Speed awareness courses explained

If you’ve been caught speeding, you may be invited to attend a speed awareness course. But what actually happens at a speed awareness course and how much is it going to set you back? 

Here’s what you can expect.

 A speed camera with cars quickly passing by

What is a speed awareness course?

A speed awareness course is for drivers who’ve been caught speeding and want to avoid a fine and points on their licence.

They're sometimes referred to as a driver awareness course.

How much is a speed awareness course?

Even though the course is the same no matter where you go, the cost varies depending on the area. Usually, it's between £80 and £100.

But a fixed penalty notice for speeding is around £100 and 3 points on your licence. With this in mind, opting for a speed awareness course should be cheaper for you.

If you want to book a virtual speed awareness course, you can use any provider in the country and you don’t need to travel to complete it.

Costs often change but here are some examples of how much a virtual course costs:

Force area Course provider Fee Telephone number
Avon and Somerset
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Bedfordshire
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Cambridgeshire
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Cheshire
Cheshire
£85.00
01606 363 700
Cleveland
Hartlepool Borough Council
£73.00
01429 523 803
Cumbria
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Derbyshire
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Devon and Cornwall
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Durham
Hartlepool Borough Council
£73.00
01429 523 803
Dyfed-Powys
Dyfed-Powys
£92.00
01267 226 479
Essex
Safer Essex Roads Partnership
£90.00
01277 636 675
Gloucestershire
Driver Education Gloucestershire
£85.00
01452 754 562
Gwent
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Hampshire
Hampshire Police
£85.00
0238 047 8700
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire County Council
£90.00
0300 123 4035
Humberside
Safer Roads Humber
£95.00
01482 399 065
Kent
Kent County Council
£92.00
03000 418282
Lancashire
Lancashire
£87.00
01772 410 950
Leicestershire
Leicestershire County Council
£91.00
0116 305 8787
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire County Council
£90.00
01522 782 068
London
DriveTech
£91.00
0344 264 6323
Manchester
DriveSafe
£90.00
0300 123 1518
Merseyside
DriveTech
£79.00
0344 264 6323
Norfolk
Norfolk County Council
£90.00
01603 638 136
North Wales
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
North Yorkshire
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Northamptonshire
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Northern Ireland
DriveTech
£84.00
0344 264 6323
Northumbria
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Nottinghamshire
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
South Wales
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
South Yorkshire
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Staffordshire
Staffordshire County Council
£85.00
0300 111 8012
Suffolk
Suffolk County Council
£90.00
0345 606 6043
Surrey
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Sussex
West Sussex County Council
£90.00
0330 222 8999
Thames Valley
DriveTech
£89.00
0344 264 6323
Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council
£83.00
01926 412 990
West Mercia
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
West Midlands
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
West Yorkshire
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805
Wiltshire
TTC
£88.00
0330 024 1805

Who is eligible for a speed awareness course?

You might be asked to attend the national speed awareness course if your speed was within certain limits. For example, if you were caught doing: 

SPEED LIMIT MINIMUM SPEED MAXIMUM SPEED
20 mph
24 mph
31 mph
30 mph
35 mph
42 mph
40 mph
46 mph
53 mph
50 mph
57 mph
64 mph
60 mph
68 mph
75 mph
70 mph
79 mph
86 mph

This is at the discretion of the police force. If you're caught speeding at all, they're within their rights to give you the fine and the penalty points. And speeds above the 'maximum speed' usually don't have the option of a speed awareness course.

There are other criteria that make you more or less eligible for a speed awareness course. But these also vary depending on your local police force.

What happens at a speed awareness course?

The course itself should last around 4 hours, though this may vary slightly depending on where you are.

Most speed awareness courses, whether online or in person, have around 20 people attending and 2 instructors.

You need to bring your driving licence along with you. If you don’t have it, you might have to show 2 forms of ID. If you don’t bring any ID with you, you might not be allowed to take the course.

The courses are usually run by organisations on behalf of the police, like the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS).

The course is designed to change your attitude towards breaking the speed limit. The intention is to make you more mindful of your speed and the impact this can have on other road users.

It’s designed to encourage participation and interaction to keep you interested.

You don’t have to take any tests and you don't have to do any actual driving. As long as you complete the workshop to the trainer’s satisfaction, you’ve passed the course.

How do I find out about a speed awareness course?

You should be offered the chance to attend the national speed awareness course when you're notified of your speeding offence.

This should be within 14 days of being stopped by the police or being caught with a speed camera. Whether you attend the course or take the penalty is up to you.

Why should I attend a speed awareness course?

Attending a speed awareness course means you don’t get any points on your licence. Having points on your licence might increase the cost of your car insurance at your next renewal. 

There are other benefits too, including:

  • You’re less likely to have another speeding offence

  • You don’t pay a fine

  • Your employment shouldn’t be impacted (if your employer requests a clean licence)

  • Learning what the speed limit is for vehicles and road types

  • Understanding how to control the speed of your vehicle and select a safe speed

  • Understanding the difference a few miles over the limit can make to road safety

How often can I take a speed awareness course?

You can take a speed awareness course once every 3 years. 

If you’re caught speeding again within that time, you have no option but to accept points on your driving licence and/or a fine.

Can I take a speed awareness course online?

Since the pandemic, nearly all speed awareness courses have been online. 

You can book an online speed awareness course with any provider. 

You need to first register or sign in with the NDORS to view your course offer. You can then select a suitable course provider and pay for the booking. 

The course takes place through a video call and usually lasts around 4 hours.

Do I need to tell my car insurance provider about a speed awareness course?

Though it’s true that you don’t have any convictions to declare to your insurer, you’ve still broken the Road Traffic Act.

Those that run the speed awareness courses may say that you don't need to tell your insurer. But it’s probably a good idea to let them know about it, at least when you get your car insurance renewal notice.

If your insurer asks you for this information, you should tell them immediately. 

Compare car insurance quotes

How does a speed awareness course affect my insurance?

Some insurance companies might raise your insurance costs as a result. But not all of them do.

If your price has gone up after declaring you’ve been to a speed awareness course, consider comparing car insurance quotes for a better deal.

If you decide to switch, you should tell your new insurer about the speed awareness course before you commit to buying the policy.

How do I avoid speeding tickets?

Here are our tips to stay safe and keep your licence clean:

  • Allow plenty of time for your journey so you don’t feel the need to rush

  • Plan your journey and use your sat nav to alert you of delays on your route

  • Familiarise yourself with speed limits on your route and where they change

  • Use cruise control on high speed roads

  • Check your speedometer regularly

  • Don’t be influenced by other drivers on the road - whatever they’re doing

  • Don't drink and drive

Speed awareness course FAQs

Can I fail a speed awareness course?

You can’t fail a speed awareness course and there's no test to take. But if you leave the course early, or don’t complete it, you get points added to your driving licence and might be summoned to court. 

How do I book a speed awareness course?

You can book a speed awareness course online or on the phone. 

If it’s a virtual course you can pick any location.

What happens if I’m late or can’t attend?

You might not be allowed to take a course if you turn up late. 

If you can’t attend the course you should rebook with your provider if possible.

In all instances, you should get in touch with your course provider if you think you might be late or unable to attend.