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Speed awareness courses: Everything you need to know

Getting caught speeding can be a costly affair, resulting in fines, points on your licence and skyrocketing insurance premiums; punishments you might be able to avoid by taking a speed awareness course. But what does a speed awareness course involve? Why do the police favour them over points and fines? And how much do they cost? carwow has compiled all the essential information for you below.

What is a speed awareness course?

Speed awareness courses are offered by some police forces as an alternative to the usual fine and points on your licence. The courses are educational workshops that typically last for four or five hours. That might sound about as interesting watching paint dry, but speed awareness courses do work so much so that they are actually the preferred form of deterrent by the police. This is because studies (including one carried out by Green Flag) have revealed that, if you take a speed awareness course, you are between 12 and 23 percent less likely to re-offend than those who just take the fine and points.

Speed awareness course cost

The cost of taking a speed awareness cost varies depending on where you live. The cheapest start at just below £80 while the most expensive often top out at £100. Since the usual penalty for a minor speeding offence is £100 and three points on your licence (and a hike in your insurance premiums for years to come), a speed awareness course is by far the most attractive option – especially since it won’t affect your car insurance premiums.

Speed awareness course eligibility

Speed awareness courses are a great alternative to traditional enforcement methods, but not everybody is eligible for one. While there are no age or experience restrictions, you can only go to a speed awareness course if you’ve not already had one 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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