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Penalty point stats reinforce need for fleet driver licence checks

Nearly 81,000 drivers in the UK are only one speeding ticket away from losing their licence – potentially including high numbers of business drivers.

TMC’s analysis of DVLA data has found 80,855 UK driving licences have nine points

The DVLA figures – published by TMC as it highlights the need for stringent fleet driver licence checks – show that 80,855 UK driving licences had nine points as of March 2019 – three points away from a totting-up ban if those points were incurred within three years.

And Paul Hollick, managing director of TMC, says that the chances of a working driver having points on their licence are noticeably higher than suggested by the raw statistics.

He explained: “Business drivers are often out on the road every working day whereas the apparent number of clean licences is boosted by many thousands of people who don’t drive, or live abroad or have died but remain in the data.

”That is why it is imperative for employers to check working drivers’ licences to ensure they are valid and to identify staff at risk of a totting-up ban. Electronic checks by an accredited licence-checking firm take a few seconds and should not cost the employer more than £2.50 per driver per year.  It’s a small price to pay to mitigate the risks.”

Altogether, 2.7 million motorists in England, Scotland and Wales currently have three or more points on their licences but TMC’s analysis of the UK licensing data also reveals wide regional variations in penalty points carried.

Yorkshire and the Humber is the most-endorsed region in the UK mainland, with points on almost 9% of licences.

At the other end of the scale, motorists in Greater London proportionately clock up the fewest points, with only 5.3% not holding a clean licence.

Drivers in West Yorkshire are more than twice as likely to receive penalty points as those living in Kent.

Meanwhile, driving licences held by over 11,000 Britons currently have 12 or more points on them. However, that does not automatically mean the driver is disqualified. They may have served a court sentence for their driving offences and subsequently reapplied for their licence. The highest number of points on a UK driving licence in March 2019 was 60.

The 10 proportionally most-endorsed postcode areas (brackets show number of licences with points and percentage of all local licences):

  1. Halifax (10,758, 10.6%)
  2. Bradford (34,455, 10.5%)
  3. Huddersfield   (16,593, 9.9%)
  4. Bristol  (61,761, 9.4%)
  5. Doncaster (44,786, 9.3%)
  6. Wakefield (29,403, 9.1%)
  7. Leeds   (41,823, 9.0%)
  8. Luton  (20,137, 8.9%)
  9. Slough (24,734, 8.7%)
  10. Harrogate (8,785, 8.7%)

The 10 proportionally least-endorsed postcode areas:

  1. Brighton (27,991 5.1%)
  2. Harrow (17,074, 5.0%)
  3. Exeter (19,967 4.9%
  4. Greater London (136,693, 4.9%)
  5. Truro (10,508, 4.8%)
  6. Cambridge (13,042, 4.4%)
  7. Bromley (9,688, 4.4%)
  8. Tonbridge (22,100, 4.3%)
  9. Shetland (673, 4.3%)
  10. Canterbury (12,254, 3.9%)

Mainland UK regions by proportion of local licences with points:

  1. Yorkshire and the Humber (8.58%)
  2. North East (7.21%)
  3. Wales (7.19%)
  4. East Midlands (6.94%)
  5. South West (6.92%)
  6. West Midlands (6.91%)
  7. Scotland (6.77%)
  8. North West (6.74%)
  9. East of England (6.65%)
  10. South East (5.85%)
  11. Greater London (5.25%)
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.