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|
|9||Dumfries & Galloway||447|
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|
|5||South West London||162|
|12||South East London||223|
|14||North West London||230|
|19||Newcastle upon Tyne||247|
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:
|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|
|Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis|
|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|
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|
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