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Research conducted by MoneySupermarket has shown that penalty points on a driver’s license could see their premium increase by as much as nearly 90% per annum, and this could last for a period of five years. The research also shows that the cumulative cost of all points accrued by drivers is equivalent to £132m a year, while the company has also given the average increases according to the number of points that a driver has attained.

Drivers are often reminded that getting penalty points on their driving licence, for infringements ranging from speeding to driving without insurance, can lead to extensive increases in the price that they have to pay for their annual insurance premium. Anybody that has received points will no doubt have been surprised by the actual amount that their premium rose, and this will often represent a much higher financial penalty than that of the fine that accompanies most of these offences.

Some drivers have gone to considerable extremes to try and avoid this, including those that pay others to take their points, and other attempted fraudulent activity. Drivers are now more inclined to take driver awareness courses, when offered, because these negate the need to have penalty points applied to a licence. Unfortunately, according to some studies, insurers will still raise premiums because they ask their customers whether they have attended such courses.

Penalty points remain on a licence for four years, are used in the totting up procedure for three years, but are not considered legally spent for five years from the date of the offence. Insurers will ask for five years of penalty point details, and this means that insurance rises could last for this same five year period.

According to the figures, drivers with between 1 and 3 points face a 5% increase in their annual premium, while those with 4 to 6 points face 25% higher prices and drivers with 7 to 9 points could see their annual insurance cost rise by 45%. Drivers with 10 or 11 points see an average increase of 82% and drivers that have 12 points or more are likely to have to pay 89% more than they would if they had no points.