Speed awareness courses: everything you need to know

The National Speed Awareness Course scheme is an alternative to a speeding ticket - but what's it all about?

Increased speed limits helps to cut accidents

If you get caught speeding these days, you may be offered one of two options. If you're a repeat offender, if you've overstepped the limit by a certain amount or if you're simply unlucky, you'll be given a hefty fine and points on your license. However, first-time offenders or those who are only 1-2mph over the limit may be offered a driver awareness course instead.

These educational speed awareness courses aren't exactly universally beloved among drivers. Busted motorists tend to consider the cost of an awareness course to be another tax on honest drivers, while plenty of others find them patronising and the information next to useless. Equally, though, many drivers who have completed one of the courses have found themselves surprised by the benefits they've gained from attending. 

How to appeal a parking ticket

If you choose to attend a speed awareness course, you'll find there are locations spread throughout England and Northern Ireland. Courses tend to last for around four hours, and are paid for by the drivers who enrol. They're run by seperate, non-profit organisations, so prices may vary from region to region, but they tend to be in the region of £100.


When you’re considering accepting a National Speed Awareness Course offer, remember it’s not a test, and there’s no pass or fail. You simply have to turn up and listen.

How does a Speed Awareness Course work?

If you are offered a chance to accept a speed awareness course instead of a fine, you generally have 14 days to respond to the letter of notification from the relevant police force, and accept or decline the offer. Declining the offer will mean you automatically revert to points and a fixed penalty fine – unless you are ordered to attend court instead.

Once you’ve accepted the offer, you can go online to book a course at one of the locations and times the course provider offers. You don’t need to return to the location of the offence, and can find a local course provider using the official website.

What is the format of a Speed Awareness Course?

Wherever you go to attend your course, and irrespective of the course provider you choose, the format of the course should be roughly the same. You’ll be sitting informally in a room with – typically - a couple of dozen other offenders, and there’ll be an instructor at the front using visual aids and video to help get the message across in a discussion-based format.

Worst speeders in England and Wales revealed

Speed Awareness Course topics

Wherever you take your course, you’ll be guided through discussion around the following topics – often accompanied by video clips, or other visual aids: 

  • • The benefits of speed limits
  • • Attitudes around speeding
  • • Consequences of speeding
  • • Driver skill and knowledge
  • • Driver responsibility
  • • The difference your speed makes
  • • Impact of speeding on other drivers

Pothole claims: how to claim for damage to your car

The insurance implications

There is evidence that insurance companies have hiked premiums for drivers who have accepted offers to attend speed awareness courses but, of course, the same happens for drivers who have points on their licences too. You must inform your insurance company if you attend a course – but only if you are asked.

Have you ever been on a Speed Awareness Course? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments section below... 

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020