Speed awareness courses: Everything you need to know

Being caught speeding is a potentially very costly misdemeanour – however, if you are found breaking the limit, a speed awareness course is a good way to save yourself an arm and a leg. While fines can also incur points on your driving licence and increases in your insurance premiums, with speed awareness courses, there’s none of that.

But, just what are speed awareness courses? How much are they? And why do police actually prefer them over dishing out fines and points?

You can find the answers to all these questions – and more – below. This is everything you need to know about speed awareness courses:

What is a speed awareness course?

If you’re ever caught speeding, you would probably expect the police officer to give you points on your driving licence and a fine (usually around £100). However, they could also tell you that you’ll need to take part in a speed awareness course. These are half-day-long workshops designed to educate you on the importance of driving at a safe speed.

Why should you attend a speed awareness course? Well, studies have proven that they are actually very effective. A recent study by Green Flag found that, after taking part in a course, you are between 12% and 23% less likely to break the speed limit again than if you just took the points and fine.

Speed awareness course cost

How much a speed awareness course will cost you can vary depending on where you live. Usually, the cheapest ones start at around £80, while the most expensive are £100. They will never cost more than that. This is because the most common fine for a minor speeding offence is exactly £100 – not to mention, unlike with the course, three points on your driving licence. And, don’t forget, having points against you like that can increase your car insurance premiums for years to come.

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.