If you have committed a motoring offence, it is easy and understandable to focus on the immediate problem ñ the type of offence, the penalty, and the possible solutions. What may be neglected are the long-term consequences of convictions, which can be even more problematic than the penalty imposed by the court. Some convictions, like drink driving, for example, may result in difficulties in international travel.
Each conviction endorsed on a motoristís licence will have a corresponding code. If you break the 30mph speed limit, this will be reflected on your driving record as an SP30. A CU80 means that you have been caught using your mobile telephone whilst driving and if you’ve driven without insurance, you will end up with an IN10.
But what exactly are these codes for, and how do they affect you in the future?
Insurance companies tend to ask you for previous convictions in the last five years (up from the previous industry-standard of four years) and each blip on your record may nudge your premium up. Some codes have a minimal effect on premiums, such as an SP30, however there are some that will increase your insurance premium by such an extent that itíll make your eyes water.
For the purposes of this article I am going to give an example of one of the most common problem-codes, which is TT99. TT99 is the code used when someone is disqualified from driving as a “totter”, and that is when someone accumulates 12 points or more in any three-year period. As an experiment, I have used www.confused.com to provide some examples of how devastating this can be, and for the purposes of this exercise, I have used the following vehicle and details:
- Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.4 TDCi, 2005 (Value estimated – £1,350)
- £250 excess
- 10,000 miles per year
- Immobiliser and alarm fitted
- Five years protected no claims bonus
- Parked in a secure garage while at home in London
I have specifically chosen this as it is not a top of the range vehicle, with a small engine and pretty much average in all respects. In my first search I stated that I did not have any previous convictions within the last five years. The cheapest quote was from Admiral at £500.64 and the most expensive from Halifax came in at £633.92
For my second search, I kept all of the details the same, except I added in the TT99 code. The results came from entirely different insurers than those from the first search, indicating that some insurers simply will not provide cover if you have a TT99 (it is worth noting I did my search as a ìnew customerî as opposed to an existing one). The results I did get, however, were significantly higher. The cheapest quote was from GoSkippy at £1509.71. The most expensive was from One Call at £2592.95, which is a staggering increase.
For comparison purposes, I did the same search with a newer vehicle; a SEAT Leon from 2016 with an estimated value of £10,000 (approximately). All other criteria was kept the same. Without the TT99 code, the cheapest quote was from Admiral at £575.67, and the most expensive from Acorn at £2909.55. When I added the TT99 code, the cheapest I could find was from U-Drive at £1315.30, with Acorn being the most expensive at a whopping £4008.27.
The impact of these quotes is even more significant when you consider that the conviction needs to be disclosed for five years. If you were insured by Acorn with a TT99 code, you could pay over £20,000 to insure a SEAT Leon during those five years. The good news, however, is that avoiding a TT99 code is often achievable, so if you are about to hit the 12 points mark and want to keep your licence, then I would strongly recommend seeking legal advice.
Motoring Defence Solicitors are road traffic lawyers specialising in drink and drug driving offences. Based out of their central London offices, they provide free advice on a range of offences to motorists nationwide. You can contact Neil Sargeant for free on 0800 433 2880 or visit the website at www.drinkdrugdriving.co.uk.