The New Driver Act and what it means for New Drivers

Amidst the excitement of passing a driving test, it’s crucial that new drivers take the time to familiarise them with a vitally important law which applies specifically to them.

The New Driver Act and who it applies to

The new driver Act applies to ‘new drivers’ who are within the first two years of passing their UK driving test.  This includes foreign licence holders who have taken a UK driving test in order to obtain a full UK licence.

If a new driver accumulates 6 points or more on their driving licence, then their licence is automatically revoked by the DVLA. They would then need to retake both parts of their driving test, resulting in considerable expense, and time spent off the road.

How the 6 point threshold could be reached

Motoring offences carry different amounts of penalty points depending on their severity and nature. Some offences have a range of points that can be imposed so that the Magistrates can vary the punishment according to the severity.

The New Driver Rules do not distinguish whether the points are accrued in one go or are as a result of two minor offences. All that matters is the total number of points on the licence before the two year period is up.

For example, a person who commits two minor speeding offences would face licence revocation, as would someone who commits a single offence of driving without insurance.

Examples of single offences which could result in licence revocation under the new driver rules

  • Using a mobile phone whilst driving (fixed penalty of 6 points)
  • Failure to furnish information (fixed penalty of 6 points)
  • Driving without insurance (6 – 8 penalty points)
  • Permitting someone to use a vehicle without insurance (6 – 8 penalty points)
  • Some cases of careless driving (3 – 9 penalty points)
  • Some cases of failing to stop and report an accident (5 – 10 penalty points)
  • Excessive speeding (4 – 6 penalty points)
  • Being drunk in charge (10 penalty points)

Examples of multiple offences which could result in licence revocation under the new driver rules

  • Failure to stop at a red light (3 penalty points)
  • Low level speeding (3 penalty points)
  • Driving with a defective tyre (3 penalty points per tyre)
  • Driving with defective breaks (3 penalty points)
  • Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position (3 penalty points)

How to avoid licence revocation by the DVLA

Neither the DVLA nor the police have any discretion over the revocation of a driving licence. Therefore a new driver who is facing the 6 point threshold will need to plead the case in Court.  That’s where we can help.

If you accept that you’re guilty then significant mitigation (information and circumstances to reduce the severity of the offence and its consequences) must be identified, prepared and presented to the Court. It is vitally important that a compelling case is created.

We would ask the Magistrates to impose a short term ban instead of the penalty points. This would prevent you from reaching the 6 point threshold in the first place. The short term ban needn’t be longer than 7- 14 days in many cases, and would see you back on the road considerably faster than having to retake the theory and practical elements of a driving test.

When preparing mitigation, we will ask you about the offence(s), your circumstances and what you use your licence for. The standard for avoiding licence revocation is set high, that’s why we leave no stone unturned when preparing your case.

We will advise on any necessary evidence to support the application and will not rest until your case is as strong as it can possibly be.

A specialist motoring law barrister will then present your case to the Court on your behalf. You would need to do nothing more than confirm your name and enter your plea of guilty or not guilty.

Our methods of avoiding licence revocation have proved extremely successful and have seen the licences of countless individuals saved. Individuals who may have otherwise needed to quit their job or their studies as travel without a car would have been impossible.

At Ashworth Motoring Law, we support new drivers and hope that they spend a long and enjoyable lifetime on the roads. We know that mistakes can happen, that’s why we are here to support, advise and represent new drivers who need to avoid licence revocation within the first two years of driving.

If you are a new driver and would like to discuss the ways that we could save your licence, call 0330 33 22 770 any time, day or night, to speak to an expert motoring lawyer who specialises in avoiding driving licence revocation.

Article by Expert motoring lawyer, Alison Ashworth – Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law.

Another new driver avoids licence revocation and keeps driving licence thanks to Ashworth Motoring Law

Licence saved!

If a motorist accumulates 6 penalty points within the first two years of driving, then their driving licence will be revoked by the DVLA under the New Driver Act. The motorist would then have to re-apply for their provisional driving licence and take both parts of their driving test, the theory and practical tests again. With the current delays that many learner drivers are experiencing just to be given a test date, this could spell up to three months off the road. The only way to prevent this from happening is to request a short-term ban in Court as punishment for the offence itself rather than penalty points.

Our latest new driver client was facing this same problem. He was charged with two separate offences and was going to accrue more than 6 penalty points on his driving licence. Having to re-take his practical and theory tests again would have had significant ramifications, including preventing him from being able to take up a crucial career opportunity.

That’s where we came in; we took very detailed evidence from him and began to build our case. Once we could see the basis for a strong argument in Court, we advised our client on the best evidence to support our case.

When the morning of Court came, we had built a strong case and were ready to fight our client’s corner.

A preliminary discussion with the Prosecutor led to one of the charges against our client being dropped due to the defence evidence that had been gained in connection with the charge. This left only one matter for the Court to determine. Following a guilty plea, we made out our client’s case, and emphasised the disastrous consequences that the revocation of his driving licence would have.

We requested a short term disqualification as punishment for the offence itself.

After retiring to consider their verdict, the Magistrates returned to grant our request of a short-term disqualification from driving of just 14 days, and a fine of only £250 – avoiding the maximum fine of £5000.00. Our client was delighted with the result.

When asked what he liked the best about our business, he said:

“You explained everything very well, told me what I needed to do for Court, and supported me through it”.

He made the following comments about his case:

“It was a motoring accident. You negotiated with the Prosecutor and one charge was withdrawn. You made submissions for the other allegation, disqualified for just 14 days. Fined under £250. Without Alison’s help I would have struggled in Court”.

Many new drivers faced with the same situation could have simply given up, and might not have known about the strategies that we use to keep new drivers on the road. This client from Lancashire  is certainly very glad he called us.

If you have been charged with a motoring offence, no matter how big or small we can help you. From drink and drug driving to speeding and totting up, our specialist motoring law solicitors are experts in identifying defences to secure acquittals where possible, and build strong cases in mitigation to secure a desired outcome where necessary. Don’t let a motoring offence way heavy on your mind, call our motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770 to speak to an expert motoring lawyer any time, day or night.  Lines are open for free legal advice round the clock so get in touch whenever’s best for you.

New driver keeps driving licence and avoids 6 penalty points