How Penalty Points Affect your Car Insurance

 by Melanie May | 2 min read     June 17th, 2021


Penalty points can affect your car insurance in different ways. Having points on your licence can increase your insurance premium and in some cases make it harder for you to get cover. Therefore, to make it as easy as possible to get a car insurance quote, it's important to keep your driving record as clean as possible.

Got endorsements on your licence? Here’s how penalty points affect your car insurance premium and what you should do if you receive penalty points on your licence.

What are penalty points?

In Ireland, penalty points are used to enforce the rules of the road and improve road safety and driver behaviour.

Penalty points range from one to three points depending on the motoring offence committed. For example, you will receive one penalty point for driving on a cycle track and three penalty points for speeding.

The most common penalty point notices are for the following offences:

  • Speeding - 3 penalty points
  • Driving a vehicle while holding a mobile phone - 3 penalty points
  • Using a vehicle without a valid NCT certificate - 3 penalty points
  • Driving without reasonable consideration - 2 penalty points
  • No insurance - mandatory court appearance and 5 penalty points on conviction

Penalty points don't physically appear on your licence. They are recorded on your driving record on the National Vehicle and Driver File. They remain on your driving record for three years.

Do penalty points affect insurance?

The answer is, it depends. Having less than two penalty points usually doesn’t affect your car insurance, but each insurance company in Ireland has different policies.

However, if you've had fixed penalty points applied to your licence, you must tell your insurance company. If you don't, this could affect your ability to make a claim, which can leave you seriously out of pocket. 

At Allianz, we use your driver number and date of birth to verify your penalty points when you wish to take out a car insurance policy or renewing a policy with us.

If you are unsure if you have penalty points or how many you have, you can contact the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS).

Will penalty points increase my insurance premium?

Insurers base quotes on several risk factors. In general, the number of penalty points, the nature of the motoring offences and the type of licence you have will determine whether or not your insurance premium is affected. Typically, though, your car insurance quote increases the more penalty points you have.

Will a driving ban affect my car insurance?

If within three years you accumulate 12 penalty points (7 for learner drivers), you'll be automatically disqualified from driving for six months. Once you have a driving ban, your premium will increase. This is because your risk factor increases. You might also find it harder to get insurance cover, especially from a new provider.

If your driving ban lasts more than two years, you'll lose your no-claims bonus (NCB). This also increases the cost of your car insurance.

Can I get insurance cover if I have penalty points?

Motorists are legally obliged to have car insurance. If you are caught driving without insurance it is a mandatory court appearance and 5 penalty points on conviction. This will make it much harder for your to get insurance down the line.

If you have penalty points or a driving ban, and you are worried about getting car insurance, just be honest and upfront with your insurance provider. This will enable them to give you the best car insurance quote for your circumstances.

This guidance is for general information purposes only.

Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria and policy conditions apply.




Melanie May
Journalist @thejournal_ie & @CompleteCar | Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager | Travel Blogger | Food Writer & Judge