speedingPatrick Seeger

Driving is the one area in life where most people will admit that they have bent the rules. But whether you have crept a fraction over the speed limit, or picked up a phone call mid-journey, it's worth appreciating just how serious the consequences could be.

Even if you avoid having a serious accident, you could be hit with a massive fine - and an even bigger financial penalty could be lying in wait from your insurer.


Speeding

Research from Confused.com found that speeding, which accounts for almost two in every three offences, can add a third to the cost of your premiums. This works out at around £200 more for your insurance cover every year.

And this is just for those facing their first speeding conviction and three points on their licence: those with more points would see their premiums rise still further, while those who are nearing a ban could find it almost impossible to get any cover at all.

Add in a potential fine of up to £1,200 - for those with the most serious abuses of the law - and exceeding the speed limit starts to become very expensive indeed.

Offences

The use of mobile phones while driving is the second most common conviction, and adds a shocking 49% to the cost of cover.

Those found driving with defective tyres could add 69% to their car insurance premium - which is about £400 on the typical premium. This sounds a great deal, but it's a very serious business, and in some cases can carry a fine of up to £10,000 and 12 penalty points too.

Those caught driving while under the influence of alcohol could see their premiums more than double - rising 115%. That would mean just one poor decision in the pub after work could add almost £800 a year to the price of your insurance.

While those found driving without insurance will face the most financial pain of all: their insurance premiums will rise 131%. Given that they could also face a ban and fines of up to £5,000, this is clearly the most expensive risk of all.

Beware

Gareth Kloet, Confused.com head of insurance, said: "Any conviction will likely cause a change in the cost of car insurance and those with convictions could be paying out hundreds of pounds more than people with a clean licence."

He added that you cannot get round this by failing to disclose your convictions because you could invalidate your cover in the event of any claim - or your insurer could charge a supplement for the conviction in retrospect, and not pay out on the claim until that second charge is paid.

In all, the advice is to keep your nose clean, or face major financial penalties. But what do you think? is this enough to put people off breaking the rules? Let us know in the comments.



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