Car insurance for people with criminal convictions

We can help you find the right policy if you have a criminal record

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[1] Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply

Criminal convictions and car insurance

Having a criminal record will increase the cost of your car insurance, whether your conviction is motoring-related or not, because insurers see you as a greater risk.

All convictions matter to your insurer, regardless of the crime, including robbery and driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Even minor anti-social crimes like littering count.

Even though it’ll cost you more and fewer insurers will be willing to cover you, you can still get the same level of cover as someone without a conviction.

Failure to honestly disclose a conviction when asked could be classed as fraud and invalidate your insurance

What you need to declare

Unspent convictions
Spent convictions
Named drivers

Disclosing unspent convictions

Insurers will ask you to disclose your criminal convictions to work out if you can be covered.

You must declare any unspent convictions you have.

Unspent convictions are in place for a set period. They can be short, last years or be indefinite.

If you get a conviction during your cover, you don’t have to let your insurer know until you renew, unless it states otherwise in your policy.

If you don’t disclose your unspent convictions when asked, your insurance will be invalid. Insurers can even get their money back from you if you’ve made a claim with them.

Final warnings, cautions and reprimands aren’t convictions, so they don’t need to be disclosed.

Key points

  • If your insurer asks, you must declare your unspent convictions
  • Your insurance will be invalid if you don’t
  • Warnings, cautions and reprimands don’t need to be disclosed

Don’t disclose spent convictions

After a certain amount of time, depending on the severity of the crime, your conviction will become spent.

You don’t need to tell your insurer about spent convictions, even if you’re asked.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, spent convictions can’t count against you anymore.

Key points

  • After a certain amount of time, unspent convictions become spent
  • You don’t have to declare spent convictions
  • They don’t count against you

Named drivers criminal convictions

If someone else needs to regularly drive your car, like a friend or relative, then you can add them to your car insurance as a named driver.

As your policy will cover another driver, you’ll need to give the insurer their details too, which includes disclosing any criminal convictions they have.

The convictions of named drivers can affect the price of car insurance whether the main driver has convictions or not.

Don’t try and save money by listing someone without convictions as the main driver, when a driver with convictions will mostly be driving the car – this is called fronting. It’s illegal and a form of fraud.

Key points

  • If asked, you must declare convictions of anyone listed on your insurance
  • Criminal convictions of named drivers will affect the price
  • Don’t put someone without convictions as the main driver if they aren’t – it’s fraud and it won’t save you money in the long run

Find car insurance, even if you have unspent criminal convictions

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Lowering the cost of your car insurance

Here are a few ways to potentially lower your premiums if you have criminal convictions:

  1. Increase your excess

    If you can afford to, paying more voluntary excess can make more policies available to you

  2. Drive fewer miles

    The less you drive, the less likely you are to be in an accident

  3. Make your car secure

    Invest in some extra security for your car, like an immobiliser or tracking device

  4. Drive safely

    Taking an advanced driving course shows you’re committed to being a safe driver

  5. Telematics insurance

    Your premiums are based on how well you drive, monitored by a black box that’s fitted to your car

  6. Consider specialist providers

    Some will take referrals from the Probation Service and HM Prison Service, which can reduce your premium

All the insurers on our panel will ask if you have a criminal conviction, but you can still compare and save

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Read more about car insurance 

[1]Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.

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