Your money: Mine's a huge premium

Insurers find it hard to forgive drink-drivers, writes Nic Cicutti

It doesn't seem to matter how many stories appear or how many television ads are screened: thousands of motorists throughout the UK will lose their licences through drink-related offences this Christmas.

Home Office statistics show that last year more than 700,000 drivers were breath-tested. About 13 per cent - some 90,000 motorists - gave positive tests or refused to take a test. In either case, the effect is the loss of a licence.

A significant proportion of drivers who test positive are stopped over the Christmas season, a time when barely a day passes without most of us being able to find yet another excuse for a drink.

Last week, insurers warned drivers that the consequence of being over the limit is not only a lost licence and a heavy fine, and possibly a prison sentence. Once the driving ban is served, drink-drivers find that the cost of their insurance cover rockets for several years.

Research by Insurance Advice, a freephone telephone service, shows that a drink-driving conviction adds at least 50 per cent to the cost of car insurance. A second conviction raises this by 200 per cent.

The firm's car insurance arm, Motor Advice, contacted 22 firms, asking them to quote for a 35-year-old man, living in Guildford, driving a Ford Mondeo with a maximum no-claims bonus. Without a protected bonus, the best premium came from Preferred Direct, a broking operation, which charged pounds 162.42. For policies with protected no-claims bonuses, Norwich Union Direct and Guardian Direct quoted between pounds 186 and pounds 190 a year. After one drink-drive conviction, 15 of the companies refused to provide a quote, with the best quote from Dial Direct - without no-claims protection - rising to pounds 280.75.

James Wootten, of Motor Advice, points out: "This is pretty good business for insurance companies since many authorities believe that a person with one drink-drive conviction is very unlikely to re-offend. In fact, their chances of drink-driving again are less than for someone who has never been convicted."

Motor Advice asked for quotes for the same driver, this time after two convictions - in 1991 and 1993 - and a three-year ban.

"By this time it became pretty difficult to find insurance at all," Mr Wootten says. "In this case, only two of the telephone direct companies were prepared to offer a policy. It also becomes expensive. All no-claims discounts are lost because the driver has not been insured for at least two years."

The best quote - of pounds 807 - came from HSBC Select, a specialist broker. Other companies who were prepared to insure this driver quoted up to pounds 535 more than this figure.

Contacts: Insurance Advice: 0500 647005. Freephone cab service, connected to local taxi company: 0800 654321.

Sober rates

No drink-drive convictions

(protected no-claims bonus)

NU Direct pounds 185.99

Preferred Direct pounds 186.65

Guardian Direct pounds 190.09

Touchline pounds 219.00

GA Direct pounds 227.52

One conviction *

(protected no-claims bonus)

Privilege pounds 291.00 (includes pounds 300 excess)

HSBC Select pounds 372.77

Premium Search pounds 373.00

Touchline pounds 377.00

AA pounds 400.30

Two convictions

HSBC Select pounds 807.00

Privilege pounds 905.00 (includes pounds 600 excess)

Auto Elite pounds 967.00

Premium Search pounds 971.00

AA pounds 1,344.80

Driver, 35, max no-claims, lives in Guildford, drives Ford Mondeo, garaged and immobilised. One conviction: in Dec 1995. Two convictions: Dec 1991 and Nov 1993

Source: Motor Advice

Suggested Topics
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little