Ten per cent of drivers would swap penalty points to keep car insurance premiums down

22 August 2007 / by None
Because of the affect on insurance premiums of drivers having penalty points on their licences, one in ten drivers would consider paying or asking someone to take their points for them to avoid higher premiums or losing their licence, Confused.com has found.

Insurance premiums can rise considerably as a result of penalty points, with three points seeing a 7% rise, a 25% hike for six points and drivers with nine points can pay a massive 50% more for their premiums. In addition to hiked premiums, it becomes increasingly difficult to find an insurer that will agree to cover drivers that they deem a risk – the number of insurance companies willing to insure drivers with nine points can drop by half.

The research has revealed that 4.1 million motorists would pay someone to take their penalty points on their behalf. On average, these individuals would have to pay £100 per penalty point, but those willing to take on other people’s points said they would charge up to £500 per point.

However, 96% of people said they would not take other people’s points for them, so finding willing reciprocates for their points poses the biggest problem for those wishing to pass them onto someone else.

The vast majority turn to family and friends to take their points. Partners are top of the list, accounting for 62%, followed by friends at 14%, work colleagues at 3% and offspring at 2%.

Debra Williams, Managing Director of Confused.com, said: “Speed cameras don't always capture an accurate picture of the person driving. Shadows or sunlight reflecting off the glass can obscure a person's face resulting in a lucrative black market for point swappers.

“However, this is a dangerous lottery to play. The consequences of selling or buying points could be a criminal record and a spell at 'Her Majesty's pleasure'. Our advice is to ease off the gas, drive more responsibly and avoid the ultimate penalty!”

Confused.com also urges drivers to inform their insurer when they have points on their licences. If they fail to do so, insurance policies can be invalidated and drivers can be refused a claims payout. It could also lead to their names being added to the insurance industry’s central fraud database.

There are alternatives to breaking the law in order to keep your insurance premiums down, says Confused.com, such as shopping around for cheaper insurance, adding a driver with a clean license and no claims discount to your policy, increasing your voluntary excess, and slowing down to prevent getting points in the first place.

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