What Exactly is a Driving Conviction?
A driving conviction is a type of criminal conviction you receive after being prosecuted of a motoring offence.
A driving conviction is a criminal offence that can see a driver being given a Fixed Penalty Notice or summoned to the Magistrates Courts (or Sheriff Courts if in Scotland). Punishment can range from a fine and points on a licence, to a custodial (prison) sentence. Motorists can receive a driving conviction for a number of motoring offences from using a mobile phone behind the wheel, to causing death by drink driving.
Endorsements on Your Driving Licence
After receiving a driving conviction your driving record/licence will be endorsed with penalty points. These will stay on your driving record anywhere from four years, up to 11 years. You can be disqualified from driving if you have received 12 or more points within three years. However, if you have been driving for less than two years and build up six or more points, your licence will be revoked and you will have to re-sit the Theory test in addition to retaking the Practical driving test too.
If you get an endorsement on your driving licence you will have to hand over your licence to the police or a fixed penalty office; if you have been summoned to court you can hand it over there too.
You could also receive a driving ban as part of your driving conviction. The length of a driving ban can vary and is decided by the court with the seriousness of the offence taken into consideration. You can also be banned after ‘totting up’ or ‘receiving’ multiple convictions carrying a smaller number of points each, over a short period of time. If you receive 12 or more points within a three-year period you could be banned for up to six months. If you receive a second ban within two years, the ban could be as high as 12 months, and if you receive a third disqualification within three years you could be banned for as long as two years.
How Could I Get a Driving Conviction?
Many people associate attending court with receiving a conviction, but for many motoring offences this is often not the case. If you have been stopped by the police for a minor motoring offence you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice. If you wish to contest the driving conviction you will be able to do so in court. If stopped by the police, you won’t always be issued with a fixed penalty notice, and they could decide to take no action, issue a warning, offer driver training or you could be charged with an offence. You could also receive a driving conviction by being caught speeding or driving through a red light.
Types of Driving Conviction
There are a number of driving conviction categories, and they vary in severity:
- Accident offences
- Disqualified driver
- Careless driving
- Construction and use offences
- Reckless/dangerous driving
- Insurance offences
- Licence offences
- Miscellaneous offences
- Motorway offences
- Pedestrian crossings
- Speed limits
- Traffic direction and signs
- Special code
- Theft or unauthorised taking
- ‘Mutual recognition’ codes
For a full explanation and to see what specific driving codes the above are, visit the endorsement codes and penalty points Government webpage.
How a Driving Conviction Could Affect your Insurance
When taking out a Car insurance policy you will need to declare your conviction for at least five years, for most insurers. You may be required to inform your current insurance company if you have received a driving conviction. It would be wise to check your policy documents or the insurer’s website to see what you need to do, although it may not specifically mention a driving conviction but could fall under something like ‘changes to your driving licence’, which would also include any restrictions imposed due to medical reasons. If you aren’t sure what you need to do regarding informing your insurer, best practise would be to contact them by phone and ask what you need to do. Failure to inform your insurer of your driving conviction could lead to your policy being cancelled or even voided, and if you need to claim you may have that claim rejected.
Finding insurance as a convicted driver can be difficult, as many regular Car insurance providers may not offer insurance for convicted drivers or cannot offer a competitive quote.
Finding Insurance after Getting a Driving Conviction
If you have received a driving conviction you may find taking out a Car insurance policy to be harder than before, especially if you aren’t going through a specialist Convicted Driver insurance provider. Whilst your previous/current insurer (if they are not a specialist) may be able to provide you with insurance, the quote is likely to be significantly higher, especially if your driving conviction was for drink driving or drug driving.
Convicted Driver insurance specialists, such as Think Insurance, can help drivers that have a serious driving conviction associated with their driving licence. Our team of dedicated Convicted Driver insurance experts have extensive experience with helping drivers with convictions, whether they are motoring related or otherwise, find a Convicted Driver insurance policy that works for them.
If you have a driving conviction and would like to speak to a Convicted Driver insurance expert, whether it’s about a drink driving conviction or any other type of motoring conviction, you can call us on 0800 221 8077 or click ‘Get a Quote’ and we’ll be in touch!