What is a speed awareness course?

If you’re caught speeding, you may be offered the chance to go on a speed awareness course instead of a fine and penalty points. Here’s what you can expect.


By Marmalade Author

Updated on Dec 4th, 2020

If you’re caught speeding, there are a few ways you may be prosecuted – and one of those is being given the option to go on a speed awareness course, instead of paying a fine and/or having penalty points put on your licence.

If you’ve got a speed awareness course coming up, or you’re curious to see what one will entail – we’ve got all the details for you!

What is a speed awareness course?

If you’re caught speeding you could be given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) and receive points on your licence, or be given the option to go on a speed awareness course. Speed awareness courses are designed to educate drivers who have been caught speeding, to prevent them from doing so again in the future. Speed awareness courses are not compulsory – it is up to each police force to determine whether or not they will be offered out to offenders.

Not everyone is eligible to go on a speed awareness course. Police will decide on a case by case basis as to whether someone is offered the course or not. You may be eligible if:

  • You haven’t been on a course within the last 3 years
  • The speed you were doing was within an acceptable range. Typically, this is between the speed limit +10% +2mph, and the speed limit +10% +9mph. For example, between 46 – 52mph in a 40mph zone

Do I have to pay for a speed awareness course?

Yes. Prices can vary depending on the provider, but usually, it’s around £80 - £100 to attend the course.

How will I know if I’m given the course option?

When you receive your notice of intended prosecution, you’ll be given different options and a speed awareness course will be on there if you’ve been offered it. It will state a date, time and location of the course which you can either accept or decline and take the penalty.

How long does a speed awareness course last?

Usually, courses last between four to five hours. They’re usually a combination of theory training in the classroom and workshops. You may also have some practical in-car training.

What is covered in a speed awareness course?

Throughout the course, the aim is to help those found speeding to realise the error in their ways. To do this, the course covers topics such as:

  • The benefits of sticking to the speed limits
  • Consequences of speeding
  • Your personal responsibility
  • How your behaviour impacts other road users
  • Attitudes surrounding speeding
  • Knowledge and skills

Will my car insurance be affected?

Going on a speed awareness course is not classed as a driving conviction and also means you will not receive any penalty points, so your licence will remain clean. This should in turn not impact the cost of your car insurance policy. However, your insurer may still choose to raise your premium as they could now deem you as a higher risk driver.

If you’re caught speeding excessively over the limit, or you have been on a speed awareness course within the last 3 years, you will not be offered the chance to go on a speed awareness course. You will, instead, have points on your licence and a fine to pay (you can check out the full fines and penalties for speeding on our blog) Avoid this altogether by driving sensibly and safely whilst staying within the speed limits.

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