Your feedback is essential to help us improve - click here to take our 3 minute survey.

Check the penalty points and fines for UK driving laws you didn’t know existed!

Check the penalty points and fines for UK driving laws you didn’t know existed!
Image source: Getty Images

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 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. 

Take away

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.   

Are you looking for new car insurance? Check out price comparison sites like GoCompare and MoneySuperMarket to get started. 

Paying credit card interest? Time to switch to a 0% balance transfer card.

If you can’t afford to clear your credit card balance at the moment and are paying monthly interest, then check to see if you can shift that debt to a new credit card with a long 0% interest free balance transfer period. It could save you money.

By transferring the balance of any existing card (or cards) to a new 0% card, you could be debt-free more quickly – since your repayments will go entirely towards clearing the balance of the debt you owe, and not on interest charges.

Discover our top-rated picks for 0% balance transfer credit cards here and check your eligibility before you apply in just a few minutes – it’s free and won’t affect your credit score.

Was this article helpful?

Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.