The number of newly qualified drivers losing their driving licence has risen 50%.

The figures have been obtained by IAM RoadSmart via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. They reveal there were 7,795 disqualifications under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act in 2020 – compared to 5,401 in 2018.

Newly qualified drivers have a probationary period of two years after passing their driving test. During this time, drivers lose their licence if they commit offences leading to six or more points on their licence. For example two PCNs (penalty charge notices) for speeding would mean automatic disqualification.

Six and out

Once the newly qualified driver reaches six points they need to retake both their theory and practical driving tests again.

Driving without insurance documents is the top reason drivers are falling foul of the legislation. More than 12,000 offences were detected between 2018 and 2020.

Speeding comes in second, with more than 5,500 convictions during the same time period.

Rising concerns

IAM RoadSmart says the findings ‘paint a worrying picture’.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “It is the responsibility of all drivers, whether they are newly qualified or more experienced behind the wheel, to drive safely and within the law at all times and to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and insured for the purpose it is being used.”