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Car insurance with a criminal record

You might find it harder (or more expensive) to get car insurance if you have a criminal record. But options are available.

Your criminal record can impact your ability to get car insurance. Depending on the situation, it might make it more expensive or more restrictive. In some cases, you might not be able to get cover at all.

Some tips:

  • Always be honest. While it's tempting to stretch the truth, doing so could void your insurance.
  • Expect a higher price. It's likely you'll pay more for a policy so be flexible with your budget if possible.
  • Be patient. It'll probably take a bit longer to find a policy. If you can't find one now, you might have to wait until your ban or conviction is a few years old.

Can I get car insurance after a drink driving ban?

We requested quotes from 11 car insurance brands and found seven would offer cover to our hypothetical driver previously charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

ProviderCover offeredQuote
Budget Direct$2,008.28
Qantas Comprehensive
Australia Post$2,407.86
QBE$3,414.30
Coles$1,876.76
Kogan$2,962.89
Woolworths
ahm
NRMA$1,983.31
AAMI$2,247.99
Bingle

These quotes were retrieved in August 2023, using the details of a 30-year-old man who had been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in January 2023 and his license suspended for three months. The car was a 2018 Toyota Corolla.

Can I get car insurance with a criminal conviction?

This depends on the nature of your criminal conviction and when the incident took place.

We requested quotes from 11 car insurance brands and found only two would offer cover to our hypothetical driver with a previous conviction for bodily harm.

ProviderCover offeredQuote
Budget Direct
Qantas Comprehensive
Australia Post
QBE
Coles$1,876.76
Kogan
Woolworths
ahm
NRMA$1,983.31
AAMI
Bingle

These quotes were retrieved in August 2023, using the details of a 30-year-old man who had been charged with bodily harm in January 2023. The car was a 2018 Toyota Corolla.

Request quotes from car insurance brands

Of the providers researched, we found the following brands were the most likely to offer coverage to someone with a drink driving or criminal conviction. Remember, we used a specific, hypothetical driver profile. Your own profile will differ, as will your ability to get cover.

1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
NRMA Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. Also, get up to $200 for damaged or stolen groceries.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: AAMI's comprehensive policy includes cover for legal modifications and accessories and up to $20 million cover for damage to other people's property. Optional extras like windscreen and window glass cover is also available.

⭐ Current offers: Save $50 when you buy a new comprehensive car insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Safe drivers can benefit from the AAMI Safe Driver Rewards® program.
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The time since your criminal conviction and the nature of your criminal conviction will influence whether you are offered cover or not.

The only way to know 100% that you can or can't get cover is by requesting quotes using your own personal information. Good luck!

Car insurance companies that don't ask for criminal convictions

All 11 car insurance brands that we contacted asked for information about criminal convictions.

However, this might not rule you out of cover immediately. The decision will depend on the nature of your conviction, when it was committed, and the insurer's particular approach.

Can car insurance companies see my driving or criminal record?

You have a legal obligation (called the duty of good faith) to be honest with insurance companies. Do not be tempted to lie about your driving or criminal history.

If you do, and you're later found out, your insurance could be deemed void and your cover cancelled.

How to check your own driving history

To check your driving history, you will have to contact the relevant authority in your state.

In NSW - Request a driving record via Service NSW

In QLD - Apply for your traffic history via Department of Transport and Main Roads

In VIC - Apply for your driver history via Service Victoria

In SA - Apply for a driver's licence history report via Service SA

In WA - Apply for a traffic infringement notice record via the WA Police Force

In NT - Apply for a driver licence history from the Motor Vehicle Registry.

In TAS - Apply for the release of licence details via Service Tasmania.

In the ACT - Apply for a licence history search via Access Canberra

How does a criminal record affect car insurance?

Depending on the nature or your conviction and when it happened, you might find some insurance companies won't offer you a policy and those that do might charge more.
In some cases, your criminal record might not impact your ability to get insurance or the cost of a policy. However, in others it can severely limit your options or remove them altogether.

The best way to find out how your criminal record will impact car insurance is by requesting quotes from multiple insurers.

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Written by

Nicola Middlemiss

Nicola Middlemiss is a contributing writer at Finder, with a special interest in personal finance and insurance. Formerly a business and finance journalist, Nicola has written thousands of articles helping Australians better understand insurance and grow their personal wealth. She has contributed to a wide range of publications, including Domain, the Educator, Financy, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Insurance Business, MoneyMag, Mortgage Professional, Yahoo Finance, Your Investment Property, and Wealth Professional. Nicola has a Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Leeds. See full profile

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