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Speed awareness courses explained

If you’ve been caught speeding, you may be invited to attend a speed awareness course. Here’s what you can expect.

Cars drive past a speed camera

What is a speed awareness course?

Speed awareness courses - sometimes referred to as driver awareness courses – are for motorists who’ve been caught speeding and want to avoid points on their licence and a fine.

Who is eligible for speed awareness courses?

You'll be offered the chance to attend the national speed awareness course if your speed was within certain limits e.g. if you were caught doing: 

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

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

If you’ve already been on a speed awareness course in the last three years, you won’t be able to do it again. It’s likely you’ll be slapped with at least three points and a fine in this case.


How do I find out about speed awareness courses?

You’ll be offered the chance to attend the national speed awareness course when you receive notification of your speeding offence.

This should be within 14 days of being stopped by the police or being caught on camera.  It’s down to you whether you attend the course or take the penalty.


How much does a speed awareness course cost?

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

Given that a fixed penalty notice for speeding is around £100 and three points on your licence, opting for a speed awareness course should be less costly. 


What can I expect when I attend a speed awareness course?

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

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

They're usually run by organisations on behalf of police, like NDORS (National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme).

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

It’s designed to encourage participation and interaction, so you’re not sat there for four hours suffering from death by PowerPoint.

You don’t have to take any kind of test, nor do you have to do any actual driving. So as long as you complete the workshop to the trainer’s satisfaction, you’ve passed the course and can go on your way.


Why should I go to the speed awareness course?

It may be that the thought of going to a speed awareness course fills you with dread. You might even prefer paying your speeding fine instead of sitting through a half day workshop.

However attending the course will mean you won’t get any points on your licence. Points on your licence might increase the cost of your car insurance at your next renewal.

It could affect your employment too, as some employers insist workers have a clean licence.


Should I tell my car insurance provider?

Though it’s true that you won’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.

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How does a speed awareness course affect my insurance?

Some insurance companies may raise your premium as a result, but not all of them will.

If your premium has gone up after declaring that you’ve been on a speed awareness course, it might be worth 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.


Avoid speeding tickets

If you get caught speeding within the next three years you’ll have no choice but to pay the penalty and get points on your licence.

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 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 are doing
  • Don't drink and drive