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The learner driver's guide to UK driving licence points

8 min read • Oct 29, 2018
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As a learner driver, you shouldn’t be planning on getting any driving licence points, but it can’t hurt to understand the law as well as you can. Once you have a thorough understanding of the rules, you can be sure to avoid breaking them.

The new drivers act

The new drivers act essentially puts newly-qualified drivers on a two year period of probation. If you get six or more points on your licence in the two years after you passed your test, you’ll automatically lose your licence and become a learner driver all over again. You will have to start from scratch; you’ll even need to apply for your provisional licence again.

If you lose your licence and then pass a retest, you will not be subject to a second period of probation.

You can also get driving licence points on your provisional licence

Yup, not even your provisional licence is safe from the dreaded points. Any points you get on your provisional licence will last for three years and will stay on there when you pass your test, putting you more at risk of falling foul of the new drivers act.

If you somehow manage to get six points on your provisional licence, it won’t be taken away from you. However, once you’ve passed your test you’ll have to avoid getting any more driving licence points for two years to avoid losing your licence and having to start again.

Learner drivers get the same punishments as fully-qualified drivers

Learner drivers don’t get reduced driving licence points and they most certainly won’t be let off an offence lightly. If you break the law while driving with L-plates, you’ll get the same punishment as anyone else.

The tables below show the codes and amount of driving licence points you’ll receive for most of the common driving offences in the UK.

Driving licence points for accident-based offences

  • Failing to stop after an accident - 5-10 penalty points
  • Failing to give particulars or to report an accident within 24 hours - 5-10 penalty points

Driving licence points for disqualified driver-based offences

  • Driving while disqualified by order of court - 6 penalty points
  • Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of court - 6 penalty points

Driving licence points for careless driving-based offences

  • Driving without due care and attention - 3-9 points
  • Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users - 3-9 penalty points
  • Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users - 3-9 penalty points
  • Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink - 3-11 penalty points
  • Causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs - 3-11 penalty points
  • Causing death by careless driving with alcohol level above the limit - 3-11 penalty points
  • Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for analysis - 3-11 penalty points
  • Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for drug analysis - 3-11 penalty points

Driving licence points for vehicle use-based offences

  • Using a vehicle with defective brakes - 3 penalty points
  • Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition - 3 penalty points
  • Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) - 3 penalty points
  • Using a vehicle with defective steering - 3 penalty points
  • Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers - 3 penalty points

Driving licence points for dangerous driving-based offences

  • Dangerous driving - 3-11 penalty points
  • Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle - 3-11 penalty points
  • Causing death by dangerous driving - 3-11 penalty points

Driving licence points for drink or drug-based offences

  • Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit - 3-11 penalty points
  • Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink - 3-11 penalty points
  • Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis - 3-11 penalty points
  • Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for drug analysis - 3-11 penalty points
  • In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit - 10 penalty points
  • In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink - 10 penalty points
  • Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive - 10 penalty points
  • Failure to supply a specimen for drug analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10 penalty points
  • Failing to provide specimen for breath test - 4 penalty points
  • Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs 3-11 penalty points
  • In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs - 10 penalty points

Driving licence points for insurance-based offences

  • Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks - 6-8 penalty points

Driving licence points for licence-based offences

  • Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence - 3-6 penalty points
  • Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability - 3-6 penalty points

Driving licence points for miscellaneous offences

  • Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position - 3 penalty points
  • Unlawful pillion riding - 3 penalty points
  • Motor racing on the highway - 3-11 penalty points
  • Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight - 3 penalty points
  • Failure to give information as to identity of driver - 6 penalty points

Driving licence points for motorway-based offences.

  • Contravention of Special Roads Regulations (excluding speed limits) - 3 penalty points

Driving licence points for pedestrian crossing-based offences

  • Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations with moving vehicle - 3 penalty points
  • Contravention of Pedestrian Crossing Regulations with stationary vehicle - 3 penalty points

Driving licence points for speed-based offences

  • Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits - 3-6 penalty points
  • Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles) - 3-6 penalty points
  • Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road - 3-6 penalty points
  • Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit - 3-6 penalty points
  • Exceeding speed limit on a motorway - 3-6 penalty points

Driving licence points for sign and signal-based offences

  • Failing to comply with traffic light signals - 3 penalty points
  • Failing to comply with double white lines - 3 penalty points
  • Failing to comply with “Stop” sign - 3-6 penalty points
  • Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden - 3 penalty points
  • Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding – stop -signs, traffic lights or double white lines) - 3 penalty points
  • Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign - 3 penalty points

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