Have you been caught going over the limit? Tut tut, but we all know how easy it is to make that small mistake and how it could cost you a speed awareness course. Find out what you can expect from attending a speed awareness course here.
What is a speed awareness course?
Now, this is a very good question if you're not familiar with this course. Basically, it's a course that motorists can take if they have been caught speeding and want to avoid any points on their license and a fine. In a way, it's good that you can have that choice, and it's amazing that you can compare all of your options before deciding which punishment you'd like to take. It does what it says on the tin, the course is designed to reduce the likelihood of you speeding again in the future. Whether it works or not and does the trick is debatable.
Many of us motorists like to think we know it all and our stopping distances on the road, but this course can educate you on this front, as well as your awareness and surroundings when you're behind the wheel. So before you start ignoring the speed limits and thinking that you'll get away with it, at least you know the consequences of driving too fast.
Who can take the course?
Just because you've been caught speeding, doesn't mean that you'll get off with not getting any points and that you can just take the speed awareness course as a lesser penalty. Sadly, it doesn't work like that. Generally, only minor speeding offences are eligible for the speed awareness course, typically if you've been speeding between the speed limit of +10% +2mph and the speed limit +10% +9mph. If you're really looking to qualify for this course, you must fit the following criteria:
- the offence must be your first offence within the last three years.
- you've been caught driving over the 10% but below the 9mph, which means that for example, if you were caught speeding within a 30mph zone, you would be doing anything between 35mph and 42mph.
- no more than 12 weeks must have passed since the date of the offence
- no further offence must have been committed at the time of the offence, and
- you must not have attended a speed awareness course within the past three years prior to your current offence.
If you can't meet these criteria, then you'll have no choice but to receive a fixed penalty notice along with the points on your licence. We know which we'd rather have.
How much does the speed awareness course cost?
Cost is everything! Whether you'd prefer to do the course or if you have to pay the fine, speeding is going to cost you. These courses aren't much cheaper than your average speeding fine, so you'd be looking at around £85. Even though the course is the same no matter where you are or where you go to take it, the cost of this will vary depending on where you live, so don't take our word for it. All in all, the speed awareness course usually tends to work out to be less costly for you, so could be a better option if you're tightening your belt.
Should I pay the fine or take the course?
It all comes back down to money. Depending on your income, a fixed penalty fine might seem like the better option for you if you don't have the time to be spending around half a day doing the course. Everything comes back to doing your sums, because at the end of the day if you get points, this may push your insurance premiums up, depending on how bad you've been but let's face it, nobody wants that. Alternatively, if you crack on with the speed awareness course, your licence gets to remain point free and the impact on your insurance should be non-existent, bonus!
What can I expect on the day?
On the big day of your speed awareness course, you should probably free up around 4-5 hours for it. Your course will be shared with around 25 other people, so you don't need to worry about all eyes being focused on you. Think of the course as a workshop. It's very much like a classroom, so expect to take part in some lively discussions. When your there, be aware that the whole point of the course is to minimise your chances of speeding again in the future and how dangerous speeding can be. These are just a couple of things that the workshop will cover:
- the reason why you were speeding
- teach you to understand the consequences of speeding
- update your knowledge of the Highway Code and stopping distances
- recap over the different speed limits
- how to identify and avoid hazards
That doesn't sound too bad, does it? As long as you complete the course and the provider is satisfied, your sorted. You'll be able to walk away smiling and hopefully, you won't be committing any other offences anytime soon. You won't need to do anything else after that, the provider will do the rest and inform the Police that you have completed the course. Top tip: bear in mind that your details will be stored on the database so if you're caught speeding again within the next 3 years after taking the course, they will know about it and you'll end up getting a fine and points.
It doesn't matter whether you're a learner or a pro diver, you could still land yourself a speeding fine and find yourself in the position of choosing whether to take the course or receive the fine and points. If you've been caught and maybe you've just had enough and want to make some quick cash for your car, we can help you to get the ball rolling and get the cash that you deserve. Simply enter your registration number into our online valuation tool and watch us get to work. It's as easy as that, and you could be on the road to selling your car in no time.