Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes was more of a Lewis Hamilton than Inspector Lewis when he was caught doing 90mph in a 60mph zone.
The South Yorkshire Chief Constable, who was banned from driving for 42 days and fined £300 had only recently stepped down from his role as head of road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, where he called for tough action against speeding.
Not only does he have to suffer the embarrassment but when he’s allowed back behind the wheel, he’ll have to swallow a seriously bumped up premium on his car insurance.
Mr Hughes is by no means on his own, with millions of us being stung for driving offences of one kind or another and suffering the financial consequences.
MoneyExpert.com races through the issues that you’re likely to face if you end up on the wrong side of the road and the law…
Insurers will leap at the chance of raising your premium, and a driving ban will certainly add to your costs. Mr Hughes’ ban of 42 days is relatively light, but the likes of Amir Khan who was recently banned for six months for careless driving would face a much steeper hike in their premiums.
As driving crimes go, thing could have been much worse for the South Yorkshire copper, as speeding tends to effect premiums the least. Much worse would be a conviction for drink driving. Getting behind the wheel after a merry Christmas party as well as almost certainly keeping you off the road for at least a year could add anything up to £1,000 to your premiums – and that’s if any insurer will touch you.
Drug-driving is also an offence that can land you in financial as well as legal trouble, being viewed as equally serious to drink-driving by courts and insurers alike. Over the last two decades the number of victims from drug-drivers has increased 600% according to Zurich Insurance, and you can expect a similarly sharp hike in your premiums should you be convicted for it.
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A lengthy penalty
Though Mr Hughes’ ban is only for 42 days you can guarantee that he’ll be quite literally paying the penalty for many years to come. Generally speaking insurers will penalise you for around five years after the ban expires. A newly qualified driver being banned on their Golf for example could end up paying as much as £10,000 over the first five years that they’re back on the road.
Even if you don’t get banned you can expect a rise in your insurance costs. As well as the £60 fine you’ll receive for a minor speeding offence you can expect your premium to rise from around £20-£30.
On the plus side, if you do find yourself facing a court appearance, some insurers will cover the costs, and compensate you for your inability to travel. This will be tucked away in the small print so is always worth looking for, but don’t expect to see it with basic policies, and it’s not much use if you rely on driving to make a living.