Improving your driving - driving at a safe speed

Find out how you can improve your driving score with our top tips on how to obey the speed limits.

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By Megan

Updated on Mar 22nd, 2023

Our customer data tells us that our drivers are actually pretty good when it comes to sticking to the speed limits, as it is the least common incident on journeys. Nice one!

That being said – it does happen from time to time – and our safe driving series wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t offer our tips of driving at a safe speed. So, here’s our top tips, and don’t forget, our safest drivers can earn an extra safe driving discount at renewal!

How do we measure speeding?

This one’s pretty obvious. Using GPS, we measure the speed of the car vs the speed limit on the stretch of road you’re driving on. If you are over the speed limit at any point of the journey, it will show where it happened and how long you were driving over the speed limit.  The faster you are going and the longer you speed for, the more it would affect your journey score.

Isolated speeding events are unlikely to result in a red (or unsafe) journey notification. We’ll only be getting in touch if there are multiple unsafe driving incidents in your journey (this needn’t just be speeding – is likely they will be combined with braking, cornering, acceleration or phone use).

Tips to avoid speeding

We could have kept this really short by saying – just stick inside the speed limit. But it would make it a pretty useless tips article with just one line, plus, there are times that the speed limit is not always obvious and situations where speed limits may change.

IAM Roadsmart’s safe stopping rule is ‘only drive at a speed that is within the speed limit and that allows you to stop safely on your own side of the road’

Tip 1 – 10% leeway on the speed limit is a myth!

We’ve heard some great excuses for speeding in our time – being desperate for the toilet being a personal favourite! It has also been suggested to us that the Police give a 10% buffer on the speed limit. This is not true. We checked! In fact, we ran a whole Q&A with a traffic officer on all manner of questions if you fancy watching the interview!

By sticking to the limit, you’re not only avoiding a speeding event in your app, but you will be avoiding points on your licence and a fine (which is also a bonus!).

Tip 2 – The speed limit may not always be obvious

If you’ve missed the speed limit sign, or there is little or no signage on the road, this doesn’t mean there is no limit!

There’s a smart ditty that our friends at IAM Roadsmart have shared with us which you may handy:

Street Lights = 30 mph Speed Limit (if it is anything other than 30 you will be told)

No Street Lights = National Speed Limit (if it is anything else you will be told)

To refresh your memory on the speed limits for different types of road, we've written a guide to UK speed limits just for you!

Tip 3 – Don’t give in to peer pressure

Peer pressure to speed can come from your friends in the car, or from other road users who may tailgate you or, worse still, flash their lights or honk their horn at you!

  • If you’re getting peer pressure from friends, your black box is the perfect excuse. Plus, when they hear you could be earning yourself a hefty discount for driving well, we’re sure they’ll understand.
  • Peer pressure from other road users can be intimidating, but it’s important to remember that they are in the wrong by doing this. If you speed up, you are likely to creep too close behind the vehicle in front. If your tailgater then speeds up (which is likely), there will not be sufficient space for you or them to stop safely – which increases the risk of an accident.
  • If you are feeling under pressure by a tailgater, and it is safe to do so, pull over to safety and let them pass.

Tip 4 – Stay alert

On familiar journeys or if you’re changing from a national speed limit road coming into a village, it can be easy to inadvertently drive over the speed limit. At these times especially, make an effort to keep an eye on the speedo – as you may feel like you’re going slower than you really are!

When you’re distracted – whether it’s music or your mates in the car – you’re less likely to be aware of your speed (and probably less aware of potential hazards). Before you start your journey minimise your potential distractions:

  • Put your phone away and out of sight
  • Select a playlist or radio station that you’re happy to listen to for the journey, at a sound level that allows you to concentrate, but also hear any potential hazards.
  • Ask for your friends’ support while you drive to stay focussed (giving them responsibility for music and navigation on their phone may help them to help you). Don't forget that your phone shouldn't be used by passengers as it will flag a phone usage event.

Tip 5 – Check your journeys


The majority of our customers’ drives are classed as green (which is good). This means either the whole journey has been ace, or there have just been minor points flagged in the journey.

Taking a regular look at your drives allows you to spot if there are any times or areas you are most likely to creep over the speed limit – so you can pay special attention on those roads in future. It’s a good habit to get into, as you’re less likely to develop bad habits over time if you’re aware.

Plus, regular reviewing of your journeys could help you make small changes to improve your driving score further and earn a bigger discount at renewal!

What if the speed limit is wrong on the app?

We use the latest technology and resources to try and ensure our app is as up to date as possible in terms of speed limits. However, there are very rare occasions where a new road is in place, or a speed limit has changed, and some updates take a short while to filter through.

If you suspect that the speed limit is incorrect on one of your journeys, please get in touch with the team as soon as possible on 0330 343 8814 or email [email protected] so we can investigate it and manually update the limit if it is incorrect (you’ll be helping your fellow drivers too by letting us know!)

Will I be penalised for speeding events?

The answer could be yes and no. Clearly, if you are caught by a speed camera or by the police, you face a fine and points on your licence! If you have small instances of creeping above the speed limit slightly on a journey, it is unlikely it will flag a red (or unsafe) journey on the app. Unless, of course, you are speeding excessively or other events are flagged, like braking or cornering. If this is the case, we will get in touch and chat through the journey with you to help you avoid more of them as part of our driver improvement process. It’s rare but repeated unsafe driving could result in a premium increase.

If you’re wondering if we report speeding to the authorities, the answer is “no”, we don’t routinely share this information. However, on the rare occasion the police may ask for such information as part of an investigation, we are obliged, by law, to share this information.

Get set for the open road!

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By Megan

Hi, I'm Megan - I have recently graduated from university and I'm a marketing executive at Marmalade! I am a new driver myself and would love to share my tips, tricks and experiences with you :)

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