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The real cost of demerit points

One of our popular blogs is about how demerit points work. This one looks at the real cost of demerit points. Did you know each demerit point lasts for 3 years on your drivers licence? This means you could pay up to 40% more for your greenslip over 3 years.

An overview of demerit points

The idea of demerit points is to discourage irresponsible or unsafe driving. They apply to all kinds of common offences, such as speeding, parking, mobile phone use and running red lights. Here are some common offences:

  • Park too close to a pedestrian crossing: 1 point
  • Speed up to 10 kph over the limit: 1 point
  • Speed 10-20 kph over: 3 points
  • Fail to stop at red light: 3 points
  • Speed 20-30 kph over: 4 points
  • Use mobile phone while driving: 5 points
  • Drive with 2 or more unrestrained passengers: 6 points
  • Speed over 45 kph: 6 points
  • P1 or P2 drives restricted vehicle: 7 points.

Source: RMS, 1 July 2020

The number of demerit points you receive depends on the offence, your licence and whether or not it’s in a school zone.

How many demerit points can I get before losing my licence?

Some people think they “lose points” on their licence but this isn’t strictly true. Every driver starts off with zero points. Drivers may accumulate demerit points with each offence up to a threshold within a 3-year period. This period is measured from the first to the last offence.

Drivers on an unrestricted licence are suspended if they incur 13 or more demerit points in that period. (Professional drivers can incur 14 points but P2 licences incur only 7 points and P1 and L licences incur 4 points before suspension.) Read more about suspension in our previous blog.

How long do demerit points stay on my record?

Demerit points stay on your driving record for 3 years. After 3 years, the demerit points come off your total but the offences remain on your record.

Note: The NSW government has begun a 12-month trial for motorists who had at least one demerit point on 17 January 2023. If they maintain a clean record for 12 months to 17 January 2024 (not 3 years as usual), one demerit point will come off their licence.

How do demerit points affect my greenslip price?

Some vehicle owners could save over $300 each year on their greenslip premium if they have no demerit points. This is a saving of more than $900 over 3 years!

For our example, we used the greenslips.com.au Calculator for a woman, 45, with an insured Rav4 in the metro area with 0-3 or more demerits (no other offences) at 1 July 2023.

1. Greenslip price range and average price with demerit points

Demerit points Greenslips price range Average price
zero $429-$557 $503
1 $558-$733 $667
2 $558-$734 $673
3 and above $630-$734 $707
  • Even with only 1 demerit point, you can pay up to $733 for a greenslip.
  • This is $304 more than the cheapest greenslip with no demerit points ($429).

Demerit points have a huge impact on prices over 3 years, as the next table shows.

2. Total cost over 3 years, based on the average price for example above

Demerit points Total 3-year
cost of greenslips
$ Extra paid
for demerits
% Extra paid
for demerits
zero $1,509 0 0
1 $2,001 $492 +32.6%
2 $2,019 $510 +33.8%
3 and above $2,121 $612 +40.6%
  • Even for one point, you could pay $492 or 32.6% more for your greenslip over 3 years.
  • If you have 3 demerit points, you could pay $612 or 40.6% more for your greenslip over 3 years.
  • For some people, this is equal to the the price of buying another green slip.

This means it literally pays to drive safely and to use the greenslips.com.au Calculator to compare prices.

How do demerit points affect my life?

Demerit points stay on your record for 3 years so their negative effects last for 3 years:

  • As shown in the example, you could pay 40.6% more for your green slip in that period.
  • You could also pay extra for comprehensive or third party property insurance.

Your licence may be suspended for a period of months if your demerit points go over the thresholds set:

  • 13 to 15 points – 3 months
  • 16 to 19 points – 4 months
  • 20 or more points – 5 months.

Having a suspended licence may affect your ability to work or carry out family duties.

Save money with the greenslips.com.au Calculator

Our research shows 68.3% of visitors to the greenslips.com.au Calculator during 2023 saved money because they have no demerit points. Just over 20% of visitors had 1 to 4 demerit points and will have to pay extra for their greenslip for 3 years.

If you’re uncertain how many demerit points you have, check them online.

Read more about demerit points.

Get a quote for your cheapest green slip here.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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