posted 3 years ago

Thousands Of Drivers With 12+ Points Retain Licence

Thousands of motorists receive 12+ penalty points for driving offences but retain a licence on compassionate grounds.

Drivers Keep Licence Despite Having 12+ Points

More than 6,500 motorists are legally entitled to drive despite collecting enough penalty points to be banned, Co-Operative Insurance research proves. A motorist is typically banned having received 12 or more points in 3 years. This could include (say) 3 points for speeding, 3 for using a vehicle that has a defective tyre, and up to 11 for dangerous driving. A newly qualified motorist can be banned if he/she receives 6 within 2 years of passing the practical test. However, a motorist might escape a ban if it would cause excessive hardship – and this defence enables thousands of frequent and/or serious offenders to continue driving. 

A Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency spokesperson said: “In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the DVLA understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.” The representative added: “In the majority of these cases, courts may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.”

The highest number of motorists with 12 points of more live in Nottingham. Here, 180 have fallen foul of the law. This city is followed by: Doncaster (174), Cardiff (173), Birmingham (169), Sheffield (156), Newcastle upon Tyne (145), Peterborough (144), Manchester (137), Norwich (136) and Swansea (127). Despite the perception that youngsters tend to be reckless the most prolific age group – by quantity not percentage – is 36 to 45. 1,718 have 12+ points yet retain a licence. The 17 to 25 year old figure is 630. Men account for 84% of all those with enough points for a ban. 

Drivers With Highest Number Of Points In UK

A large number of motorists have far more points than required to be banned from the road. The most prolific in England and Wales has 45, for example. This male from Liverpool was penalised on 3 occasions for speeding in a 30 mph zone and 5 for failing to provide information to the authorities. He is followed by a male from Lewisham that has 40 points - despite not having a full or provisional licence. His offences include speeding and driving without insurance. Furthermore a woman from Blackburn has 38 points, and men from Great Yarmouth, Oxford, Wales and Wymondham each have 36. There are at least 8 other motorists with 30+ points.

Steve Kerrigan, Head of Telematics at The Co-Operative Insurance explained: “We want to see the number of people on the roads with an excess number of penalty points reduce”. He argues that telematics – a system that monitors driving style – could be the “key enabler.”

Number of drivers with 12 licence points by area


Drivers with more than 12 penalty points











Newcastle upon Tyne