Car Insurance with a Criminal Record

Find out what your car insurance options may be with a criminal record right here with Savvy.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Finding car insurance with a criminal record in Australia may seem challenging, but it may not be impossible. While there are conditions which may apply, your record doesn’t necessarily rule you out from receiving coverage entirely. You can find out more about what car insurance may be available to individuals with a criminal record right here with Savvy’s informative guide.

Can I get car insurance with a criminal record in Australia?

It’s possible to obtain car insurance with a criminal record in Australia, depending on the nature of your past offences. While having a criminal record may impact your eligibility and premiums, many insurers consider various factors when assessing applications.

They’ll take into account your record of offences, the time since the conviction and other individual circumstances. It's important to disclose your criminal record honestly and accurately when applying for car insurance.

By comparing quotes from different insurers, you can find out whether there are any providers who may offer you coverage despite your record. Each case is unique, so it's important to check with different insurers before you go to buy your policy.

What types of criminal offences can affect my car insurance?

In Australia, the impact of a criminal record on car insurance can vary depending on the nature and severity of the offence or offences. Driving-related offences such as drink driving, reckless driving, dangerous driving or any conviction related to motor vehicle theft or fraud may have a significant impact on your insurance. In the case of fraud in particular, you may not be able to take out insurance at all.

Additionally, offences involving violence, assault or other serious criminal activities can also influence insurers' assessment of risk. It's important to note that each insurance company has its own criteria and guidelines, so the impact of a criminal record is likely to differ between insurers.

Will my criminal record impact the cost of car insurance?

Once again, whether the cost of your car insurance is affected by your criminal record will depend on several variables, including:

  • The insurer you choose to buy a policy with
  • The nature of your offences (whether they’re driving or fraud-related) and their severity
  • How long ago the offences occurred (some insurers may ask about your record within the past five to ten years only)

However, in many cases, having a criminal record relevant to your car insurer will result in higher overall premiums. This is because you may be deemed a greater risk of offending again in the future.

It's important to disclose any relevant criminal record information when applying for car insurance to ensure transparency and accuracy. By doing so, insurers can provide you with the most appropriate coverage and pricing based on your circumstances and you won’t run the risk of having your policy voided.

How can I compare car insurance options if I have a criminal record?

When comparing car insurance options with a criminal record in Australia, consider the following:

  • Eligibility: look for insurance companies who can offer you coverage, as this will narrow down your options and save time applying to insurers who may not cover you.
  • Coverage: compare the coverage offered by different insurance providers to see if you can find one which meets your specific needs and provides adequate protection.
  • Policy exclusions: review the policy exclusions of each insurance option to understand any limitations or restrictions that may affect your coverage before you go to make a claim.
  • Budget considerations: evaluate the cost of premiums for each policy and ensure it aligns with your budgetary constraints while still providing adequate coverage. This may also help you avoid overpaying for coverage.
  • Excesses: consider the excess required with each policy and evaluate how they impact its overall cost and your ability to comfortably make claims.
  • Optional extras: compare the optional extras offered by different insurance providers to see if they provide additional benefits or coverage which aligns with your needs.
  • Bonuses or discounts: look for any bonuses or discounts available which may help reduce the cost of premiums or provide additional benefits.

By considering these points, you can effectively compare car insurance options and make a more informed decision on which one may be the best fit for your situation. 

Frequently asked questions about criminal records and car insurance

Will my car insurance rates decrease over time if I have a criminal record?

Car insurance rates are primarily based on driving history, claims history and other risk factors. While having a criminal record may impact your premiums, it's important to note that insurance companies consider a wide range of factors. As you establish a clean driving record over time, your rates may decrease based on your improved driving behaviour and claims history when you renew your policy. This may also be the case if your record is removed from the window your insurer looks at (such as the last five years).

Can I get car insurance with a criminal record if I'm a young or inexperienced driver?

Having a criminal record as a young or inexperienced driver under 25 may make it more challenging to find affordable car insurance. Insurance companies assess risk factors, including driving experience and criminal history. However, like any other driver, it may be possible to take out insurance, so it’s important to explore the options which may be available to you on the market.

Are there any other situations where I might need to disclose my criminal record?

Apart from car insurance, there may be other situations where you are required to disclose your criminal record. These situations can vary, such as when applying for certain jobs, professional licences or immigration purposes. It's essential to understand the specific requirements and legal obligations related to disclosing your criminal record in different contexts, so you should speak to a legal professional if you’re unsure about what these are.

How do I obtain my driving history?

To obtain your driving history in Australia, you can request a copy of your driver's license history from the relevant state or territory authority. Each state or territory may have its own process and fees for obtaining a driving history report, such as if you’re in Victoria compared to the ACT. Contact the appropriate licensing authority or visit their website to learn more about the procedure in your specific jurisdiction.

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