Understanding Car Insurance with Penalty Points in Ireland

Posted on August 15, 2023

Can’t get Car Insurance because you have Penalty Points? Call KennCo Insurance. 

Man Driving Car

Due to rising premiums and bogus claims, car Insurance in Ireland has been a highly debated topic recently. We’ve previously written about the factors influencing car insurance prices and our predictions for premiums in 2017. But what influence does having penalty points have on your premium?  

The Penalty Point System 

The penalty points system was introduced in Ireland on 31 October 2002. Due to the rising number of deaths on Irish roads, it was rolled out to reduce deaths and encourage safer driving. Reasons for obtaining penalty points include speeding, using your mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seat belt or careless driving.

If a driver receives 12 within a three-year period, they are automatically disqualified from driving for a period of 6 months. The threshold is lower for learner drivers or newly qualified drivers. They only need to receive 6 penalty points to be banned from driving.  

Understanding Penalty Points: A Deeper Dive

Some of the reasons for obtaining penalty points:

  • Speeding: Discuss the different speed limits in various zones and the number of points associated with exceeding each limit.
  • Mobile Phone Usage: Highlight the dangers of using a phone while driving and the associated penalty points.
  • Seat Belt Usage: Emphasise the importance of seat belts in reducing fatalities and injuries.

How to Avoid Accumulating Penalty Points

There are some steps you can take to avoid accumulating penalty points:

  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure brakes, lights, and other essential systems are working.
  • Defensive Driving Courses: Consider taking a course to improve driving skills and awareness.
  • Stay Updated: Regularly review the rules of the road and any changes to penalty point offences.

The Broader Picture: Road Safety in Ireland

The penalty points system isn’t just a mechanism to penalise drivers; it’s part of a broader initiative to ensure safer roads in Ireland. Let’s delve into some statistics and see how Ireland fares in terms of road safety:

  • Road Accidents Over the Years: Since introducing the penalty points system in 2002, there has been a notable reduction in road accidents. For instance, in 2002, there were approximately 411 road fatalities in Ireland. By 2019, this number had decreased to around 148, showcasing the effectiveness of stricter regulations and public awareness campaigns.

  • Comparison with Europe: Ireland’s road safety record is commendable compared to the rest of Europe. The European average for road deaths per million inhabitants was 51 in 2019, while Ireland recorded 30 deaths per million, placing it among the safer countries in Europe.

  • Common Causes of Accidents: Despite the improvements, there are still areas of concern. Speeding remains a significant factor in fatal road accidents, contributing to nearly one-third of all road deaths in Ireland. Alcohol-impaired driving is responsible for about 38% of all fatal accidents, highlighting the need for continued awareness and stricter enforcement.

  • Young Drivers: Young drivers, especially those aged between 17 and 24, are particularly at risk. They account for approximately 20% of all road deaths, despite representing just 12% of the driving population. This statistic underscores the importance of targeted interventions and education for this age group.

Do Penalty Points affect the Price of your Car Insurance?

The answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on how many penalty points you have, what kind of license you have and which car insurance company you’re getting a quote from.

Having less than 4 penalty points usually doesn’t affect your premium with most insurance companies in Ireland. But if you have more, getting insurance coverage might be more expensive. Some insurance companies may even refuse to quote you. 

At KennCo, we add nothing extra to your insurance policy if you have up to 5 penalty points. And while you’re likely to be turned away from many other insurance companies, we’ll gladly provide you with a quote if you have more. 

You can get a secure quote online or call us on 0818 25 20 25 today. 

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