The number of speeding tickets issued to motorists in England and Wales has hit a record high, according to government figures.
They show that there were over 2.1 million speeding offences recorded in 2018, up by almost 100,000 on the previous year’s figures. With the number having increased year on year since 2011, speeding now represents 85% of all motoring offences.
In total there were 2.5 million motoring offences recorded in 2018, up 3.8% on the previous year. Of these, almost half (45%) agreed to take driver retraining, while 40% paid a fine and 15% of cases involved court action.
While many drivers who take a speed awareness course can avoid penalty points on their licence, the rest will almost certainly face increased insurance costs, warns Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, a leading insurance comparison platform.
Greg said, “With a record number of motorists in England and Wales caught speeding last year, it’s critical that drivers are aware of the significant impact it can have on their car insurance premiums.
“While the complexity of insurance premium calculations makes it impossible to put a pounds-and-pence figure on it, on average three penalty points could result in a 5% jump in a driver’s car insurance premium, while six penalty points could see the cost of their insurance rise by an eye-watering 25%.
“Bear in mind that most driving convictions have to be declared to insurance providers for five years – even if the penalty points are removed from your licence after four. While many drivers can avoid penalty points by taking a speed awareness course, if you are caught and your licence is endorsed you could be paying the price for a rather long time.”
How to reduce the premium
Quotezone.co.uk offers four ways drivers with penalty points can reduce their car insurance premium:
- Consider ‘black box insurance’ – telematics insurance allows insurers to access data from your car, including your speed and acceleration, your handling and braking, your location and the times of day you tend to drive your vehicle. This data can help them better manage the risk they take on when they sell you a policy. Since your penalty points make you a higher insurance risk, telematics insurance could prove more cost-effective than a standard policy.
- Shop around – It is even more important if you’ve recently had your licence endorsed that you don’t automatically accept your existing provider’s renewal quote. As different insurance providers give different weightings to each of the factors that go into calculating premiums, comparing quotes could go some way towards easing the pain.
- Compare different levels of coverage – Many drivers assume that third-party only cover is going to be the cheapest option, since it’s the least comprehensive. That used to be the case, but some insurers have begun hiking the cost of third-party insurance in recent years (a process known as premium loading) to take into account the fact that riskier drivers tend to favour these policies. Therefore some motorists may find that fully-comp is as cheap – or potentially even cheaper – than third party.
- Pay annually – Many motorists opt to pay for their car insurance policy on a monthly basis, and if you’re worried about a sharp rise in your premium after receiving penalty points you may be even more tempted to spread this burden out over the year. However if you have the funds available, it’s almost always cheaper to pay for the full year upfront.