Sometimes it seems that getting a few penalty points on a driving licence actually has little deterrent effect.

The latest investigation of data by Compare the Market seems to back this up… initially.

The average quote for a car insurance premium in Britain for a driver who has zero points on their licence is £700. When three penalty points are aded to the equation, then drivers only face paying £5 more on average. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of security if you have strayed across the legal line. When a driver goes from having three to six points, the average insurance quote will leap from £705 to £937 – that’s an average increase of £232, or £39 per point. Increasing your points from here, a further three points to make the total nine results is a £40 increase to an average quote of £977.

Drivers who build up 12 or more points on their licence are supposed to be banned by default. However, thousands of motorists escape this punishment, with many using the controversial “exceptional hardship” argument in court. The average car insurance quote for a driver with 12 points is £1,009. If a motorist has 13 or more points, meanwhile, they can expect to pay an average of £1,356.

Looking at the points per pound increase across the board, receiving three points irrespective of how many you may already have results in a £131 uptick in insurance premiums.

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In March 2021, 2.64 million drivers had points on their licence, according to Compare the Market’s analysis of DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) figures. This represents a year-on-year decrease of three per cent.

The DVLA’s data also shows that 71% of penalty points are given to men, while 60% are accrued by drivers over the age of 40.

The SL6 postcode in Maidenhead has 5,484 drivers with penalty points – more than anywhere else. Second is Northampton (NN3) with 4,994, while third is Slough (SL1) with 4,377.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, comments: “Motorists may not realise the long-term cost that poor driving can have on car insurance premiums.

“Our research shows the increase in premiums is often greater than the initial fine for irresponsible driving. Drivers will also face the more expensive premiums in each of the four years that the penalty points remain on their licence.”