Yes the title is correct! With most trying to save money at the moment, why would you want to risk increasing your car insurance costs by getting a motoring offence for speeding or using a mobile phone whilst driving? It seems many are doing just this.
According to AA Insurance, whilst historically many insurers ignored a first speeding offence (an SP30), few now do so as they identify this as a risk and charge premiums accordingly.
The result is that being caught for speeding, even if it is a first offence, can cost you four times the typical £60 fine as your car insurance will rise over 3 years.
This makes the typical £90 cost of a speed awareness course, offered by many police forces for first offenders, appear good value.
Insurers regard attending a course as a responsible action while evidence from those attending is overwhelmingly that the dangers of speeding are driven home, and believe their driving improves as a result.
That said, as Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, says: “As a driver’s record deteriorates, the likelihood of being involved in a crash increases” and adds “offend again and that good work is undone: drivers won’t get a second chance to attend a course and they will be fined and will see their premiums go up.”
Speeding might be done ‘accidentally’ but clearly you can’t ‘accidentally’ send a text whilst driving. As such, an offence for using a hand-held mobile phone is regarded as much more serious than speeding.
Mr Douglas says: “My view is that the present CU80 offence, which attracts a £60 fine and three points (the same as for speeding) is too lenient” albeit he recognises that police may escalate a mobile phone offence to careless or dangerous driving which can carry much heavier penalties.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “With the cost of running a car ever rising, adding to these costs by incurring a driving offence is really not sensible – both from a cost point of view and of course a danger point of view, to both you, your passengers and other road users.
Some are even risking driving without cover. This may be in an attempt to save money but it really isn’t worth it – you are risking a fine, penalty points on your licence and that’s not to mention the additional premiums that you are making honest drivers pay on your behalf or that you might end up having your car taken away.
“You can save money on your insurance by shopping around to get the best deal and making sure you only buy the cover you need e.g. If you don’t need a courtesy car if your car is off the road, why pay extra to have one included? Think about such as the excess you are prepared to pay too and the mileage you need included each year. What level of cover do you need – comprehensive cover or will the legal minimum of third party, fire and theft suffice?
“As a final point, do consider buying GAP insurance too. Whilst another cost, this can be useful if you write-off your car as it can cover the difference between the amount you receive from your car insurance company and the amount you need to pay off any finance or lease agreement or buy another equivalent car.”