How do drivers fare across the UK when it comes to driving offences?

To find out where in the UK young drivers currently hold the most and least driving points, we submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA to create the UK young drivers penalty points index.


Nick Pitman Marmalade

By Nick Pitman

Updated on Jan 24th, 2022

 

With thousands of young drivers eagerly waiting to get tested and on the road, we have taken a look at how 17-25 year olds are currently driving on the roads so we can support young people in their journey behind the wheel!

To find out where in the UK young drivers currently hold the most and least driving points, we submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA to create the UK young drivers penalty points index.

Here, we have revealed where in the country 17-25 year olds are receiving the most and least amount of penalty points, and how we can support young drivers in developing their skills behind the wheel even after they pass their all important practical driving test.

 

The drivers at risk of losing their licence

 

With 12 points meaning a driver loses their licence, and any driver who gets six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test having their driving licence revoked, our research which analysed five years of data shows there are currently 16,949 young drivers (aged 17-25) who are at risk of losing their driving licence from just one more motoring offence.

 

Almost 50% of these drivers are made up young people aged 19 and under who are at risk of losing their licence under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act, since they currently have 3,4 or 5 points on their licence. A further 1.7% of the drivers are made up by 17-19 year olds who have acquired 9,10 or 11 points on their licence, meaning their licence would be revoked.

 

However, when we look at the wider picture, just 0.18% of 17-year-olds with a driving licence have points. This figure jumps to 5.7% of 25-year-olds in the UK, which potentially indicates a need for ongoing support for qualified drivers. The research shows 25-year-olds are 3,067% more likely to have points on their licence than 17-year-olds are.

 

In fact, only 10% of the 92,000 motorists with 9, 10 or 11 points are made up by young drivers (aged 17-25) who would be banned from driving if they got another 3 point offence on their licence. 

 

What does the picture look like for driving points across the UK?

 

Ranking in top spot for young drivers with the most penalty points is Wakefield where there are 529 young people with points on their licence per 100,000. In second place is Bradford with 514 individuals, followed by Halifax, Aberdeen and Northampton to complete the top five.

Top 20 cities with the most driving licence points

 

Rank City Number of people with points per 100,000
1         Wakefield                               529
2         Bradford                               514
3         Halifax                               507
4         Aberdeen                               499
5         Northampton                               479
6         Inverness                               461
7         Falkirk                               457
8         Dundee                               456
9 Dumfries & Galloway                               447
10         Newport                               442
11         Perth                               434
12         Motherwell                               408
13         Huddersfield                               404
14         Walsall                               403
15         Kilmarnock                               401
16         Slough                               399
17         Doncaster                               393
18         Luton                               392
19         Leeds                               387
20         Bristol                               387

 

On the other end of the scale, the data revealed the cities where drivers had the least amount of points on their licence. The research showed drivers in London currently hold the lowest number of penalty points on their licence, closely followed by young motorists in the capital of the Shetland Islands.


Top 20 cities with the least driving licence points 

 

Rank City Number of people with points per 100,000
   1 West Central London                                0
   2 Central London                                15
   3 Lerwick                                139
   4 West London                                151
   5 South West London                                162
   6 Cambridge                                194
   7 Canterbury                                195
   8 Sutton                                208
   9 North London                                218
   10 Brighton                                219
   11 Bromley                                221
   12 South East London                                223
   13 Stockport                                228
   14 North West London                                230
   15 Lancaster                                236
   16 Portsmouth                                239
   17 St Albans                                241
   18 Truro                                246
   19 Newcastle upon Tyne                                247
   20 Llandrindod Wells                                251

 

What are the most common driving offences among young drivers?

 

The most common driving offence in the UK for 18-25 year olds is exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road, an offence which can land a driver with 3-6 points. There have been 288,456 offences in this category from 17-25 year olds since 2017, with 25-year-olds committing the largest number of these offences.

 

For 17-year-olds, the most common driving offence is using a vehicle uninsured against third party risk which carries a higher charge of 6 to 8 points. There have been 5,529 offences by 17-year-olds in this category. This highlights the importance of making insurance more accessible for young drivers with insurance policies specifically catering for their needs, like sharing someone else's car, for example. 

 

Policies like black box car insurance improve accessibility to cover for young drivers who haven’t been offered a standard policy, or cannot afford one. To support young drivers in staying safe on the road, we are encouraging individuals to try telematics - black box insurance - to improve their driving skills once they have passed their test. 

 

As well as the money-saving and accessibility benefits, our statistics show that with the use of black box systems, Marmalade’s young drivers are nearly *three times less likely to be involved in an accident than the national average, that’s 62% fewer accidents annually.

 

A full breakdown of the top 20 offences for young drivers can be found below:

 

Rank Offence Code Offence
1
SP30
Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road
2 IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
3 DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
4 SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway
5 LC20 Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
6 DG10 Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit
7 MS90 Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc
8 CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone
9 BA10 Driving while disqualified by order of court
10 CD10 Driving without due care and attention
11 TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signals
12
DR30
Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
13 DD40 Dangerous driving
14
CU30
Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s)
15 SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits
16 CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users
17 AC10 Failing to stop after an accident
18 UT50 Aggravated taking of a vehicle
19 AC20 Failing to give particulars or report an accident within 24 hours
20 CU20 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition

 

When do most points build up during the year?

 

The most common period for driving offences among young people is the summer, with July and August found to be the months where drivers receive the highest number of points.
 

Month Number of offences by young people

July

                                     78,664

August

                                     76,555

October

                                     72,505

September

                                     71,789

June

                                     71,425

November

                                     67,463

May

                                     62,111

December

                                     61,763

April

                                     55,948

January

                                     54,951

March

                                     54,199

February

                                     52,001

 

The most common offence in July is exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road, with 8,149 young people being charged with this offence in July 2020. In December 2020, this figure dropped by 43.2% to 4,631, demonstrating the higher proportion of drivers speeding in the summer months.

The month with the lowest number of offences is February, which saw 4,205 offences for exceeding the statutory sped limit on a public road, and 1,039 for exceeding the speed limit on the motorway in 2021.

These figures are 23.4% and 16.5% lower than those from 2020, showing a reduction in speeding offences by young people over the last year.

 

The reduction of the number of offences for young people

 

In fact, the data shows a reduction in driving offences overall from 2018 to 2021 for young drivers.

Though from January - May in 2018 there were 81,138 offences from drivers aged 17-25, this figure has dropped to 29,501 in 2021. This shows a 63.6% reduction in driving offences during this period, though the lockdown period in that time could have impacted this number.

 

Year (January to May) Number of driving offences by young people
            2018                                81,138
            2019                                82,934
            2020                                73,053
            2021                                29,501

 

When looking at the most common driving offence for young people (SP30 - exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road), the data shows a 16.2% decline in offences when comparing January - May 2020 to the same period in 2021. The figures have fallen from 25,014 offences in 2020 to 16,009 offences during 2021.

With the pandemic having a dramatic impact on the number of drivers on the road, the data demonstrates that it has also had a significant impact on the number of driving offences too. However, with the roads almost back to pre-pandemic levels we are keen to support newly qualified young drivers as they develop their skills to stay safe on the roads after passing their driving test.

With insurance options like black box technology, we can help drivers understand more about how they are driving and allow them to view aspects of their driving that may need improvement such as harsh braking, cornering, acceleration and speeding. Our more sophisticated systems, like the App & Tag solution offered to our customers can even measure mobile phone distraction to ensure safer travel. The ability to review driving progress empowers new drivers to adapt their habits to save money and avoid claims - a win for their pocket, a win for the roads, and a win for their wellbeing!







* based on Marmalade Black Box Insurance policies incepted 1st October 2015 – 30th September 2017. 1 in 18 Marmalade drivers have an accident within 6 months of their policy start date, compared with 1 in 5 young drivers who have an accident in the first 6 months after passing their test, according to National Statistics

 

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Nick Pitman Marmalade

By Nick Pitman

I’m a seasoned driver trying to get rid of my bad habits but I haven’t forgotten what it was like for me when I was learning and struggling to pass my test. I'm looking forward to playing the role of taxi driver for my daughter!


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