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Can car insurance providers find out about points?

One question you are asked when applying for car insurance is if you have a clean driving licence. If the answer is no, you need to tell the insurance company how many penalty points you have on your licence. But if you withhold this information or lie, how can car insurance providers find out about points by themselves?

Remember that all driving licence data is held by the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) and this data includes the points on every licence. Under the MyLicence scheme, most insurers have access to data points, though price comparison sites don’t. If you obtain an insurance quote from a price comparison site and do not disclose the full amount of points your licence has, you may receive quotes, but if you go ahead with purchasing the insurance based on wrong information, the insurance company will almost certainly find out that you have not been truthful and the insurance policy will be invalid. The MyLicence system will not reveal any spent convictions, however.

It is important that you are honest when reporting if you have any points on your licence. The chances are that if you don’t disclose your full penalty points figure, you will be found out, and it is simply not a risk worth taking.

What happens if you are not sure about how many points you have?

Driving licences used to have an accompanying paper document that detailed your points. Now the paper part has been abolished, you may not be sure about how many points you have. The DVLA Shared Driving Licence Service can be used to find out your penalty points or disqualifications. Be sure to check rather than guess.

What are penalty points?

Penalty points are given for motoring offence convictions. Minor offences are worth three points, and more serious offences can cost up to 11 points. If you have 12 points or more within a three-year period, you can be disqualified from driving, usually for a minimum of 12 months.

Minor offences such as driving with a headlight not working or with under-inflated tyres may only be worth three points, but points can add up and eventually exceed the 12 point disqualification limit. New drivers can have their licence suspended after only six points.

It’s important to note that points remain on your driving licence record for four years.

How do points affect insurance premiums?

If you have points on your licence, your insurance premiums will increase. This may not happen immediately after conviction, but when it comes to renewing the policy. Though there may not be an immediate increase, you should inform your insurance company when convicted of a motoring offence.

Some insurers regard speeding as a more serious offence, as they believe that speeding motorists are more likely to cause an accident and will significantly raise insurance premiums.

Drive safely

Driving safely is its own reward financially, as this reduces the risk of accidents and makes sure that motoring convictions do not increase the cost of insuring your car.

Always obey speed limits even on quiet roads. You may spot speed cameras, but you never know where a police patrol car is hiding.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

In general, the earliest you can get an insurance quote is around 30 days before you need the cover to start.

Many insurance companies will price match – especially if you’re renewing your insurance with them. It’s not uncommon for providers to offer exceptional prices if you’re a new customer – but not be quite as competitive when you get your auto-renew price. There’s no harm in asking for a price match – the worst they can say is no!

Your job can be a factor when an insurance company is working out how much to charge for your premium - and this can mean that there are certain good occupations for cheap car insurance.

Although it’s perfectly legal to have two car insurance policies running at the same time, it can make claims unnecessarily complicated. As such, it’s worth making sure you only have one policy in place for your vehicle.

Comparing car insurance quotes is quick and easy, especially if you use a broker or comparison website. Simply enter your details and you’ll be able to browse and compare quotes from different providers.

The level of cover you need when it comes to car insurance depends on what you want to be able to claim for.

If you’re using your vehicle for anything related to the work you do, then you’ll need to let your insurer know and pay for the right level of cover. If you don’t – you may find you’re driving illegally.

Although it will be registered, getting car insurance quotes does not have an impact on your credit rating, so it won’t be taken into account if you apply for a loan or other form of credit in the future.

There are many factors that determine the price of car insurance, and some drivers find that the cost of their premiums starts to decrease once they hit a certain age.

All cars are assigned into a group based on how much they cost to insure, with group 1 being the cheapest to insure up to group 50 being the most expensive. Insurance groups are a rating of the car for insurance purposes.