If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be worried about how this will affect your ability to find car insurance. Our handy guide answers the most common questions about criminal convictions and how to get car insurance if you have one.

What is classed as a criminal conviction?

A criminal conviction can be anything from a prison sentence to a minor offence such as littering or fare dodging. When it comes to criminal convictions they can either by ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’. Convictions become spent after a certain amount of time. For more serious crimes it will take longer for the convictions to become spent.

As far as insurance goes, you only have to declare unspent convictions. Even if you are asked directly about any previous convictions, you do not have to declare them if they’re spent. If you’re planning to get more than one person insured on a vehicle, the same rules apply to them.

How do I find out if my conviction is spent?

Often you’ll be told when you conviction will be spent, either by a police officer or the court.

If you’re not sure if your conviction is spent or not, check out the useful links below:

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Do I have to declare unspent convictions?

When it comes to unspent convictions, you usually don’t have to declare them unless you’re asked specifically. It’s down to the insurance provider to get this information from you.

If you’re convicted of a crime after you’ve taken out an insurance policy, you don’t have to declare it until it’s time to renew the policy. It’s always a good idea to request written confirmation of any convictions you’ve declared so there are no disputes further down the line.

What if I lie about a criminal conviction?

Lying about a criminal conviction is a bad idea. If you take out a policy after lying about a conviction and your insurance provider finds out, your car insurance could easily be declared void. Also, if you were to make a claim and your insurance provider later discovered you had an unspent conviction – and you had lied about it – they could ask for the money they paid out back.

Where can I find car insurance if I have a conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction, you might find it difficult to get a fair car insurance quote. This is because most insurance providers calculate their policy costs based on risk. So the best way to get car insurance is to use a specialist insurance broker who provides quotes to people with criminal convictions. You can find out more information about car insurance for those with criminal convictions on the rest of our website.