Travel & Tourism

Study reveals the age group most likely to have points on their driving licence — and it’s not who you think

Don't get defensive now, people. We didn't crunch the numbers.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 13th November 2022

We all know someone who has racked up a few points on their driving licence, whether it’s a family member of that boy racer mate whose car you always avoid getting in at all costs.

However, it would seem many of our preconceptions about the so-called ‘worst’ drivers are completely misguided, according to a study carried out by confused.com.

Researching Britain’s motorists using Freedom of Information requests to the DVLA, the finance and insurance company found that there are over 2.66 million drivers with points on their licences in the UK.

Even more interestingly, the data seemed to show that despite the relatively common perception that either younger or older people are perhaps not the safest of drivers, neither of these groups ranked highest on the list of those with driving offences. It was, in fact, middle-aged drivers.

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Middle-aged drivers commit the most offences

That’s right, despite those who have only recently passed their test or more senior drivers often being perceived as the biggest liabilities on the road, the most common age bracket was 30 to 34, with approximately 6,522 per 100,000 drivers (6.52%) having been given points on their licence.

worst aged drivers middle aged
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

35-39 came in second with 6,397 and 40-44 came in third with 6,345.

Conversely – and while they obviously haven’t been on the road as long as others – it was found that those under 19 had the least offences; by some distance as well, with just 352 points per 100,000 drivers.

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While drivers with provisional licences may be included in this figure, it’s still worth noting. Moreover, the oldest age group (95 and over) with 2,186 drivers aged 95 and over per 100,000 (2.19%) having been penalised.

Once again, there are obviously far fewer drivers within this age group and making less journeys but as you can see in the full report, motorists with the most penalty points tend to bunch up between the ages of 30 and 59.

In terms of individual ages, those who are aged 32 are apparently the most likely to have points on their licence. The data reveals that 6,615 per 100,000 32-year-old drivers currently have points on their UK driver’s licence.

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Which sex picks up more points?

Their research also indicated which sex tends to be penalised most on the road, with men being over twice as likely to have points on their driving licence than women.

There was actually a fairly big difference in the number of penalty points accrued: only 3,187 out of every 100,000 female drivers (3.19%) have penalty points on their licence, whereas the rate for men was around 7,158 per 100,000 (7.16%).

So, while there are roughly similar numbers of men and women on the roads (26.4 million compared to 24 million), 1.9 million men have points compared to around 766,000 women.

Hey, don’t look at us — the numbers don’t lie and it’s you lot doing the driving.

Read more:

Other stats

The most common kind of penalty offence committed in the UK was breaking the speed limit on a public road with 2,158,179 offences, followed by speeding on motorways.

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As for the areas where drivers are most likely to pick up points, you’ll be glad to hear that Greater Manchester wasn’t even in the top 25 most serial offenders. Cheshire was the closest in 19th place, with around 8.22% of drivers in the region currently holding possessing points on their licence.

Do any of these revelations come as a surprise to you or are you simply so good impeccable driver that you assume everyone is just as suspect as each other?

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Featured Image — Samuele Errico Piccarini (via Unsplash)