Are you aware of all of the UK’s driving laws? Do you know how to check penalty points for lesser-known driving offences in the UK? We have the answers – here’s what you should know.
What are penalty points?
Penalty points are endorsements placed on your driving licence record if you commit certain offences. The points stay on your licence for at least four years.
If you tally up 12 or more points in three years, you face disqualification for a set period. And, if you get six or more points in your first two years of driving, you could lose your licence.
Check penalty points for laws you might not know about
Chances are you already know that it’s illegal to drink and drive, or to drive without a seatbelt. Some other offences are a little less obvious, though, but it’s important you know about them. So, we’ve combined research by Gumtree with offences from the gov.uk website to reveal some lesser-known UK driving laws.
1. Using a mobile phone at a drive-through
No, you can’t use your mobile at a drive-through, even if your vehicle is stationary! If you’re caught using your phone while you’re behind the wheel, you could get six penalty points and a £200 fine.
2. Driving without proper insurance
Driving without proper insurance attracts up to eight penalty points or even disqualification for a period of time. Unsure whether you’re properly covered? Contact your provider for advice.
3. Using a poorly-secured sat nav
Do you use a mobile device as a sat nav? Well, it must be secured properly in your car to use it legally. If it’s not installed properly, you’ll face six penalty points and a £200 fine.
4. Driving a car covered in snow
It’s not enough to just clear snow away from your windows. Make sure you always clear snow from your bonnet, roof and lights before you drive anywhere. Otherwise, you might get three penalty points and a £60 fine.
5. Parking in a dangerous position
You can’t park your car in a way that obstructs or endangers other road users. For example, if you’re parking at night, you can’t park facing against the flow of traffic. You can’t park on a blind bend, either, and you shouldn’t park on a hill without applying the handbrake. If you park dangerously, then you could face three penalty points and a parking fine.
6. Driving without glasses
Do you need glasses or contact lenses to see properly? If so, then you can’t drive without them. If you’re caught driving without your lenses or glasses, you could be charged with dangerous driving. This attracts at least three penalty points and an unlimited fine!
How penalty points affect your car insurance
Penalty points don’t just affect your driving licence. They impact your car insurance, too. In fact, you might find it harder to get car insurance if you have lots of penalty points, and they often make policies more expensive.
What’s more, if you have penalty points on your licence and you don’t tell your provider, your policy might be invalid. A cancelled insurance policy makes it much harder to find someone to insure you in the future.
How to check your penalty points
Want to view your driving licence record? Well, you can check your own penalty points online through the Government Gateway portal. To check your records, you’ll need your NI number, driving licence number, and the postcode on your licence.
If you don’t recognise an endorsement or your details are recorded incorrectly, follow the online advice to address the issue.
If you have penalty points, you must declare them when you’re shopping for car insurance. And, if you incur points during your policy’s lifespan, you must tell your insurer right away. Otherwise, you risk invalidating your policy which makes it harder to get insurance in the future.
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