92,000 motorists at imminent risk of losing their licence

Posted on 29/04/21 |

92,000 motorists are at risk of losing their driving licence with just one more motoring offence resulting in a ban, a Freedom of Information request to DVLA* by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, reveals.

There are some 92,000 drivers currently with 9, 10 or 11 points on their licence who face the real risk of losing their licence with another 3 points pushing them on or over the 12-point ban threshold.

Licences Infographic

This could be through everyday driving habits, ignorance or judgement errors – such as speeding, overtaking on a double white line, parking in a dangerous place, not stopping at a school crossing, carrying too many passengers or overloading the vehicle.

Many drivers may also be unaware that a lack of basic vehicle maintenance could also land you with points – such as defective tyres, blown headlight or brake light bulbs, cracked light covers, smeary windscreen wipers or worn suspension components.  

Specifically, at present there are 80,484 motorists in the UK with 9 points on their licence, 7,804 with 10 points and 4,313 with 11 points.

Meanwhile, there are nearly 8,800 motorists still driving with 12 points or more on their driving licence, with IAM RoadSmart once again renewing its call for a full review to ensure that drivers with multiple points are always treated in the same way. Until these anomalies are removed confidence in the simple “12 points and you are out” system will continue to be undermined.

Reasons that these drivers can keep their licence include exceptional hardship, such as loss of employment.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: “The number of motorists still driving on UK roads with more than 12 points, or just under the driving ban threshold, is alarming.

“It is also an opportune occasion to educate motorists on some motoring laws that they might be unaware can result in licence points, so that motorists can change their driving habits and carry out regular basic checks of their vehicle to help make the roads safer for all users.”

Further data revealed by IAM RoadSmart’s Freedom of Information request also highlighted the postcode areas with the highest number of drivers with penalty points. These include Birmingham with 74,397, Sheffield with 56,876 and Nottingham with 56,245.

For advice on driving and motorcycle riding best practice, including details of IAM RoadSmart’s training courses on effective speed management and practical tips on vehicle checks, visit www.iamroadsmart.com.


*Freedom of Information request to DVLA by IAM RoadSmart. Data supplied Dec 2020.

Top 10 most common driving offences which result in points:

Speed limits

  1. SP30 - Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road - 3 to 6 points
  2. SP50 - Exceeding speed limit on a motorway - 3 to 6 points

    Insurance offences

  3. IN10 - Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks - 6 to 8 points

    Construction and use offences

  4. CU80 - Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone - 3 to 6 points

    Traffic direction and signs

  5. TS10 - Failing to comply with traffic light signals – 3 points

    Miscellaneous offences

  6. MS90 - Failure to give information as to identity of driver - 6 points

    Licence offences

  7. LC20 - Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence - 3 to 6 points

    Construction and use offences

  8. CU30 - Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) – 3 points

    Careless driving

  9. CD30 - Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users - 3 to 9 points


  10. CU50 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers – 3

*New drivers should take extra care as they can amass points very quickly in their first two years of driving. This rule came into force on 1st June 1997.  Anyone of any age passing their first driving test is 'on probation' for two years. A total of six or more penalty points during that time will mean they have to go back to learner status, apply for a new provisional licence and take the test again.

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