Actress and Mean Girls star Lindsay Lohan may be the ultimate wild child of the moment but it seems her lifestyle’s actually not that far removed from teenagers in the UK at least when it comes to getting behind the wheel of car after a drink and perhaps something extra.
Li-lo has had a series of run-ins with traffic cops and recently pleaded no contest to drink-driving charges. But she’s not that unusual when it comes to UK teens.
Shocking research shows that around one in five 17 to 18-year old motorists in the UK also admit to driving after a drink. And even more alarmingly seven per cent admitted driving while under the influence of drugs.
Getting behind the wheel when drunk or on drugs is clearly a stupid and reckless thing to do, but the effect it may have on your car insurance premiums, if you’re fortunate enough to ever get back in a car, is less well known. Just in case killing yourself and others wasn’t disincentive enough, here are a few more.
Soaring car insurance premiums
Insurers are likely to jump on any opportunity you give them to raise your premium, and drink driving is just about the worst thing you can have against your name. Any driving convictions have to be declared to your insurer and will add to your annual premiums.
Speeding will cost you three points on your license and will normally see a jump of £20 or £30 on your annual car insurance premiums.
But a drink-driving conviction as well as keeping you off the road with a year’s driving ban could add anything up to £1,000 to your premiums – and that’s if any insurer will touch you.
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A ban lasts longer than a year
It’s a lengthy penalty too. Generally speaking insurers will penalise you for around five years after the ban expires. If you were banned from driving your Golf at the age of 17 for example, you could end up shelling out as much as £10,000 over the first five years you’re back on the road.
Drug-driving, which has seen a massive increase in recent years, is viewed as an equally serious offence by insurers and the courts 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 get convicted for it.
Most of us are unlikely to put ourselves in the position of being convicted for drink or drug-driving offences but with two million speeding offences being recorded last year the chances are many of us will be slapped with a ticket at some stage.
Speeding costs too
Whilst three points on the license may see £20-£30 added to your premium you can expect to suffer a bigger sting should you rack up enough points to get banned.
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!
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