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What is a speed awareness course?

What is a speed awareness course?

If you’re caught speeding, you might be offered the choice of attending a speed awareness course as an alternative to penalty points and a fine. 

But what exactly is a speed awareness course, and will it affect your car insurance premium?

Here’s our simple guide to what you need to know about speed awareness courses. 

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 06 APRIL 2020

Important update regarding the COVID-19 situation 

As of 20 March 2020, the UK Road Offender Education (UKROEd) has made the decision to suspend all speed awareness courses for at least 12 weeks. 
If you were due to attend a course, you should get in touch with the authority in charge to understand your options. 
For more information on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on driving in the UK, please read our coronavirus and motoring FAQ page
Please note: This information was correct at the time of publication on 6 April 2020, but, because of the impact of COVID-19, things are changing rapidly. We aim to keep this page updated, but check with your course provider directly to confirm any details. 

Speed awareness courses 

Speed awareness courses aim to educate drivers about their speeding, and act as an incentive to stop them doing it again. They’re offered by some regional police forces as an alternative to adding three penalty points to your licence and a £100 fine.  
The courses are not compulsory, and it’s up to each police force to decide whether to offer them. 

Who can be offered a place on a speed awareness course?

Not everyone is eligible to go on a speed awareness course, and criteria vary depending on the police force. You may be eligible if:

  • you haven’t attended a speed awareness course in the past three years
  • the speed you were doing is within the acceptable range. This is typically between speed limit + 10% + 2mph and speed limit + 10% + 9mph (for example, between 35 - 42mph in a 30mph zone)

How will I know if a speed awareness course is an option?

If you’re stopped for speeding by the police, or are caught by a speed camera, you’ll be sent a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days. If you’re eligible to go on a course, you’ll be given three options:

  • a speed awareness course
  • a fixed penalty notice
  • a court hearing to appeal the offence

You’ll be given a date, time and location to attend the speed awareness course. You can choose to accept the offer or decline and take the fixed penalty instead. 

Who runs speed awareness courses?

Speed awareness courses are managed by the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) and are supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). 

Each police force appoints a course provider who is regulated by the Association of National Driver Improvement Course Providers (ANDISP), to deliver courses in their region. 

Do I have to pay for a speed awareness course?

Yes. Prices vary between providers, but a course typically costs between £80 to £100.

How long does a speed awareness course last?

Courses typically last between four to five hours. They’re usually a combination of classroom-based training, workshops and in some cases, in-car practical training sessions in a vehicle provided by the training centre. 

What do speed awareness courses cover?

Topics include:

  • the benefits of complying with speed limits
  • attitudes surrounding speeding
  • the consequences of speeding
  • knowledge and skills
  • personal responsibility
  • the impact of your behaviour on other road users

Do speed awareness courses work?

In 2017, nearly 1.2 million drivers chose to attend a speed awareness course. A government study found people who have taken the course are 23% less likely to reoffend within six months of attending, and only 21% reoffend within three years compared to 23% who took points instead of the course.

Will a speed awareness course impact my car insurance?

A speed awareness course is not classed as a driving conviction, and as you will avoid penalty points, your licence will remain clean.

However, some car insurance providers may raise your premium as they consider the fact that you were speeding a risk. 

On the other hand, some insurance providers may take a positive approach to the additional education and driving skills you’ve obtained, so it’s always advisable to tell them if you’ve attended a speed awareness course.

Of course, having penalty points on your licence is likely to increase your insurance premium.

It’s a good idea to shop around and compare different insurance providers before buying a policy. And comparing car insurance quotes with us could even save you up to £282** on your premium. 

Just enter your details and those about your car and within a matter of minutes you’ll have a range of insurance providers to choose from.

**Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during February 2020 50% of customers could save up to £282.66 on their car insurance premium.

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