Male motorists are clocking up more than twice as many penalty points as their female counterparts, according to new data from the Department for Transport (DfT). Male drivers racking up three penalty points on their licences currently total 1,343,700, compared to 606,700 for female drivers, as of the 5 February this year.
The number of male drivers with six points is 395,000, whereas with female motorists the figure is 120,600.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, a leading insurance comparison website, comments: “The data suggests that women are the more cautious drivers – racking up less penalty points. However, the differences are stark to say the least and concerning.”
Greg Wilson warns that law breaking motorists will feel the effect: “At a time when all of us are looking to tighten our belts, penalty points can really hit motorists in the pocket. In addition to legal fines that accompany the points, offending motorists’ insurance companies will reassess how they see their risk and in turn premium.
“Three points can raise insurance premiums by 5%, but can ratchet up fees by as much as 25% if a motorist has six points on a licence. Remember, penalty points stay on a licence for four years and the corresponding rise in insurance fees may do so as well.”
The data further shows that 1,120 women and 6,100 men have 12 points on their licences, which leads to an automatic ban – called a TT99. If a driver is disqualified from driving under this ‘totting up’ system, they will have had a TT99 conviction code added to their driving record, which means they’ll likely have to pay considerably more for their ‘TT99 insurance’ after the period of disqualification ends.
Greg Wilson continues: “Motorists who can prove exceptional circumstances in court may be allowed to continue driving, but the courts are far from pushovers and the judge has the power to award the maximum fine and determine the length of the ban – over 56 days means the driver has to reapply for the license and maybe even retest.”
Insurance providers are prohibited from using gender as part of their risk analysis calculation, as per The Equality Act established in 2010. They use other factors such as the level of no claims bonus secured, age, postcode, vehicle specifications and of course, number of penalty points incurred, to help determine the most appropriate premium price per customer.
Motorists who want to reduce the effect of penalty points might try the following to keep their premiums as low as possible:
- Sign-up to a telematics product recognised by their insurance firm, which allows them to showcase their new safer driving behaviour
- There are specialist insurance policies for drivers with penalty points that can help – shop around on comparison websites for specialist driver policies
- Parking in a more secure location overnight can really reduce fees, if they have a garage or a private driveway use it and let the insurer know
- Choosing a car without branding or modifications and even a smaller engine can also help reduce premiums
- Installing a dashcam can help too – insurance providers may offer discounts if drivers have one fitted