How Criminal Convictions Can Affect Your Motor Insurance

How Criminal Convictions Can Affect Your Motor Insurance

Everyone is legally obliged to have a form of insurance, which brings the cost down. What makes premiums higher is your personal risk calculation, such as a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction can be anything from a prison sentence to a fine for littering or a speeding conviction. All types of violations count, however minor.

Although a conviction will increase your cover cost, you can still get insurance at a reasonable rate by getting quotes from specialist providers. It may well be that you are in the motor trade and have made a few errors and learned from the experience. You may well have a DR10 (drink driving) or a CU80 (driving whilst on a mobile phone), and this has led to you being refused motor trade insurance from several companies. Find out more about how motor trade insurance with criminal convictions works, so you know what to expect.

Reporting Your Conviction

When you’re looking for motor trade insurance, then you might be wondering if you’re obligated to inform insurance providers of your conviction. Only unspent convictions matter. Even if asked, you do not have to disclose any convictions that are spent. Convictions become ‘spent’ a certain time after the date of conviction, and after that, they’re not allowed to count against you. That’s the law, according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If you are convicted of a crime that comes with a prison sentence four years or more, then unfortunately, your conviction will never become spent under current legislation.

Criminal convictions are relevant when applying for any type of motor or motor trade insurance. They should always be disclosed to your broker, along with any relevant, material facts that relate to your conviction. For example, you may have received a DR10 violation (Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol concentration above limit) or a CU80 Banned drivers violation (Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc.). More serious motoring convictions such as drink driving charges (DR10) remain ‘active’ for much longer. If you deliberately don’t disclose your convictions when asked by the insurance company, your insurance could be invalid, and you may be refused insurance in the future.

Reporting Your Conviction

Conviction & the Cost of Motor Trade Insurance

Criminal convictions can affect the cost of your motor insurance. In general, insurance for convicted drivers is higher. Motor traders insurance is more expensive when you have a conviction because insurance providers consider you to be a higher risk person. Most auto insurance companies view people with criminal records or criminal activity on their driving records as higher risk because they see it as evidence that they're more likely to engage in irresponsible or dangerous behavior. A few key factors will affect how much you pay for coverage:

  • The severity of your conviction
  • The size of your business
  • The type of business you run
  • The level of cover you get

Taking Action

You can take affirmative action to improve your situation by focusing on what’s in your control. Your goal should be to show insurers that your convictions are in the past, and that they don’t apply to you anymore.

Below are a few actions you can take to try to lower your insurance premium:

  • Attend a speed awareness course if you were convicted of speeding
  • Take extra driving lessons or go on additional driving courses to become a safer driver
  • Follow any court-orders you’ve been given as a result of your conviction

It’s going to help your case if you have a positive track record in your most recent days and history. It’ll count in your favour if your conviction was years ago, and you haven’t had any other incidents or anything pop up on your track record most recently. It’ll show that it was a lapse in judgment if you had a clean record both before and after the incident.

Don’t Risk it

If you’re returning to the motor trade after an extended period away due to convictions, a driving ban, or a prison sentence, you might find yourself confused about how you can successfully operate as a motor trader with convictions. You should seek expert advice from a knowledgeable motor trade insurance broker to find out how you could run a motor trade business as someone with convictions.

Having a criminal conviction and knowing your costs may go up may tempt you to forgo taking out insurance altogether. However, this is likely a risk you don’t want to take. Not only is it a legal requirement to have Third Party cover at the very least, but your business will be better off by being properly insured. It would restrict your business activities and make it extremely difficult to succeed in your motor trade business.

Moving Forward

It’s essential that you’re always open and honest about your convictions and report them accordingly. Your priority should always be to be a responsible driver and business owner and to avoid picking up any additional motoring offences. If you have a conviction and need insurance, one of the best places to start is with an insurance broker. Brokers can seek out the right insurance for your circumstances – and it’s free to get quotes through them. The broker can help prevent being refused insurance and ensure a smooth process for a new start-up business.


It’s clear that criminal convictions can affect your motor insurance. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to still get it and work around and with your situation at hand. Always disclose what’s going on with you so that your insurance company can find the most ideal and affordable solutions for you based on your circumstances. Take the time to sit down and discuss your situation and so the broker can provide you with further advice on how you can make your insurance more affordable. Every case is different, and every case should be judged on its merits on an individual basis. Make sure you work with someone who understands this when shopping around for insurance.