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Who and where in Great Britain has the most penalty points?

In Great Britain, you could be issued with penalty points on your driving licence for reasons such as speeding, driving without insurance and reckless driving.

Penalty points are there to penalise those who break the law, act as a deterrent against dangerous driving and keep us all safe on the roads. Repeat offenders with too many points run the risk of having their licence revoked completely. On top of this, having points on your licence is likely to drive up your car insurance costs too.

Police officer issuing a fine to a driver

We’ve taken a look at the demographics of Great Britain’s penalty point holders to see who are the worst drivers.

 

Most common penalty offences

Top 3 most common penalty offences

1. Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road (SP30) - 2,158,179 offences

By a long distance, the most common offence that causes people to pick up points is for speeding on public roads (not including motorways). Over 2 million people have points on their licences for speeding, which is twice as many as all other offences combined.

2. Exceeding speed limit on a motorway (SP50) - 444,153 offences

Speeding on a motorway is a separate offence and comes in second place, with around 444,000 offences. Speeding on the motorway carries heavier penalties than doing so on other roads.

If you’re prosecuted in court over the offence, you could be fined between 25% and 175% of your weekly income.

3. Using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks (IN10) - 194,984 offences

The third-most common offence is driving without insurance, with just under 195,000 people having points for this. Driving without the proper insurance policy is a criminal offence and drivers may be punished with a £300 fine and 6 penalty points.

 
Rank Offence Offence code Drivers with penalty points
1
Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road
SP30
2,158,179
2
Exceeding speed limit on a motorway
SP50
444,153
3
Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
IN10
194,984
4
Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc
MS90
100,892
5
Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits
SP10
65,301
6
Failing to comply with traffic light signals
TS10
51,350
7
Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone
CU80
49,083
8
Driving without due care and attention
CD10
28,285
9
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
LC20
27,142
10
Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s)
CU30
21,617
 

Which age groups are most likely to have points?

The age bracket most likely to have penalty points is those aged 30 to 34. For every 100,000 drivers in this group, 6,522 have points on their licence.

Those under 19 had the least, by some distance, with 352 per 100,000 drivers having points. However, 80% of licence holders of this age hold provisional licences and are yet to pass their tests.

The age group with the second-lowest proportion of penalty point holders is the oldest group, those aged 95 and over. 2,186 drivers per 100,000 aged 95 and over have points on their licences.

A bar graph showing which age groups are most likely to have points

 

Are men or women more likely to have points on their driving licence?

When it comes to the difference between men and women, there’s actually a fairly big difference in the number of penalty points accrued.

According to the data, 3,187 out of every 100,000 female drivers have penalty points on their licence. However, 7,158 per 100,000 male drivers have points on their licences, meaning men are over twice as likely to have points.

In total, 7.16% of male drivers have points on their licence, compared to just 3.19% of female drivers.

While there are roughly similar numbers of men and women on the roads (26.4 million compared to 24 million), 1.9 million men have points compared to around 766,000 women.

 
Gender Drivers with penalty points Licence holders Drivers with penalty points per 100,000 drivers % of drivers with penalty points
Male
1,893,989
26,460,255
7,158
7.16%
Female
766,286
24,041,558
3,187
3.19%
 

Which areas in Great Britain have the most points on their driving licences?

Penalty points data is split into postcode districts, which are based on the first part of your postcode. But which areas of Britain are the worst offenders when it comes to driving?

Top 3 areas in Great Britain where drivers have the most points on their licence

1. TD12 (Coldstream, Berwickshire) - 2,141 drivers per 10,000 people

The postcode district with the most points is TD12, in Berwickshire. Only 25% of drivers (249) here have points on their licences but the population of the area is just over 1,000 people. This means that over 2,000 per 10,000 people have points on their licence. Located right on the Scottish-English border, TD12 is a rural area. The main town in the area is Coldstream, which gives its name to the famous Coldstream Guards.

2. YO51 (York, North Yorkshire) - 1,018 drivers per 10,000 people

Located in York, specifically around the town of Boroughbridge, drivers living in the postcode of YO51 came second on our list.

It’s an area with a population of just 5,500 people, yet there are 563 drivers with points, (1,018 per 10,000 people). The A1 at Boroughbridge is known for being a speeding hotspot1 and has been specifically targeted by traffic police in the past.

3. SL0 (Iver, Buckinghamshire) - 990 drivers per 10,000 people

The area in third place is located just outside of London, not far from Heathrow Airport.

The SL0 postcode is found in Iver, Buckinghamshire and has 990 drivers per 10,000 with penalty points on their licences.

 
Rank Postcode district Town/city County Population Drivers with penalty points Drivers with points per 10,000 people % of drivers with penalty points
1
TD12
Coldstream
Berwickshire
1,163
249
2,141
21.41%
2
YO51
York
North Yorkshire
5,533
563
1,018
10.18%
3
SL0
Iver
Buckinghamshire
11,119
1,101
990
9.90%
4
TF8
Telford
Shropshire
2,903
275
947
9.47%
5
BD13
Bradford
West Yorkshire
24,979
2,336
935
9.35%
6
HP18
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
13,522
1,194
883
8.83%
7
UB9
Uxbridge
London
14,538
1,261
867
8.67%
8
TA17
Hinton St. George
Somerset
442
38
860
8.60%
9
OX49
Watlington
Oxfordshire
4,324
371
858
8.58%
10
NN12
Towcester
Northamptonshire
23,027
1,954
849
8.49%
11
OX25
Bicester
Oxfordshire
9,619
815
847
8.47%
12
B96
Redditch
Worcestershire
5,073
429
846
8.46%
13
LS28
Pudsey
West Yorkshire
37,896
3,196
843
8.43%
14
TF6
Telford
Shropshire
4,997
420
841
8.41%
15
NN7
Northampton
Northamptonshire
27,299
2,289
838
8.38%
16
SL8
Bourne End
Buckinghamshire
6,448
540
837
8.37%
17
BD11
Bradford
West Yorkshire
11,355
943
830
8.30%
17
RM20
Grays
Essex
4,877
405
830
8.30%
19
CW6
Tarporley
Cheshire
12,160
1,000
822
8.22%
20
RM4
Romford
Essex
4,191
344
821
8.21%
21
L24
Liverpool
Merseyside
15,964
1,305
817
8.17%
22
ST21
Stafford
Staffordshire
5,674
463
816
8.16%
23
BD15
Bradford
West Yorkshire
15,316
1,241
810
8.10%
24
HP10
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
18,965
1,535
809
8.09%
25
LS23
Wetherby
West Yorkshire
9,207
744
808
8.08%
 

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

“Penalty points are designed to keep roads safe and protect motorists, pedestrians and cyclists by acting as a deterrent against unsafe driving. A driver could lose their licence if they build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of 3 years. Not only this, but, the more points you have, the higher your car insurance could be.

“If you find yourself with points on your licence, there are occasions where an alternative to points may be offered. For example, you can accept a short ban of around 14 days. Also, if issued with a speeding ticket for driving between 10% plus 2mph-9mph of the limit, you might have the option to take a speed awareness course. This is instead of getting the points on your licence. However, you’re only offered a speed awareness course if you meet certain criteria and it depends on how serious your speeding offence was.”

Methodology