Do Penalty Points affect car insurance?

Do Penalty Points Affect Car Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | July 6th, 2020

Will You Pay More For Car Insurance If You’ve Got Penalty Points?

Having points on your licence is never an ideal scenario. Car Insurance companies will consider you a higher risk. But does this mean you’ll end up paying more?

Yes. The amount of penalty points you have will affect how much you pay, and in some cases whether you can get car insurance in the first place.

If you have a driving conviction it’s important to be upfront and honest with your insurance provider or broker at every stage. You won’t be judged, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

In this article, we’ll answer questions such as:

  • If I get penalty points on my licence, do I need to tell my car insurance provider?
  • How do I get car insurance if I have points on my licence?
  • Do penalty points expire?

Most companies will accept three points without penalty. However when you get into six- or nine-point territory, it can be more difficult to obtain competitive quotations. In this situation, an insurance broker can be your best friend.

About penalty points

Penalty points are awarded on your licence when you’ve been caught doing something wrong while driving. Whether it’s doing a U-turn in the wrong place or something more serious, getting penalty points can be a frustrating experience.

The penalty points system was introduced in Ireland in 2002, with the aim of improving driver behaviour and reducing death and serious injuries on our roads. Since 2014 the legislation is a bit more strict, adding new offences and stricter penalties for some others.

Some of these changes included raising the penalty points from two to three for offences such as holding a mobile phone while driving, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt.

Having a penalty point on your licence is a formal reprimand issued by the Gardai which appears on your driving record and shows you are guilty of a specific driving offence. Sometimes, you can avoid having points on your licence by paying a fixed fine within 28 or 56 days.

Penalty points remain on your driving record for three years. However, if your licence expires during this time this time limit will freeze and resume whenever you renew your licence.

Penalty points and car insurance

Penalty points show up on your driving record, not on your actual licence. Having current penalty points can affect your insurance premium. In general, insurance companies will calculate your premium based partly on the nature and number of your offences. If they’re serious or many, you’ll be paying more.

If you happen to get penalty points, it’s important to notify your car insurance provider. Honesty is the best policy, in every meaning of the word! If you’re dishonest about your driving record, this could impact your ability to make a successful claim.

In another way, having car insurance in the first place will affect later premiums when you come to buy or renew. If you’ve gained penalty points for driving without insurance, these offences will affect how much you pay later on. Along with a fixed penalty, you can get six points on your licence for driving uninsured. Not only that, but the Gardaí have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy your car.

So sorry for stating the obvious, but don’t just drive without insurance if you’re afraid that your penalty points will make it more expensive – you could get in much more trouble down the road!

Getting car insurance after penalty points

If you get 12 penalty points within a three-year period, you’re automatically disqualified from driving for six months. Learner drivers have a lower threshold of seven penalty points. Once you have a driving ban, you have to surrender your licence to the National Drivers Licence Service within 10 days. After your six-month ban ends, the points that led to the disqualification will be removed.

If you were disqualified from driving for more than two years, you will have lost your no-claims bonus. This means you’ll have to start all over again, and you will find yourself paying more.

A number of insurance companies are still happy to provide quotes to convicted drivers, and there are others who offer specialist insurance. As a broker, we can get quotes on your behalf from these insurers and find the best deal for you.

If you have penalty points and you are looking to get your car insured, call us today and we can help you.

If you have picked up penalty points and you are looking to get motor insurance, feel free to pick up the phone and talk to our car insurance today. We can advise you professionally, based on the number and types of penalty points you have picked up. You can talk to us Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you are looking for an immediate car insurance quote online, our car insurance quote engine checks the Irish market to help find the right cover for your specific needs.