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Nearly 4 Million Drivers Would Swap Penalty Points

Published:6 December 2006
Fieldwork:2 - 8 Nov 2006
Keywords:Driving, Penalty Points
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Twelve per cent (3.7 million* motorists) of the drivers on UK roads would ask a relative or friend to take speed camera penalty points for them if they were facing a driving ban, a new nationwide poll by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Swinton has revealed.

The poll, commissioned by leading high street insurance broker Swinton, also revealed that 13% of drivers would take points from a partner or relative to prevent them from being banned from driving.

Drivers were asked the questions based on the assumption that they or their friends already had six points and were photographed by a speed camera positioned behind the vehicle so that the identity of the driver could not be confirmed.

The figure for potential 'penalty point swapping' rises to 20% among the under-24s. This falls to just 4% of over-55s who would consider asking someone to take their points and 8% of over-55s stating they would consider taking them on behalf of a friend or relative.

However, the same poll revealed high levels of honesty among UK motorists towards another illegal act, with 93% of drivers saying they would not drive away from a minor accident such as clipping someone's bumper while reversing.

There are distinct regional attitudes to such an illegal move. East Midlands (6%), Eastern England (8%) and the North East (8%) are the regions less likely to ask for their points to be swapped. The figures are highest in the South West where 20% would ask someone to take their points, and in the South East where 18% of drivers admitted they would consider taking points from someone else.

The survey also found that men at 13% were slightly more likely to ask someone to take their points than women.

Speeding motorists face a minimum of 3 points if caught by cameras, with 12 points attracting an automatic ban in many cases.


Figures from Ipsos MORI Financial Services omnibus show that there are currently 31m insured adults aged over 16 in England, Scotland and Wales )

DVLA records up to October 2006, current photocard license holders held by people aged 16-99 years old = 24,713,540. A further 17 million people hold paper driving licences).

Technical details

Ipsos MORI questioned 1,151 drivers across the UK on behalf of insurance brokers Swinton. The interviews were carried out face-to-face between the 2-8 November 2006.

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