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Speed awareness courses: Everything you need to know

If you’re caught speeding, taking a speed awareness course may be able to save you an arm and a leg – or, more accurately, points on your licence and increases in your insurance premium. 

However, what is a speed awareness course? How much are they? And why do the police favour them over handing out fines and points? You can find all of the essential information you need below.

What is a speed awareness course?

Speed awareness courses are potential alternatives to other punishments for exceeding the speed limit, which include points on your licence and potentially hefty fines. The courses are educational workshops on the importance of driving at a safe speed, and take a half day to complete.

Admittedly, this all sounds as exciting as watching paint dry. However, speed awareness courses are effective educational tools that are proven to slow drivers down. A recent study by Green Flag discovered that, after taking a speed awareness course, you are between 12% and 23% less likely to speed again when compared to drivers who receive points and a fine.

Speed awareness course cost

The cost of taking a speed awareness course varies depending on where you live. The cheapest ones start at around £80, while the dearest top out at £100. They will never be more expensive than that, since the usual penalty for a minor speeding offence is exactly £100, as well as three points on your driving licence. (Don’t forget, having points on your licence can potentially increase your insurance premiums for years to come.) This makes a speed awareness course a pretty attractive option, as it shouldn’t affect those costs whatsoever.

Speed awareness course eligibility

Speed awareness courses sound ideal; the catch is that not everybody will be eligible to go on one. There aren’t any age or experience restrictions, although you can’t take one if you’ve already been on a course within the last three years. Also, you have to have been travelling at a specific speed in order to have a speed awareness course as an option. Here are the parameters:

Speed limit (mph) Course-eligible speed (mph)
20 24-31
30 35-42
40 46-53
50 57-64
60 68-75
70 79-86

How many points for speeding?

If you are caught speeding, the usual penalty is a £100 fine and three points on your licence. However, depending on how fast you’re going (and a police officer’s discretion), the fine can extend up to £2,500.

If you receive twelve or more points in the space of three years, your driving licence will likely be revoked. If you’ve only been driving for two years or less, your licence can be revoked if you amass six points. Find out more by going to www.gov.uk/speed-penalties.

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