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AA Car Insurance: Guide to Penalty Points

Penalty points, introduced by the Road Safety Authority in 2002, are designed to encourage safe driving by Irish motorists and to ultimately reduce fatalities on our roads.  Currently there are 42 driving infringements in the Irish system that are punishable by penalty points.

To give you a flavour of some of these motoring offences, we’ve picked a selection of the most common driving infringements reported to us by motorists.

Sample driving offences

  • Driving while using a mobile phone:  This driving infringement incurs 2 penalty points and a fixed-charge of €60.  In the event of non payment of this fine, 4 penalty points and a possible €2,000 fine will be enforced if convicted in court.
  • Dangerous overtaking: This commonly reported driving infringement incurs 2 penalty points and an €80 fine for the reckless motorist in question.
  • Non wearing of a seatbelt:  This inexcusable and needless motoring offense will secure the driver in question,  4 penalty points on conviction in court and a fine of up to €800
  • Speeding: Drivers caught abusing the speed limit will receive 4 penalty points on conviction in court and a fine of up to €800
  • Failure by a driver to leave appropriate distance between their car and the vehicle in front:  This, one of the most common motoring gripes reported to us, will earn drivers two new penalty points for their driving license plus an €80 fine.

Disqualification from driving

12 penalty points on a driving license means automatic disqualification for drivers.

Duration of penalty points

Penalty points will remain in place on a person’s driving license for a period of three years.

Most serious driving offenses

  • The most serious of driving offenses as listed below all incur 5 penalty points;
  • Driving without car insurance
  • When the driver is found to be driving carelessly
  • Breach of a driver’s duties at a car accident
  • Parking a vehicle in a dangerous position
  • Failure to stop when so required by a member of the Garda Síochána
  • Failure to obey traffic rules at railway level crossing
  • Failure to obey traffic lights
  • Dangerous overtaking.

The full list of driving offenses

To view all 42 driving offenses and their level of penalty click here

Car insurance offences

It is the legal obligation of every motorist in Ireland to ensure that they have car insurance in place at all times.  Failure to provide evidence that you have valid car insurance is punishable as follows under the Irish penalty point system:

  • A fine of up to a €2,500 can be enforced
  • A driving ban of 1+ years for a first offence and 2+ years if a motorist is twice convicted of driving without car insurance.
  • In the event of non disqualification, the driver will be awarded 5 penalty points
  • The judge also has the authority to bestow a 6 month custodial sentence