One in 20 UK drivers has accepted responsibility for someone else’s penalty points, and more than 2.9 million motorists currently have penalty points on their licence, according to data published by the comparison website Confused.com.
Confused.com has published the statistics following a survey of 2,000 drivers and an FOI request to the DVLA.
In the survey, 6% of respondents admitted to asking a friend or relative to take penalty points for them, while 5% admitted to having paid someone to take their penalty points for them.
Of those who admit to falsely swapping penalty points, more than half have done so three times or more (59%), leading Confused.com to suggest that “many motorists are adopting a cavalier attitude to the practice”.
The most common reason cited by motorists for asking someone to take their points is to keep a clean licence (48%), while a quarter (25%) admit they asked someone else to take their points because they were facing a driving ban. 11% of those polled said they were unaware that it is illegal to take penalty points for a friend or relative.
The survey also suggests that swapping penalties is more prevalent among younger motorists, with 15% of drivers aged 18-24yrs admitting to asking friends or family to take penalty points, compared to 7% of those aged 35-44yrs.
Gemma Stanbury, head of motor insurance at Confused.com, said: ”Avoiding penalty points means many drivers who are prone to offences such as speeding remain on the roads, where they may pose a risk to others.”
The FOI data provided by DVLA shows there are 2,928,222 motorists who currently have penalty points, out of 38,163,250 full licence holders and 7,500,659 provisional licence holders. 6,801 motorists currently have 12 or more points on their licence.