Exclusive research by Confused.com reveals the 10 most common motoring convictions – and how breaking the law can cost you hundreds of pounds when renewing your car insurance. By Naphtalia Loderick.
Speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel and drink driving top the list of motoring offences most regularly committed on UK roads.
But as well as a conviction, points on your licence and a fine, falling foul of the law while driving could also add hundreds of pounds to your car insurance premiums, as our research shows.
The cost of a motoring conviction
The figures in the table below are based on a test quote we ran for a 30-year-old female marketing manager living in Cardiff and driving a 2003 Mini Cooper.
With an annual mileage of 6,000, five years' no-claims discount, and the car parked on a driveway when not in use, she would pay £682 a year for cover.
This table is based on customers who obtained a car insurance quote from Confused.com between October and December 2012, with motoring convictions in the last five years prior to the date of the quote.
Factors affecting your car insurance cost
Now, the actual cost of a motoring conviction on car insurance costs will vary depending on the individual driver.
Why? Well, there are a number of factors car insurers take into account when calculating your motor insurance premium.
This includes the car you drive, where you live, your age and driving history, and your annual mileage, among other things.
But Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com, says: "Any conviction will likely cause a change in the cost of car insurance.
"Our advice is simple: drive carefully and be mindful of the rules of the road."
The cost of fines
As well as a conviction affecting car insurance costs, fines for various driving offences will also leave drivers feeling the pinch.
When it comes to speeding, for example, drivers face a fine of up to £1,200.
Driving without insurance also come with hefty penalties.
First-time offenders may receive six points on their licence and a fine of £180, but the penalties can be far more serious depending on the incident.
But in the worst cases this can result in a complete ban and fines of up to £5,000.
Take care of your tyres
One of the less obvious motoring convictions is driving with defective tyres.
But according to tyre-safety organisation Tyresafe, drivers can face fines of up to £10,000 if convicted of this offence.
One defective or bald tyre could see drivers hit with a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points on their licence, and up to £5,000 and six points for two defective tyres.
If all four tyres were defective, the maximum fine could be as much as £10,000 with a whopping 12 penalty points.
The cost of non-disclosure
Kloet urges drivers looking to cut motoring costs to resist the temptation to simply not disclose a motoring conviction when shopping around for cheap car insurance.
He explains: "If you don't disclose a conviction and you make a claim on your policy, your insurance company could refuse to pay the claim.
"Alternatively, they could make an additional charge for the conviction and won't authorise the claim until the charge is paid.
"How big an impact a conviction will have on the cost of your insurance depends on a number of factors, including insurance companies' conviction policies, the type of conviction, the car you drive and your age.
"Make sure you shop around on a price comparison site like Confused.com to ensure you get the best price."