Penalty points costing UK motorists dear

12.00 | 27 November 2015 | | 2 comments

Penalty points on driving licences are costing UK motorists more than £132m a year in higher insurance premiums, according to analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and MoneySuperMarket.

The analysis calculates the increase in premiums for drivers with one to three penalty points, four to six points, seven to nine, 10-11, and 12 or more for every postcode area of the country, as well as major towns and cities.

It reveals that motorists in London, Glasgow and Birmingham are shelling out the most, paying more than £8m, £4m and £3m respectively in more expensive insurance.

Unsurprisingly, drivers with the highest number of points are paying the most – those with 10-11 points and 12 or more have respectively paid 81.8% and 89.3% more for their car insurance.

The research shows that even getting the lowest number of points (between one and three) is costing drivers in London more than £2.4m, Glasgow £1.5m and Birmingham more than £1.2m.

Across the UK those with one to three points are paying an extra £49.5m in premiums, those with four to six points an extra £57.4m, seven to nine £18.9m, 10-11 £3.5m and 12 or more £2.6m.

The top 10 areas are:

  • London £8,079,529
  • Glasgow £4,080,190
  • Birmingham £3,423,840
  • Nottingham £2,833,865
  • Newcastle £2,642,079
  • Cardiff £2,586,075
  • Sheffield £2,535,609
  • Edinburgh £2,070,783
  • Swansea £2,036,358
  • Manchester £2,026,561

People in Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Chester, Coventry, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Norwich, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Stoke and York have all paid more than £1m in additional insurance premiums while Bath and Plymouth sit just below the £1m mark.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “If people don’t understand the safety dangers of the offence they have committed which has earned them the penalty points, they should certainly understand the damage it will do to their bank balances.

“And someone with multiple points and fines is paying through the nose for car insurance. Driving safely could put thousands back into your pocket.”

Kevin Pratt, insurance expert, MoneySuperMarket, says: “When it comes to driving offences, points definitely don’t mean prizes.

“In fact, points on your driving licence mean pounds – extra pounds payable on your car insurance. Insurers want to know about your motoring offences so they can build up a picture of what kind of driver you are.

“The more points they see for offences such as speeding and careless driving, the higher your premium will be. A typical £500 premium would increase to around £525 for someone with just a single three-point speeding offence. But someone with six points on their licence could see their premium leap to £625.”



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    As far as I know, insurance companies are not able to independently check a motorist’s driving record (someone correct me if I’m wrong) so the success of the penalty points system as a means of improving and influencing driver behaviour through financial incentives would seem to be dependent on the offending motorist essentially reporting their own transgressions. Seems an obvious flaw to me.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Of course in a competitive insurance market the rates will be proportional to the risk of civil liability of those driver groups who “collect” penalty points. Hence it the general driving record of those specific groups rather than penalty points themselves that “cost” UK motorists. And this cost falls only on those collecting the points rather than all UK motorists.

    Also let’s not forget that whilst there is a cost associated with the liabilities of such groups of drivers there is often a human cost in injury, pain, disfigurement, disability and death.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us
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