Speed Awareness Courses—Everything You Need To Know

cartoon silhouette of police officer

When it comes to driving, even the most experienced drivers can end up making a small mistake on the road. All it takes is one moment of inattentiveness and you could get snapped by a speed camera going well over the limit. Now, in some cases, this could mean you end up with points on your licence and a hefty fine. In other cases, however, you might be asked to attend one of the invite-only speed awareness courses instead.

In this guide, we’re going to look at what speed awareness courses are, who is eligible to take one, how it might affect your car insurance and much more!

Table of contents:

What are speed awareness courses?

Motorists who have been caught speeding are sometimes given the option to attend a speed awareness course. It’s offered by regional police as an alternative to receiving points on a licence and a fine. As we’ll discuss in more detail in what to expect on the day, these courses are educational workshops that are designed to re-educate speeding offenders—helping them relearn parts of the Highway Code and really understand the consequences of irresponsible driving.

The number of motorists opting to take speed awareness courses has increased quite a lot over the past few years.  In fact, according to the TTC Group, in 2018, 1.9 million drivers opted to take a speed awareness course instead of 3 points on their licence and a fine. Whilst the cost of the course might end up being equivalent to the fine, it still means you avoid racking up penalty points. Remember, if you receive 12 or more within 3 years—or 6 within the first 2 years of driving—you could get disqualified.

Before you start ignoring speed limits entirely, you should know that these courses are only offered to individuals who meet the criteria.

Who is eligible for a speed awareness course?

Handwriting a checklist

If you’ve been caught speeding by a speed camera, or you’ve been stopped by the police, you’ll be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution and a Section 172 Notice within 14 days. You have to return the Section 172 Notice within 28 days to inform the police of who was driving the car. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent the offer of a speed awareness course. If not, your other options are a Fixed Penalty Notice or a court hearing to appeal your offence.

Now, speed awareness courses are like an exclusive club—you can’t ask for an invite, you have to wait for one. For starters, you’ll only get the chance to attend one if you’ve admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the speeding offence and if you haven’t already attended one within the 3 years prior to your current speeding offence. Additionally, your speed has to have been within certain limits and you can’t have committed any further offences at the time of the speeding offence.

You can get a better look at these speed limits in the table below. Please be aware that these limits will vary depending on the police force involved.

Speed Limit
Minimum Speed
Maximum Speed
20 mph 24 mph 31 mph
30 mph 35 mph 42 mph
40 mph 46 mph 53 mph
50 mph 57 mph 64 mph
60 mph 68 mph 75 mph
70 mph 79 mph 86 mph

Source: Confused.com

If you are eligible to take a speed awareness course, you’ll be contacted by the police through a letter. You’ll then need to either accept the offer, or decline and take the fine and points on your licence. You can book a speed awareness course online—the letter will tell you which providers are available in your area. It’s not advisable to put it off too long, as you’ll have to take it no more than 12 weeks after the date of your speeding offence.

What if I appeal?

Thinking about trying your chances with an appeal? Whilst you are free to do so, you should know that as soon as you make an appeal, the offer of a speed awareness course will be withdrawn.

If you plead not guilty, you’ll end up having to go to court. And if they find that you are indeed guilty of speeding, then you could end up with an even bigger fine and more penalty points. The amount you’ll be fined will depend entirely on what the speed limit was and how much you were over it. According to GOV.UK, “it’s usually a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway)”.

Add that to the fact that you could also be disqualified from driving, and it’s a pretty risky move!

How much do they cost and who provides them?

Whilst the cost of a speed awareness course will vary depending on where you live, you’re looking at having to pay between £80 to £100. The cost of the course is essentially equivalent (give or take) to the fine you would have to pay otherwise. The main difference, of course, is that opting for a speed awareness course means you won’t have 3 points added to your driving licence.

Speed awareness courses are run by independent companies that are regulated by the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS), working in conjunction with the local police. You can find a list of course locations here, but you won’t be able to actually book a speed awareness course unless you’ve received an offer from the police. You can choose to take a course at any location—you aren’t restricted to taking it in the area where you committed the speeding offence.

Once you’ve accepted the police’s offer of a speed awareness course, you’ll need to book in online. In order to do so, you’ll need your driving licence number and your bank card to pay for the course. Part of this cost will go towards the police force located in the area you committed the offence in. This will cover the cost of processing the offence and the course offer.

What can I expect on the day?

An empty classroom filled with tables chairs and a projector

The course will last around 4 to 5 hours, depending on the provider. You won’t be the only driver in attendance—you’ll be taking the course with up to 25 other people. The course will be structured like a workshop. It’s classroom based, though some providers may include in-car practical training. Whilst you won’t have to take any official tests, you will have to actively participate in discussions.

The entire point of the course is to minimise your chances of speeding in the future and open your eyes to the dangers of speeding. As such, the workshop will:

  • Explore why you were speeding
  • Teach you the consequences of your actions
  • Update your knowledge of  the Highway Code and stopping distances
  • Help you understand different speed limits and where they would apply
  • Show you how to identify and avoid hazards
  • Walk you through potential defensive driving measures

As long as you complete the course to the satisfaction of the provider—staying for the duration of the workshop and participating in discussions—you’ll be able to go on your merry way at the end. The provider will get in touch with the police afterwards to let them know you’ve completed the course. Bear in mind that your details will be kept in the NDORS database, and if you are caught speeding again within 3 years of taking a speed awareness course, you’ll end up receiving a fine and 3 points on your licence.

You’ll need to bring your driving licence with you, or two alternate forms of ID, otherwise you won’t be allowed to take the course. You should also aim to get there 15 minutes early.

Why should I take a speed awareness course?

Whilst a speed awareness course will come out at near enough the same price as the fixed penalty for your speeding offence, it’s still a better option to take. It means that you avoid receiving 3 points on your driving licence and a speeding conviction on your driving record—factors that would undoubtedly increase your insurance premiums.

It’s important that you try to limit the number of points you get on your licence. Why? If you get 12 or more points within a 3 year period, you’ll be disqualified from driving. If you’re a new driver, the rules are even stricter! Your licence will be revoked if you receive 6 or more points within 2 years of passing your test. Points on your licence also increase your insurance premiums.

Let’s face it, whilst no-one wants to spend 4 to 5 hours in a classroom, it’s a price worth paying in order to avoid the possibility of getting disqualified from driving. Plus, you’ll actually learn some vital information and skills to help you become a safer driver. Remember, the longer you go without an accident, the better your car insurance options will be.

Will taking a speed awareness course affect my insurance?

pound notes and a calculator
Photo © Images Money (cc-by/2.0)

If you end up with a speeding conviction on your record, you will definitely see an increase in your insurance premiums. By taking a speed awareness course, however, you can avoid the conviction and, potentially, keep your premiums at the same level. This all depends entirely on your insurance provider, however.

In most cases, insurers will only want to know if you have any points on your licence for a motoring conviction or Fixed Penalty Notice. That being said, there are some insurers who will ask if you’ve ever completed a speed awareness course. If they do ask, it’s likely that filling out ‘yes’ will result in your premiums rising. Whilst taking a speed awareness course will help you become a safer driver, it still tells the insurer that you might be prone to ignoring speed limits. To an insurer, this makes you a bit of a risk to insure. Of course, if they don’t ask you about speed awareness courses, it can’t be used as a factor for determining your premiums.

Though you might be tempted to not disclose this information to your insurer if they ask, please be aware that you’re legally obligated to tell them. If your insurer finds out that you’ve intentionally lied on your insurance forms, they could increase your premiums or invalidate your insurance entirely.


1. What if I’m late or can’t make it to my appointment?

It’s up to you to arrive on time. Heavy traffic is always a possibility, so you need to plan ahead. If you do end up being late, you won’t be allowed to join the class. If you’re ill, then you should let the provider know as soon as possible. You’ll find a contact number on the letter you were sent. You’ll need to provide a doctor’s note to prove this. The police will then review your case and decide whether or not to offer you another chance to take a course.

2. Do I have to pay for a speed awareness course?

Yep! The cost will vary depending on the course provider and the region you live in. On average, however, you’ll have to pay between £80 to £100. You will need to pay for the course online as soon as you book it.

3. How often can you take a speed awareness course?

Once you’ve attended a speed awareness course, you won’t be allowed to go to another one for 3 years. If you end up with another speeding offence, then you’ll have to pay the fine and take the points. Your details will remain on a database if you’ve taken a speed awareness course. As such, there’s no way to get around it.

4. Can I appeal my offence and take a course if I don’t win?

Nope. You’re allowed to appeal against your speeding offence, but if you do, the offer to take a speed awareness course will be rescinded. You also run the risk of receiving a bigger fine and more points if you lose the appeal.

5. Do I need to tell my insurer if I take a speed awareness course?

This will depend entirely on your insurer. You will have to get in touch with your current provider to see if this is something you’re legally required to disclose. If you’re asked to provide this information when starting with a new insurer, make sure you do.

6. Why haven’t I been offered a speed awareness course?

It’s entirely up to the discretion of your local police on whether or not to offer you a speed awareness course. If you’ve already taken one within the last 3 years, or you were well above the speed limits stipulated by the police, you won’t be offered one.

7. Could I end up failing a speed awareness course?

The only real way you could fail a speed awareness course is if you go out of your way to do so. In other words, if you don’t stay for the duration of the course or if you actively go out of your way not to participate. If you do end up failing, you’ll have to take the fine and penalty points. You also won’t receive a refund.

8. How many people will be taking the course?

It will vary depending on the provider and how over-subscribed they are at any given time. You’re looking at an average of around 15 to 25 attendees.

9. How do I go about booking a course?

After you’ve received a letter from the police, you’ll need to return the form to let them know that you accept the course offer. You need to do this within the time limit in the letter. You can find your local course provider and additional information in the letter.

10. When will I be expected to take this course?

Taking into consideration the fact that many drivers are in full-time work and are unable to take any time off, providers usually offer courses on weekdays and weekends—including evenings.

By Bethany Hall

Whether you’re a learner or a pro driver, Bethany is here to help. From defensive driving to the Highway Code, she’ll tell you everything you need know about driving. If she’s not on the road, you’ll probably find Bethany with her head in a book or binge-watching the latest TV show.


  1. Reply

    Hollie Lacayo

    Hi, can I ask a question? Great read above really insightful, but I just wondered is the driver still allowed to drive in the interim of receiving the speeding notification and taking the course? Many thanks x

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Holly,

      Thanks for the great feedback. To answer your question, yes, drivers are still allowed to drive in the interim of receiving a speeding notification and taking a speed awareness course. I hope this was helpful.


  2. Reply


    Can I take the speed awareness course that is local to me .

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Linda,

      Yes, you can take a speed awareness course that is local to you. You aren’t restricted to taking it in the area where you committed the speeding offence. All you have to do is look at which locations are available to you when you book online.


  3. Reply

    samantha cottam

    If you get a speeding ticket in a different county can you do the course in your own location

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Samantha,

      Speed awareness courses are only available for drivers who have committed speeding offences in the UK. If you commit a speeding offence in a different country, you’ll usually only have to pay a fine.


  4. Reply

    malcolm Glanvile

    Hi, can I do a speed awareness course for a new offence which is within the required field, although I received 3 points for a previous offence 2 months prior to latest offence, nothing for 46 years, then 2 close to-gether, thanks Malcolm

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Malcolm,

      You have to be invited onto a speed awareness course to actually take one. If you don’t receive an invitation from the police then you won’t be able to.


  5. Reply

    Kevin Hutchinson

    I have a speed awareness course on the 10th of September 2019. I have just been working in Jersey this weekend and have lost my wallet with my driving licence in it. Do I need to take my driving licence to the course or will my passport do. I want to cancel my bank cards but I have to pay 20 for a replacement licence. If I cancel my cards I cant pay for my license. I have tried getting a replacement on line before I cancel my cards but the system is down. Please help?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Kevin,

      TTC (one of the main speed awareness providers in the UK) say that you can still show up without a driving licence, as long as you have two other valid forms of ID.

      Acceptable forms of ID (2 of these will be required) include:
      Valid Passport;
      Recent Utility Bill (i.e. gas or electric bill);
      Bank Statement;
      Debit/Credit Card.

      Hope this helped!


  6. Reply


    If I was not the driver and I fill the details of the named driver, will the second driver be offered the course also?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Chi,

      Once the Police have determined who the driver was at the time of the offence, they will offer a speed awareness course to them and them alone (if they meet the criteria). If you were not the driver, you would not be offered a speed awareness course.

      Hope this helped!


  7. Reply


    Hi Bethany, my Son was clocked 7miles over the speed limit,5/09/19 we got a letter through yesterday 11/09, as 1st offence we are hoping he will be offered the course. He is away at Uni from 14th Sept to Dec. Will he be able to take the course when he returns home ?
    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Stella,

      You’ll have to wait and see if your son actually gets an offer to complete a Speed Awareness course. If he does get invited to complete one, the letter will mention the latest date at which he can take the course.

      Hope this helped!


  8. Reply

    Stuart Skidmore

    Hi I received letter today for speeding I have had licence since sept 2017 will my licence be revoked.


    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Stuart,

      If you’re still within 2 years of passing your driving test, your driving licence will be revoked if you build up 6 or more penalty points. The minimum penalty for speeding is usually a £100 fine and 3 penalty points. So, if you haven’t had any points prior, you should still be ok. If you’re not sure how many points you have on your licence, check with the DVLA here.

      Hope this helped!


  9. Reply


    I was offered a speed awareness course so signed up online. It asked me to choose one in my area and select the best day and time from the dates that were highlighted. There weren’t any dates highlighted for me to chose at all. I was waiting till Monday to ring to see if I could book over the phone but have now received an email saying my offer has been withdrawn and to wait for the police to be in touch. Why would an offer be withdrawn?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Aly,

      The Police might have decided that you are no longer eligible for a Speed Awareness course, or it could simply be a technical error. Rather than speculate, however, it’s probably best to wait for the Police to get in touch.

      Hope this helped!


  10. Reply


    Hi, I went through a red light and was caught on camera sometime in 2016, I don’t know the date but have traced the course to 3rd of january 2017, so would assume it might have been towards the end of 2016. Whilst away recently, I was caught speeding 35 in a 30mph limit, my fault, I was unfamiliar with the road and didn’t realise it had gone from 40 down to 30. With the notice of intended prosecution, I was invited to apply for a speed awareness workshop. As the previous course was for a red light offence, if it was less than three years. am I likely to be offered a course for speeding?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Liz,

      If you haven’t already attended a Speed Awareness course within the 3 years prior to your speeding offence, then you should be fine. If you are eligible for a Speed Awareness course, you’ll be sent an offer by the Police. Otherwise, they’ll send you a Fixed Penalty Notice.

      Hope this helped!


  11. Reply

    Barbara Hopwood

    Hi Bethany,
    I have been offered a place on a speed awareness course at a venue which is about 20 miles away. As these courses are held in my own town can I ask to attend there? I am 84 years old and don’t relish driving to a strange place.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Barbara,

      Yes, you should be able to attend a Speed Awareness course at a venue closer to where you live. I’d suggest going to the course provider’s website to change the location of your course. Check the offer letter that the Police sent you to find out who the provider is. If it’s NDORS, you can pick the location of your course here. You will need the Reference Number and PIN from the Course Offer letter sent to you by the Police in order to do this. Alternatively, I’d give the provider a ring to see if they can sort it out for you. It shouldn’t be a problem.

      Hope this helped!


  12. Reply

    Steven Hughes

    Hey, if I’m a new driver (only been driving about a year) and get a speeding fine can I go on a speed awareness course or are they not available to new drivers?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Steven,

      Speed Awareness courses can be offered to new drivers. However, you’ll only receive an offer letter if the Police decide you’re eligible. Your speed has to have been within certain limits and you can’t have committed any further offences at the time of the speeding offence. If you do receive an offer, you’ll be able to book your Speed Awareness course online. If you don’t receive one, you’ll need to pay the fine and take the penalty points. Please be aware that if a new driver gets 6 or more penalty points within 2 years, they will be disqualified.

      Hope this helps,


  13. Reply


    Hi lets say in a 70mph scenario what speed can you “do” and get a speed awareness?is there a certain guideline speed they abide too? Looking online and not really getting many answers truthfully so thought id drop the question


    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Lee,

      If you look at the table underneath ‘Who is eligible for a speed awareness course?’, you can see a rough guideline of the speed limits used by the Police. In this case, the minimum for 70mph is 79mph and the maximum speed is 86mph. So, your speed would have to fall somewhere between those limits. Please be aware that this is a rough guideline only. You will only be invited onto a speed awareness course if the Police decide you’re eligible.

      Hope this helped!


  14. Reply


    I have been offered a speed awareness course for driving 36 mph instead of 30mph. I have already booked for the awareness course but not yet attend. I have again received another speeding ticket today driving 37mph instead of 30mph. will I be offered another speed awareness course as I have not yet attended the first one? or I will be allowed to combine this together

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall


      If you’ve been caught speeding a second time, then you’ll likely face prosecution and receive at least three penalty points. You will not be offered a second speed awareness course within a three-year period of your last one.

      Hope this clears things up!


  15. Reply

    peter davenport

    can i be offered a speed awareness course if i already have 6 points on my licence {not for speeding, it was for using my mobile phone}?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Peter,

      As far as I’m aware, you should still hypothetically be eligible for a speed awareness course as you haven’t been caught speeding before. Of course, you’ll only be offered a speed awareness course if your speed was within a certain limit. You’ll have to wait and see if you get an invite from the Police.

      Hope this helps!


  16. Reply


    Hi Bethany,
    A quick question I was speeding overtaking a car in front of me in a 30mph I was doing 40mph it has not been 3yrs yet since my speed awareness course what might happen coz I saw the van too late.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Carol,

      As you’ve already taken a speed awareness course within the last 3 years, you will have to pay a fine and will end up with points on your licence. You will receive more information on the matter when the Police send you a letter regarding your speeding offence.

      Hope this helps!


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