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Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and a serious offence, as it puts both you and other road users at risk. Those convicted of drink driving can receive anything from a fine and driving ban, to a stretch in prison. As you’d expect, a drink driving conviction also makes getting insured again both trickier and more expensive.
On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about getting car insurance after a conviction and driving ban, including the types of policy on offer and ways you can minimise costs.
Drink driving is operating a vehicle when your blood contains more than the legal limit of alcohol. If you’re stopped and your blood is found to have over the limit of alcohol, you’ll be convicted of driving under the influence.
While the alcohol limit itself is the same for everyone, it’s hard to translate it into a definitive number of drinks, because everyone’s body processes alcohol differently. Gender, age, weight and other factors all play a role in how long it takes the body to process alcohol, as well as how many units will determine that you’re over the limit. That’s why it’s best to avoid alcohol when driving altogether.
A drink driving offence will stay on your record for 11 years after the date of conviction.
Yes, although it’s a much more complex process than before you were convicted. Some insurers may refuse to insure you completely, while those that do have suitable policies will only offer them with higher premiums than pre-conviction. However, there are several steps you can take to minimise your premiums.
‘Drink driving is a serious offence and not taken lightly by insurers. If you’re approaching the end of a ban however, it’s worth considering policies with a black box and taking a rehabilitation course beforehand.
Curtis Moldrich – automotive journalist
Take a rehabilitation course
A rehabilitation course can indicate drink drivers are willing to improve their driving conduct. These are usually offered to those with a ban of over a year, and the durations of sessions vary. Note that you have to pay for them yourself.
They can cost around £200, but some insurers view them as a significant step towards safer driving. Therefore, a course like this could reduce your premiums by as much as a quarter if you’ve attended one.
Get a suitable car
Insurance is partly calculated on the type of car you’re trying to get insured on. Cars are sorted into a group between 1 and 50 for insurance purposes, and generally the lower the group, the lower the premiums. If you’re already in a high-risk age group, get a sensible car to get the costs down.
Telematics or black box
Designed to record data such as speed, acceleration and time of day, a black box essentially records your inputs and shows if you really are a safe driver. Your premiums could go down if you’re willing to have your driving monitored.
Reduce the miles
Reducing your mileage will reduce costs, as the fewer miles you drive, the less insurers will view your car as at risk. Black box policies can easily measure how many miles you do and will be able to reward you for sticking to your limits.
It’s possible to cut costs by upping your voluntary excess and agreeing to pay more initial outlay on any claim, before the insurance company pays the rest. However, while it may seem like a good idea at the time, remember that you may have to pay it one day, so make it affordable.
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