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Extra three penalty points adds £200 to car insurance premiums

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
04/12/2019
Anyone flouting driving laws can expect to pay more for insurance, and analysis reveals an extra three penalty points can see premiums jump by £209.

Drivers receiving their first three penalty points are unlikely to see much of a change in premiums, with typical insurance costs coming in at £746.

However, for those who notch up six points on their licence, insurance rockets by £400 to an average of £1,160, according to Comparethemarket.com.

As you’d expect, the more points you accumulate, the higher price you’ll pay for cover, with premiums reaching an average of £1,466 for those with 12 points. Motorists with 12 points are also automatically disqualified from driving for six months.

The graph below shows average premiums by number of penalty points and the number of drivers with penalty points:

Penalty points

Comparethemarket’s analysis of DVLA licencing statistics reveals that 70% of penalty points were given to men. Nearly two million men have penalty points compared with 786,000 women.

Overall, around 2.6 million British drivers have penalty points, adding around £230m in increased insurance premiums.

The majority of penalty points are from speeding, accounting for 85% of all those imposed. Running a stop sign or traffic light (7%) and using a mobile phone while driving (5%) were the next most common driving violations.

The comparison site’s research revealed that the penalty points system does work as 75% of drivers said that after receiving penalty points, they changed their driving habits to be safer on the road.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance, said the cost of a motor insurance policy depends on the risk profile of the driver. Those deemed more likely to be in an accident means the insurer is more likely to have to pay out and therefore premiums will be higher.

He said: “One of the many ways insurers analyse risk is the number of penalty points that you have on your licence and these statistics put in to focus the serious impact that irresponsible driving can have on a policy.

“The fact that men have received nearly 70% of penalty points goes someway to explaining why the cost of insurance is so much higher for men than women, despite the EU [gender] regulations.

“It comes as no surprise that speeding is by far the most common reason for points being added to licences. However, what is encouraging is that the points system works.”

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