CAR INSURANCE POSTCODE LOTTERY
DRIVING LAW ENFORCEMENT CREATES A CAR INSURANCE POSTCODE LOTTERY
23rd November 2015
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Data released by car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk highlights a massive regional variation in driving convictions, a key factor used by insurers when calculating premiums. With different police forces adopting different law enforcement priorities and strategies, Britain's motorists are being subjected to a what is essentially a postcode lottery when it comes to the chances of keeping a clean licence.
Andrew Goulborn, Tiger.co.uk's Commercial Director, claimed that this disparity could be costing drivers when it comes to car insurance costs: "We looked at over 300,000 car insurance quotes and then drilled down to look at motoring conviction rates by major UK city. The results were quite shocking, with Glasgow drivers being 74% more likely to have had a motoring conviction in the last 5 years than the average UK motorist. The Edinburgh results reinforced the Scotland divide when it comes to enforcement of driving laws.
There are also interesting variances across England: For example, motorists in Liverpool are 23% more likely to have driving convictions on their licence than drivers in Manchester, just 35 miles away."
There is no suggestion here that drivers in any part of the UK are exhibiting vastly different driving behaviours, that drivers in one area are inherently less law abiding than those elsewhere in the country. Rather, that local police forces adopt differing approaches to the implementation of the UK's driving laws, some of which also vary by area. In December 2014 for example, the drink-drive blood level limit in Scotland was reduced from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml. In addition, the creation of a national police force in Scotland in April 2013 appears to have lead to a targeted clampdown on all driving offences, with driving convictions increasing by some 14% in the following year. And in July 2015, Police Scotland unveiled new powers to take action against drivers who are driving at speeds only marginally over designated speed limits.
Such geographic variance in the application of driving laws has a knock-on effect on car insurance premiums. Tiger.co.uk estimates that the addition of a single speeding conviction (an SP30 offence) could inflate insurance costs by more than 30% - and additional costs could apply for up to 5 years. As a result, the actions - and inaction - of police forces around the UK have a massive impact on the billions of pounds spent on car insurance each year.
Goulborn summarised: "With so much variation in how police forces apply UK motoring legislation, we are seeing drivers in parts of the UK being penalised twice - once through the courts and again through additional insurance premiums. Our analysis of over 300,000 quotes showed that nationally only about 1 in 10 drivers claims to have endorsements on their licence. However in parts of Scotland this figure is about 1 in 6. Quite simply, it's significantly harder to keep a clean licence in Scotland than it is in England and Wales and this impacts on car insurance rates. We would welcome a debate on how we can develop a more consistent approach to the application of driving laws across the UK whilst not compromising on the safety of our roads".
|Name:||Joanna Buck - Senior Marketing Manager|
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Tiger.co.uk is a trading name of Call Connection Ltd. Tiger.co.uk is a UK based motor insurance comparison site, offering insurance quotes from over 150 motor insurance brands. Call Connection Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA number 308374).