Cover for motorists with driving and speeding convictions is a specialised area. These motorists need not expect high rates, as there are several inexpensive policies for drivers convicted of speeding. If you have been convicted of a more serious offence such as drink driving or dangerous driving, there are still options for you but they may come at a high cost.

Policies for convicted drivers can vary greatly in price according to the way you get a quote. Quotes from a comparison website or insurance broker will be different from quotes that you get directly from the insurance company. It is a good idea to compare quotes before committing to a product.

Drivers who have been convicted of drink driving will have significantly higher rates than what they were paying before the conviction. Many companies will refuse to insure a convicted drink driver. However, research shows that only about 12 per cent of those convicted have a second offence within 10 years, so there are specialist brokers who can help you find cover.

Other insurance companies offer specialistpolicies for cover after a ban has expired. These are designed to keep the premiums low even for people with a drink driving conviction. If you take the Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course, your premiums can be reduced even more.

To take the course, convicted drivers must be referred to the rehabilitation course by the court that sentenced them. They can then decide whether or not to take the course, but it will help reduce insurance costs.

There are other ways to reduce the cost of your cover:

• Buying online may be cheaper than going through a call centre

• Having a high excess reduces the amount of the premium, but you must make sure it is not so high that it becomes a burden if you need to make a claim

• Limit the policy to specific drivers, not anyone

• Lower your annual mileage

• Add a security system to the car that meets Thatcham criteria

• Park your car in a garage or driveway and not on the street

Drink driving is not the only conviction that will affect your premium. There are other ways to get penalty points on licences including:

• Accident offences

• Disqualified drivers

• Careless driving

• Driving a defective vehicle

• Reckless driving

• Driving without a license

• Driving without proper third party insurance

• Pedestrian crossing offences

• Motorway offences

• Speeding offences

• Traffic sign offences

• Theft of vehicle

Any insurer will ask you if you have any bans, claims, endorsements, or convictions in the past five years. If your drink drive conviction or points on your license were more than five years ago or have expired, respectively, the conviction will not affect your insurance cost. In any case, you should answer honestly, or you may find that your policy is invalid when you need to make a claim.

Some brokers specialise in different types of convictions. They may cover people with drink driving convictions only or those with a high number of points on their licences, or they may cover convicted criminals. The National Association of Reformed Offenders (UNLOCK) will give you a list of brokers who specialise in convicted driver insurance. They will also list which companies accept which kind of convictions.

Most companies that offer cover for convicted drivers will allow you to tailor a policy, so it fits with your needs, and you don’t have to pay for coverage that you don’t need. Your risk will be based on your previous offences, gender, age, security devices and whether there is an experienced driver added as a named driver.