Can I hire a car with points on my licence?

How to hire a car with driving points, convictions or endorsements on your licence and what the penalty codes mean.

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If you have penalty points on your driving licence you may be prevented from hiring a car – it all depends on the type of offence and the number of points you received. Here we explain exactly what the rules mean and how they will affect you.

How many points will stop me from hiring a car?

The number of points you receive when convicted of a driving offence will depend on the severity of the offence. For example, if you were caught speeding you will have fewer points added to your licence than if you caused an accident because of a drink driving offence.

These points will stay on your licence for a certain number of years and in some cases could lead to a ban in driving if the offence was especially severe.

This can affect your ability to rent a car as some car hire companies won’t accept drivers with points on their licence. The rules also differ depending on where you are in the world and therefore before renting a car it’s important to check with the hire company.

Hiring a car with three points on your licence

If you have three points on your licence, and they were given for a less serious offence such as speeding or using your mobile phone while driving and you have not been banned from driving, you should have no problem hiring a car. You will usually be given the points and a fine, of around £60, if you are caught in this way.

Hiring a car with six points on your licence

With six points on your driving licence, it may be harder to hire a car, but it all depends on what the points were given to you for.

If it is two less-serious offences, such as two speeding fines, you may still be able to rent a car, but this is typically the decision of the car hire company. If the six points were given for one serious offence there is a lower chance that you will be allowed to hire a car.

Hiring a car with nine points on your licence

If you have more than six points on your licence you will probably not be able to hire a car. If this is the case, check with the hire car company first to see what its rules are.

Unfortunately, there is no way around this rule if you are stuck with more than six points on your licence, but it is worth checking how long they will be on there for as when they are removed you should be able to hire a car again.

Can I hire a car if I was banned from driving?

When you apply to hire a car you will be asked about the points on your licence and what they were given to you for. If they are for a serious offence, such as drink driving (and start with a DR10 code), you may not be able to hire a car.

This is because offences for drink driving are seen as more serious than those for other reasons, such as speeding or using your mobile phone, and you will often be banned from driving if caught doing this. If you are banned from driving, you usually aren’t allowed to hire a car in the UK for at least five years from the date the ban is lifted.

How will motoring convictions affect my car hire costs?

There are lots of car hire companies in the UK and therefore costs can vary considerably. If you have points on your licence this is likely to push the price up because the car hire company will see you as more of a risk of having an accident.

The more points you have, the higher the price and therefore if you have points on your licence it is important to make sure you have checked a few different hire companies to see you are getting the best price available to you.

Common driving offence penalty points

There are lots of different types of driving convictions, here we list the most common with the number of penalty points you could receive for each and how long they will remain on your licence for.

These are considered less serious and if you are caught by the police you will usually receive three points on your licence and a fine, which can sometimes be reduced by attending a road safety course.

For an extensive list of convictions and points see the government website.

Speeding offences

These penalty points remain on your licence for four years from the date of the offence.

CodeOffenceNumber of penalty points
SP10Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits3 to 6
SP20Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)3 to 6
SP30Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road3 to 6
SP40Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit3 to 6
SP50Exceeding speed limit on a motorway3 to 6

Construction and use offences

These codes must stay on a driving record for four years from the date of the offence.

CodeOffenceNumber of penalty points
CU10Using a vehicle with defective brakes3
CU20Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition3
CU30Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s)3
CU40Using a vehicle with defective steering3
CU50Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers3
CU60Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone3 to 6

Traffic direction and signs

These codes remain on a driving record for four years from the date of the offence.

CodeOffenceNumber of penalty points
TS10Failing to comply with traffic light signals3
TS20Failing to comply with double white lines3
TS30Failing to comply with “stop” sign3
TS40Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden3
TS50Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding “stop” signs, traffic lights or double white lines)3
TS60Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign3
TS70Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign3

Finder survey: Have you ever had points on your driving licence?

Not sure6.1%
Prefer not to say2.62%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of Brits, December 2023

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Rebecca Goodman's headshot

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance journalist with more than eight years’ experience working across personal finance titles. Rebecca specialises in consumer money topics, including energy, broadband, and insurance and regularly writes for The Guardian, The Sun, The Mirror, LoveMoney and Moneywise magazine. See full bio

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