A simples guide

What is a speed awareness course?

If you’re caught speeding, you might be offered a Speed Awareness Course as an alternative to receiving penalty points.

 

The course isn’t offered to everyone.  For a start, you must have no previous speeding convictions in the last three years. As the programme is aimed at low-end speeding motorists, your offending speed must be within a certain range. So, if you’re way over the speed limit, you won’t be offered the chance to attend a course.

 

The course isn’t free and varies from location to location. Typically it’s in the region of £100, that’s the same price as a fixed penalty fine.

 

Last year over 1.2m drivers went for this option. Did all of these people really want to improve their driving, or were they hoping that not picking up the three points would keep their car insurance lower? 

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How do speed awareness courses impact car insurance?

That really depends on whether you’re asked if you’ve attended a speed awareness course or not.

If you’re not asked, it can’t be used as a rating factor in deciding on your premium. While it isn’t currently a question that is asked by us, some insurers will ask the question once you have clicked through to their site.  

If you’re asked, don’t be surprised if your premium goes up, even if it’s your first offence. According to the AA, drivers with a single speeding conviction are 10% to 12% more likely to make a car insurance claim than those with a clean licence.

From some insurers viewpoint, just because you attended a speed awareness course doesn’t change the fact that you were caught speeding in the first place.

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Who runs speed awareness courses?

Though the police were involved in designing the course, they don’t actually run them. Each region has its own providers who work alongside the local police force.

The courses are regulated by the National Association of Driver Intervention Providers to ensure that content and training is consistent. 

What do speed awareness courses cover?

The course lasts about four hours and is structured to improve your driving rather than simply beat you with a proverbial stick. The emphasis is very much on education and you can expect an interactive session.

The topics will include:

  • The benefits of complying with speed limits
  • Attitudes surrounding misuse of speed
  • The consequences of speeding
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Personal responsibility
  • What difference does your driving speed make?
  • Impact of your behaviour on other road users

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