The Ultimate Cost Of Being Caught On Your Phone

Wed 6th Apr 2022

New laws introduced last month to punish drivers caught using their mobile phone could prove very expensive in more ways than one.

A change to the law has made it more difficult for motorists to escape conviction when using their smartphone, with a six penalty point on your licence and £200 fine possibly followed up by an eye watering 86 per cent rise in your car insurance premiums.

Analysis from one of the UK’s biggest car insurance companies, Admiral, has warned that the ultimate penalty might come the next time you renew your insurance, as having a CU80 driving conviction on your record pushes your premiums sky-high. For example, a £370-a-year premium might rocket beyond £1,000 if convicted. The average motor insurance cost £673 in February, which means that those caught are going to have to find a lot of extra cash to keep driving.

The change in the law now prohibits using your phone for any purpose at all, whereas previously the fine details of the law only covered using your phone for communicating, i.e. calls and texts, but now it encompasses social media use, skipping music streaming, or anything at all.

Admiral’s analysis also revealed which driving groups were most likely to be hit by the clampdown.

“We found that men are far more likely to receive a motoring conviction for using a mobile phone – of the customers that declared this conviction, 80 per cent were male,” said Clare Egan, head of motor at Admiral.

“We also found that younger drivers were more likely to be receive a conviction for using a mobile phone – 75 per cent of customers that notified us of their conviction were under 45 years old. 

“More motorists aged between 26 and 35 had a conviction, than any other age group, accounting for 41 per cent of those who informed us last year. 

“To ensure their policy information is correct, drivers should be honest about any previous motoring offences and penalty points they've received, as it could affect their cover if they don't tell their insurer.”