'Grey racers' are clocking up speeding offences

West Midland motorists are just over half as likely to have been caught for driving offences compared to the rest of the country, according to new figures.

The statistics, released by insurance comparison site Moneysupermarket, reveal that one in 20 motorists in the Wolverhampton postcode area has had to declare motoring offences when applying for car insurance, compared to a national average of 10 per cent.

In the Dudley postcode area, which includes Kidderminster, six per cent of drivers had to declare motoring convictions, the same figure as for Walsall, Cannock and Lichfield. In the Birmingham 'B' postcode area, which covers most of Sandwell, the figure was five per cent.

Of these, by far the majority are for speeding, accounts for 82.2 per cent of convictions in the Dudley area, and 78.5 per cent in Wolverhampton.

Perhaps challenging conventional stereotypes, the figures also show that younger drivers are far less likely to have been caught speeding than middle-aged or elderly drivers.

Just 0.5 per cent of drivers aged 17-19 had to declare speeding offences, accounting for 48 per cent of all motoring offences committed by this age group. The percentage of motorists with speeding convictions rises steadily before peaking in the 40-49 age group, where 7.8 per cent of drivers had to declare convictions.

The figure then begins to fall slightly, with 7.6 drivers in the 50-64 age bracket having to declare speeding offences, and 5.1 per cent of drivers aged over 65 having to do the same.

Speeding as a proportion of offences committed rises steadily as drivers get older, accounting for 93 per cent of offences among the over 65s.

Younger drivers were more likely to commit drink-driving offences than older motorists, and were more likely to commit offences relating to driving without a valid licence or insurance.

Drink-driving appears to peak in the 20-24 age group, accounting for 10.2 per cent of total offences for this age group. This figure falls progressively for older groups, accounting for just 1.1 per cent of those aged 65 and older.

Just 0.8 per cent of drivers aged 65 and above have convictions for driving without insurance, compared to 15.8 per cent for those aged 17-19.

Those in the 17-19 age bracket are also five times more likely than any other age group to list an offence for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and they are also the most likely to have committed a careless driving offence.

The research, based on nearly six million car insurance enquiries from MoneySuperMarket, combined with driving licence data from the DVLA, also showed the impact driving offences can have on insurance premiums.

A first driving offence typically adds £139 to car insurance costs, with a second conviction adding a further 15 per cent, or an additional £145 to the cost.

The research showed that those who have to declare motoring offences also have fewer car insurance options available to them.

It showed that an inquiry from a driver with a clean licences would typically generate up to 80 quotes, whereas those with four or five offences would were likely to only receive six to 10 quotes.

Dave Merrick, of Moneysupermarket, said: “Driving offences that lead to points on a driver’s licence can have a big impact on car insurance costs, as well as impacting the number of car insurance options to choose from.

“But even if you do have points or offences, there are things you can do to help to bring premiums down. Keeping your car secure, increasing the excess on your policy and, in certain cases, installing a telematics device can all help to lower the cost. And as always the best way to ensure the cheapest deal is to shop around.”

Halifax was the town with the highest number of motoring convictions, with 16.5 per cent having to declare offences, while Jersey was the lowest with just 3.3 per cent having to do so.

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