What are the most major driving offences in the UK?

As drivers, we know that there are a range of motoring offences we could be charged with if we don’t drive safely, considerately and to the mandatory rules set out in The Highway Code.
Creating these laws and punishing drivers who don’t follow them – with penalty points on their driving licences, fines, driving bans or potential jail sentences in the most serious cases – is a way to keep Britain’s roads as safe as possible for all road users.

That includes drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
The list of potential driving offences is a sizable one. From speeding to using a phone at the wheel, running a red light to driving without insurance, each offence is given a code that will appear on your licence if you are caught and convicted.
Perhaps you committed a driving offence in the past and you received points on your licence, a fine or a driving disqualification as a result?

If you are now ready to get back on the road, the one thing standing in your way could be finding cover that you can afford.
That’s where the Insurance Factory comes in. We specialise in convicted driver insurance, working hard to find you a policy for a competitive price, but that is packed with all of the features of a typical car insurance policy.
We don’t judge drivers and we understand that you’ve probably come to regret your driving offence.

We all make mistakes, which is why we will take into account your individual circumstances before finding a policy suited to your needs.

A judges hammer and scales on a white table

Major driving offences in the UK

Every driving offence is unique. Not just because it has its own code – for instance, driving a car that’s uninsured has the code IN10 – but also because the penalties vary.

You could receive anywhere from three to 11 penalty points depending on the offence, while fines could be hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Disqualifications also range from six months to two years, depending on the time period you build up a certain number of penalty points.
And it’s worth pointing out that the consequences can also depend on your individual case.

Say if you were caught speeding – the penalty is likely to be less severe if you were driving 5mph over the limit rather than exceeding it by 30mph.

Information like this will be taken into account when deciding on your penalty. That said, there are a number of offences that fall under the category of ‘major offences’.

This means that points will stay on your driving licence for the maximum number of years – which is 11 – and you could face a potential prison sentence.

Not to mention, pay a fine and be banned from driving for a number of years.
The Gov.UK website explains the three main types of driving offences that will stay on your licence for 11 years from the date of conviction. They are:

  • Drink driving is displayed on the driving record as DR10, DR20, DR30, DR31, DR61 and DR80
  • Drug driving offences – shown as DG10, DG80, DG60, DG40 and DG90
  • Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – shown as CD40, CD50 and CD60
  • Causing death by careless driving, then failing to offer a specimen for evaluation – shown as CD70 on the driving record
As mentioned, the above offences can result in you receiving more than just an endorsement for an extended period of time. The Crown Prosecution Service shares some examples of what else they might lead to:
  • Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – up to 14 years in jail, an unlimited fine, or both; and banned from driving for two years minimum
  • Causing death by dangerous driving – up to 14 years in prison and banned for two years minimum
  • Causing death by inconsiderate or careless driving – up to five years’ imprisonment, and banned for one year minimum
  • Murder or manslaughter – up to life in prison and banned for two years minimum
 A person driving at high speed with the outside of the car a blur of lights

When points result in a driving ban

You can be banned from driving as a direct result of an offence you committed. But you might also be disqualified if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period.

Either way, you’ll be summoned to court to discuss your case.
If you’re a new driver – meaning, you’re within two years of passing your test when you get caught committing an offence – then you’ll have your licence cancelled if you receive six or more points.

That means that you’ll have to pay for and sit both parts of your driving tests again before you can get back on the road.
The length of your ban will be decided by the court and will depend on how severe the offence is.
If you’ve committed a more serious offence, then it’s likely that you will be banned for over 56 days (and potentially face other consequences) and will have to apply for a new licence before you can get behind the wheel again.

It’s possible that you’ll have to retake your driving test or an extended test before you’re able to get your full licence back. The court will let you know if you have to do this.
Suffice to say, major driving offences carry serious penalties that can have a far-reaching impact on someone’s life.

Disqualifications and fines are costly and  inconvenient, but a prison sentence could turn a driver’s whole world upside down.

A speed camera in-front of a tree on a road

Convicted driver insurance at Insurance Factory

Here at the Insurance Factory, we have over 20 years of experience helping people get back in the driver’s seat following a range of different convictions, be they motoring or non-motoring related.
Regardless of your conviction, know that competitive car insurance with excellent benefits isn’t a thing of the past.

So, when you’re ready to get back on the road, get a quote for convicted driver insurance from the Insurance Factory and see how much you could save.