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Drivers push the penalty point limit

Press release: 14/09/2011

• Over 10,000 [2] motorists are legally driving despite having 12 or more penalty points on their licence
• 2,167 drivers have 13 or more points but have not been given a ban
• Lancashire, London, Croydon, Leicestershire, Swansea and Cheshire have the most drivers with 12 or more points [2]
• Four drivers in the UK hold 30 points on their licence

Thousands of convicted motoring offenders are still driving legally on UK roads despite having 12 or more penalty points, research by LV= car insurance has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request by LV= shows that there are over 10,000 drivers in the UK still legally driving with 12 or more penalty points, as of 9 July this year. In fact, over a fifth of these (2,167) have 13 or more penalty points but have still not been given a ban and four of these hold 30 points on their licence and are still driving.

Among all UK licence holders, 3,823,544 hold penalty points, with the vast majority (82%) receiving points for speeding. Motorists who are caught speeding receive three to 12 points per conviction but points can be given for a wide range of motoring offences including reckless or careless driving, drink or drug driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to comply with traffic light signals and driving without insurance.

Anyone who incurs 12 points on their licence will have to attend court and twelve points or more usually means a temporary driving ban unless it can be proved it would cause exceptional hardship. Local magistrate courts can use their discretion to decide whether or not to disqualify a driver.

Recent research from LV= car insurance shows that many drivers would suffer to a degree if they were to lose their licence. A quarter (23%) of drivers said they would not be able to get to the shops if they were disqualified from the roads, one in seven (14%) say they would be housebound and one in twenty (5%) said they would be unemployable.

Lancashire, London, Croydon, Leicester, Swansea, Cheshire have the highest number of motorists with 12 points on their licence. Four drivers in the UK – based in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, and Staffordshire - hold 30 points on their licence and are still driving.

John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: "The twelve point ban rule was designed to deter drivers from repeatedly breaking the law and to penalise those who do. Although there will be cases where a ban would cause exceptional hardship, it is surprising to learn that motorists are still driving legally despite incurring up to 30 points in some parts of the country. If drivers are capable of clocking up 12 or more points on their licence then they need to accept the consequences."

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Notes to editors:

  • The DVLA responded to a FOI request from LV= car insurance in July 2011.

  • ICM interviewed a sample of 2033 British adults aged 18+ between 10th – 11th August 2011. Results were weighted to be nationally representative. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information is available at

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LV= employs around 4,500 people, serves over four million customers and members, and manages around £8.0bn (as at 31 December 2010) on their behalf, via LV= Asset Management (LVAM). We are also the UK's largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider.

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[1] According to a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA from LV=, 10,133 motorists are still driving despite having 12 or more penalty points.
[2] The number of drivers with 12 or more penalty points on their licence who are still driving legally by area: Cheshire - 30, Lancashire 22, London 17, Croydon 15, Leicestershire 15, Swansea 15