Millions of Driver Still Paying for Spent Driving Convictions

Many of us will gain a driving conviction at some point through our driving days, however, many of us are still declaring them long after they have been spent!

Drivers may be paying around £57 extra a year on their insurance through sharing to much information on spent convictions that they no longer need to declare.

It is suggested that nearly a quarter of motorists fail to accurately disclose their driving record in hope of saving on their insurance.

Where some people bend the truth and not declare their convictions, around 7% of drivers (that’s 2.8 million of us) share either wrong or out of data convictions!

An average of £56 can be added if 3 penalty points for speeding are added to an insurance policy.

So, why do drivers ‘over declare’?

As it goes, part of it is down to us and our confusion. The Motor Insurance Bureau believe that many of us end up declaring incorrectly through wrongly remembering dates or getting mixed up in general. If you are having to declare an accident from 4 years ago, unless wrote down, it can be challenging to remember.

Byron Shepherd, who works for a data-sharing scheme, said: “Imagine you left work today, you speeding and a police officer stops you.

“You may think that is three points off your licence but if you go on a course you may not get these three penalty points after all.”

Insurers also encourage people to share more information in order to gain a better risk profile and may ask for conviction over the last 5 years even though they may not be relevant!

What are you required to tell Insurers when looking for a policy

If you currently have a fine, don’t worry, after 12 months this will be spent and gone.

Penalty points though are a little different. Most penalty points for things such as speeding will be on your licence for at least 4 years. If you points have been got through dangerous driving or drink driving, then this may well be longer. For those looking to obtain drink driving insurance after a drinking driving ban, you may wish to apply for specialist DR10 Insurance.

Head of motoring for Direct Line, Dave Meader, said: ““Whilst your penalty points may come off your licence after four years this does not mean the conviction is spent. All convictions which result in an endorsement to a licence will need to be disclosed for at least five years.”

A spokesman for Aviva said: “We ask customers to declare convictions over the last five years because it gives us important information as to how they drive. In the case of the more serious convictions – for example, drink driving – we may well charge additional premium as a result.”

Aviva also added that, speeding offences won’t make a huge impact on your premium as long as you don’t wrack up loads of them.

Direct Line says it would not increase a policy price if the driver has attended a speed awareness course.

What are your rights on spent convictions?

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, you don’t have to declare spent convictions after 5 years when applying for insurance.

Where insurers have the right to ask you about penalty points over a longer period of time, they are not allowed to use this as a means to charge you more.

The Financial Ombudsman who resolve customer complaints, says insurers should not include spent convictions.

The association of British Insurers, the Insurers trade body, tells insurers to ignore spent convictions and discourages them from sharing such information.

You do have the right to challenge them if you feel you have been charged incorrectly or unfairly.