As police forces report a dramatic rise in speeding on the UK’s deserted roads, GoCompare Car Insurance warns that in addition to posing a serious risk to other road users and increasing the pressure on emergency services, drivers caught speeding face much higher insurance premiums or a driving ban.
Government advice to stay at home to combat the spread of the coronavirus has dramatically reduced the volume of traffic on the roads but, police forces across the country are warning that a minority of drivers are recklessly using quieter roads like a racetrack, with some driving at extreme speeds.
Speeding offences are divided into three main categories (Bands A to C) based on seriousness, with penalties of increasing severity to reflect the seriousness of the offence. Penalties depend on several factors including by how much the speed limit was exceeded by and, the type of road.
Most prosecuted speeding offences fall into the lowest category, these generally lead to a speeding ticket (Fixed Penalty Notice). Provided the driver accepts responsibility, they will be fined a minimum of £100 and receive three points on their licence, unless they have been given the option of attending a speed awareness course instead of prosecution.
In addition to larger fines, drivers committing a Category B speeding violation face between four and six penalty points, Category C offences result in six penalty points or a driving ban. Penalty points remain on driving licences for four years from the date of the offence.
When applying for insurance, drivers are required to disclose any motoring offences they have been convicted of, including speeding. Drivers who have opted to attend a speed awareness course will not have their speeding recorded as a conviction but may still be required to disclose their attendance to their insurer if asked to do so. Drivers failing to tell their insurer about any speeding convictions they hold risk invalidating their cover.
Motorists convicted of speeding will typically pay more for their insurance because insurers deem them to be a higher risk. The size of the increase will depend on the driver’s individual circumstances such as age, experience, vehicle and the severity of the offence.
Lee Griffin CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare said, “Speeding is a common driving offence, but having penalty points on your licence will almost always increase the cost of your insurance. How much more you’ll have to pay will depend on your insurer and your individual circumstances. The kind of reckless speeding many police forces are currently reporting could carry a very hefty price for motorists.
“Insurers take differing views on motoring convictions and price accordingly. Some insurers will swerve speeders altogether, while there are others that will provide cover, at a price. So, if you are convicted of speeding or another driving offence, you need to shop around to find the best deal.
“Don’t be tempted to cut the cost of cover by withholding the truth. You’re legally required to tell your existing insurer about any penalty points you hold and declare them when applying for a new policy. If you don’t, you could invalidate your insurance and any claims you make could be rejected.”