Car Insurance for Convicted Drivers

If you’ve ever been convicted of a criminal offence, it could be more expensive to insure your car. But you aren’t entirely without options, and you may be able to get car insurance. Here we’ll explain how convictions could affect premiums and how you could reduce the cost  of car insurance for convicted drivers.

There isn’t a specialist insurance for convicted drivers available through Asda Money, but you may still be able to get a quote.

Young man in a suit standing by a silver car scrolling through his phone in a showroom looking for car insurance
01 Mar 2024

Can I get car insurance if I have a conviction?


In most cases, you will be able to get car insurance if you have a conviction. But:

  • Your car insurance will likely be more expensive: car insurance premiums are based on risk. The more risky an insurance company views you, the more expensive the premiums will be. If you have a conviction, you may be considered as a higher risk than someone who doesn't. This could mean that you might have to pay more for your car insurance.
  • You may have to get dedicated insurance if you have a driving offence: if you have a DR10 penalty for drunk driving, have previously been disqualified for driving or have another driving offence, some insurance providers might not offer you car insurance at all. If this is the case, you may have to look for specialist insurance.


Even if you’re facing higher insurance premiums or a higher voluntary excess, there are steps you can take to get a better deal on your car insurance.


Do I need to declare driving convictions to insurers?


It depends if the conviction is spent or unspent:

  • Spent convictions: In the UK, some convictions and cautions become 'spent' after a set period called the rehabilitation period. The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the offence. Spent convictions will no longer show up on basic criminal record checks.
  • Unspent convictions: Whilst you’re still in the rehabilitation period of convictions and cautions, they are viewed as ‘unspent’ and will show up on a basic criminal record check. Some convictions have no rehabilitation period and will never become spent.

You do not need to disclose spent convictions to a car insurance provider, as those offences have passed their rehabilitation period.

You do need to disclose unspent convictions to a car insurance provider, as those offences are still within their rehabilitation period. This includes non-criminal convictions, like speeding offences and points on your licence.

Find out more about rehabilitation periods. The charity Unlock also has a guide on insurance and offences, with more details on spent and unspent convictions.

If you don’t tell your insurance provider about any unspent convictions, it could invalidate your insurance. This means your insurance provider might not pay out if you make a claim, leaving you facing a steep bill. It might also be harder for you to get car insurance again in the future.


What convictions affect car insurance?


Any unspent criminal convictions will likely increase your car insurance premiums or could make it harder to get insurance.

Any driving offence that puts points on your driving record will likely affect your car insurance. Spent driving convictions shouldn’t affect your ability to get car insurance.

Most cautions (simple cautions) are immediately spent but some won’t be, like conditional cautions. These will have a set rehabilitation period and will also likely affect your car insurance.


How do penalty points affect car insurance?


Penalty points are added to your driving record if you’re convicted of a driving offence, like driving over the speed limit or driving dangerously. The worse the offence, the more points you’re given.

Having unspent penalty points on your record will likely increase your insurance premiums, as you’ll be viewed as a higher risk. If you committed a serious driving offence, were banned from driving or have a lot of points (up to 11), some insurers might not offer you insurance at all.


Find out more about penalty points, including how many points are given for different driving offences and how long those points stay on your driving record.


What if I’m convicted while already insured?


If you’re convicted of an offence whilst you already have insurance, you might not have to declare your conviction to your insurer until it’s time to renew your insurance – unless your policy says that you must. Check the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy to see if this is the case.

You will need to tell your insurance provider immediately if you’re banned from driving. They may need to cancel your car insurance.


Tips for getting cheaper insurance for convicted drivers


Whilst your car insurance will likely be more expensive if you have unspent convictions, there are steps you can take that might help to reduce the cost of your insurance.

  1. Increase your voluntary excess: an excess is the amount of money you pay when making an insurance claim. Most insurance policies have a compulsory excess that must be paid, but some offer a voluntary excess where you agree to pay more. Choosing a higher voluntary excess can lower the cost of your premium.
  2. Opt for black box insurance: black box insurance involves a device being installed in your car so your insurance provider can check how you drive. This can help to show you're a safe and careful driver.
  3. Restrict your mileage: for insurance providers, the more time you spend driving, the more likely you’ll have an accident. If you choose to stick to a daily/monthly/annual mileage limit, a provider may offer you cheaper car insurance.
  4. Improve your car’s security: if you take steps to improve your car’s security, like using an immobiliser or parking off road, you may be offered a lower insurance premium.


How Asda Money can help you find car insurance


With Asda Money, you can quickly and easily compare car insurance quotes from a panel of over 60 trusted insurance providers. The lenders in our panel offer a variety of car insurance for different types of drivers. The car insurance comparison service is provided by Vast Visibility Limited.

Find a Car Insurance quote that suits your needs today.



Insurance for convicted drivers FAQs

Can I get car insurance if I have a conviction?

In many cases, you can get car insurance if you have a conviction. You may have to pay higher insurance premiums and/or get dedicated insurance for convicted drivers from a specialist insurer.

How much does a driving conviction increase your insurance?

Convictions increase insurance costs as they make you appear more risky. This depends on the details of the conviction and how long ago it happened.

How long do you have to declare driving convictions to insurance?

You should declare all unspent convictions to your insurance provider. After a certain period of time (the rehabilitation period), some convictions become spent. Once the rehabilitation period has passed and the conviction becomes spent, you no longer have to declare it.

Does a conviction stay on your record?

Some criminal convictions will stay on your criminal record forever. Many other convictions have a set rehabilitation period. After this period is over, the conviction will be ‘spent’ and will no longer show up on most criminal record checks.

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