-called SP50 offence, which added £101 a year to bills taking them to £794 a year. The cost was higher proportionally for over-50s.
Mainstream insurers may refuse to cover those with unspent convictions. This means the cheapest policies are unlikely to be available to you. An insurance broker is probably the best place to start for a specialist policy for an unspent conviction (not a comparison site). You can search the database of insurance brokers on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website, and there is a charity called Unlock for helping people with convictions get fairer insurance.
How can I cut the cost of a premium after a speeding penalty?
You can take the same general steps as anyone who wants to reduce car insurance costs; increase your voluntary excess (the first part of any repair cost), lower your annual mileage, consider telematics or ‘black box’ insurance if you are sure that you can change any bad driving habits, and remove extra named drivers. More drastic options are to downgrade your cover (e.g. fully comprehensive down to third party fire and theft, or third party), or to change your car for one of lower value in a lower insurance group.
How long will the penalty have an effect?
Once any offence becomes spent under the legislation, then it does not have to be disclosed. If your conviction is spent, you don’t need to declare it when you apply for insurance, even if you’re asked. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out the detail on spent and unspent convictions generally.
Further information on motor insurance, check out the Association of British Insurers (ABI) website.