Do Demerit Points Affect Car Insurance Premiums?

Understand how demerit points work and their potential effects on car insurance rates with Savvy's useful guide.

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, updated on August 14th, 2023       

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Demerit points are a crucial aspect of road safety in Australia, designed to promote responsible driving and penalise traffic offences. However, can demerit points influence car insurance premiums and how do they vary across different Australian states? We answer these questions in this handy guide.

What are demerit points?

Demerit points are penalty points given to drivers who violate traffic laws. Various offences can lead to demerit points, including:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal parking
  • Using a mobile phone while driving
  • Driving through a red light

Every driver begins with a clean slate of zero demerit points, and these points accumulate for each committed offence. However, the accumulation of demerit points varies between states and territories and depends on the specific offence committed. You will also have a lower limit if you hold a learner’s permit or provisional licence than someone on a full driver’s licence.

Can demerit points affect optional car insurance premiums?

This depends on the insurer. Some car insurance companies in Australia primarily determine premiums based on an individual’s claims history and driving behaviour, rather than the number of demerit points they have – though things like licence suspensions resulting from excessive demerit points may still affect premiums.

Other insurers do take demerit points into account when calculating premiums, viewing them as an additional risk factor that indicates a driver’s safety and responsibility behind the wheel. As a result, drivers with a higher number of demerit points may face higher insurance rates.

Regardless, when your insurer asks about your demerit points or licence history, it’s essential to be honest and accurate. Failure to do so may lead to your insurer rejecting your claim in the event of an accident or loss.

Can my CTP insurance premiums be affected by demerit points?

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) legislation varies from state to state, with many including the cost in car registrations. However, in New South Wales, where there is a choice of insurers, demerit points can directly impact Green Slip premiums and having just one on your licence can drive up prices.

How can I check my demerit point balance?

Each state and territory in Australia has different methods for checking how many demerit points you have:

  • Queensland: online with a Transport and Main Roads account or a Queensland Government (QGov) account.
  • New South Wales: online using a MyServiceNSW account.
  • Australian Capital Territory: you will need to apply for your Licence History by completing a form, providing identification and paying a fee. Alternatively, you can call Access Canberra.
  • Victoria: online with a myVicRoads account or by phone/visit to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.
  • Tasmania: call Service Tasmania and provide your licence details; you cannot check online.
  • South Australia: online with a mySAGOV account.
  • Western Australia: online using your licence number and expiry date.
  • Northern Territory: online with licence number, licence card number and MVR customer ID, or by phone.

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