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Does an EU citizen have to report old driving ban to insurance company?


New member
I have an enquiry about car insurance. I am Greek living in the UK, I am planning to buy a car and I was looking online for estimations of the insurance costs. In the application I am asked to fill information about past convictions etc in the last 5 years. When I was living in Greece, I had a conviction for drink driving in Greece (0.51 in breathalyser) that resulted in points (9), a fine (€700, which if paid within 10 days is €350, which I did) and a 3 month ban from driving. I had no criminal record and I did not have to go to court. The fine has been paid and the ban has been lifted now.
When declaring this offence, the price of the insurance contract is too high, and it is not viable for me to buy a car.
But, since this offence was committed in an other country, I wanted to know if I am oblidged to report this to the insurance company.

About the latter question, I contacted http://europa.eu/youreurope/advice/index_en.htm that offers advice to european citizens on a variety of topics. They replied that this topic has to do with UK law and not EU. They stated that based on 1968 Vienna convention on road traffic and the subsequent 1971 Geneva convection, there is no european data base of penalties and fines of member states. Also, there is no common highway code between the member states. Also, they replied that it would be violation of personal data from since the committed offence was not associated with a criminal record. This was verified by the DVLA, which I contacted. Still, they could not answer if I am legally obliged to declare this to the insurance company, or whether the insurance company can legally request from the Greek authorities such information at any time or in the case I am involved in an accident. I assume that If they can, then not stating my conviction would consist fraud and I would have troubles.

I was told to contact the Ombudsman service, and they told me that the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 requires me to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer. Since the insurer asked about the convictions in general, and not only UK convictions, then not declaring my offence could invalidate my cover. Still, the above do not answer whether there the insurance company can obtain the information about my conviction (at any given time if they want or in the case of an accident) and thus make my cover invalid and possibly making me liable for fraud. I would not like to have the possibility of being charged for committing fraud.

So my question is, can the insurance company find out about the offence in Greece? Because if not, then I assume that the cover cannot become invalid and I will avoid paying substantial insurance fees.

Thank you for you time

Michael Lyon

Road Traffic Solicitor (Scotland)

Thank you for your post.

There is, in short, no way of knowing if an Insurer would discover a matter that arose in a different jurisdiction. However, I can conceive of no reason why a UK insurance company would be checking Greek public records.

Ultimately, this is a matter between you and each individual Insurer. If the terms of their contract with you require the disclosure of offences committed in any jurisdiction then you would be obliged to tell them so as not to fall foul of problems later. If they are only interested in UK offences, then they need not know about your past abroad.

Best of luck.