Fleet News

Drivers most likely to break speed limit in the early hours

Almost two-thirds (63%) of drivers break the speed limit at 4am, with Sunday the most common day of the week for speeding, new research suggests.

The data, obtained from the Department for Transport by price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, reveals that more than half of vehicles exceed the speed limit on a Sunday (53%), with Saturday coming in a close second (52%).

By comparison, drivers are most likely to abide by the law on a Wednesday, when less than half (47%) exceed the limit.

In terms of the time of day, motorists are most likely to exceed the speed limit during the early hours of the morning, with 63% doing so between 4am and 5am, when the roads are clearer. Conversely, between 3pm and 5pm is the time when the speed limit is most likely to be obeyed (55%).

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Our findings suggest that drivers are looking to take advantage of emptier roads on weekends and in the early hours, but it is important to remember that there are still major safety rules to abide by, no matter what time it is.”

The research also found that Yorkshire and the Humber (10%) are twice as likely to have been convicted as those in London and Northern Ireland (both 5%).

The study also analysed drivers’ reasons for speeding, with most saying they simply were not paying attention to their speed (42%). In addition, four in 10 drivers say they were running late (40%), while 17% did it out of habit.

Previous research has shown that there is a disparity in the number of drivers detected for speeding offences suggesting a postcode lottery, according to Home Office figures.

In 2017-18, research by the RAC Foundation revealed that 1,191 road users were caught speeding in Wiltshire compared with 199,337 in Avon and Somerset, 167 times more.

Analysis of the figures by Dr Adam Snow for the RAC Foundation, showed that 2,292,536 speeding offences were detected across England and Wales in 2017-18, a 4% rise on the 2,213,257 figure for the previous year (2016-17).

Of these detections: 44% resulted in the offender being sent on a speed awareness course; 34% attracted fixed penalty notices (FPN); 11% were later cancelled; and 10% resulted in court action.

Most common days for speeding

Day of the week


Percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit






















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