A guide to speeding fines in the UK

A guide to speeding fines in the UK

Speeding fines are issued to help keep us all safe on the roads. While they’re never pleasant to get, they do serve an essential purpose as both a deterrent and punishment for driving that could put the lives of others at risk.

Knowing the rules of the road — and the penalties you may incur if you break them — keeps driving safer and cheaper. We’re going to take you through the most pressing questions around speeding fines so that you make sure that you stay on the right (or, rather, left) side of the odometer.

Let’s dive in.

How can you get caught speeding?

You can get caught speeding in two ways: via a speeding camera or by being stopped by police.

If you are caught by a speeding camera:

You’ll be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and Section 172 notice

You must send back the Section 172 notice within 28 days to let them know who was driving your car. If you don’t, you may have to appear in court. 

They will then send you a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or an order to go to court. 

If you get an FNP, you can choose to plead guilty or not guilty.

If you plead guilty, you’ll have to pay your fine and will have three penalty points added to your licence.

If you plead not guilty, the next step is court. If you choose this route, it’s very important to ensure that the driver wasn’t speeding. If they find you guilty in court, you can be issued an even higher fine and have more penalty points taken off than you would have if you had pleaded guilty. In some cases, you may even be banned from driving. 

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If you are stopped by the police, they may let you go with a verbal warning. However, in many cases, they’ll give you an FNP or send you one in the mail. You will then need to follow the same process as you would have had you been caught by a speeding camera.

Your ticket will also give you instructions on how to pay your fine. 

What happens if you get caught speeding?

If you get caught speeding in the UK, you will be issued a fine and three penalty points. 

In some cases, you may be offered the option of going on a speed awareness course rather than having points accumulate on your licence and paying a fine. It will be up to the local police force to determine whether this is an option for you.

To qualify for a speed awareness course:

You cannot have been going too far over the speed limit

You must not have taken a speed awareness course in the last three years

If you are caught speeding:

How much will I be fined for speeding?

So how much are speeding fines? 

The minimum fine is £100, with the maximum being £2,500 for speeding on a motorway.

But the repercussions of speeding are not only financial. If you are caught speeding enough times, you could be disqualified from driving. Building up more than 12 penalty points within a space of three years could get you taken off the road. That’s significant, considering that every speeding ticket can add three points to your total. 

How are speeding fines calculated? 

A standard speeding fine is £100 and three penalty points. 

The factors that come into play when speeding fines are calculated include:

How fast you were going in relation to the speed limit

Your weekly income

The specific circumstances of the offence, such as road conditions, location, and the presence of pedestrians

Speeding fines are categorised into three groups — Bands A, B, and C — according to how severe your speeding offence is:

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Band A offences are considered minor, and the fine is usually somewhere between £100 and £200, with three penalty points being added to your licence.

Band B is the category for medium offences. Here, fines can go up to £300, and you may get between four and six penalty points added to your licence.

Band C is for serious offences and comes with very high fines — up to £2,500 for driving too fast on the motorway. Another way of calculating your fine may be to take a percentage of your weekly income. You can get six penalty points for a Band C offence and could even be banned from driving for up to 56 days.

Will I get points for doing 36 in a 30?

If you are caught going 36 mph in a 30 zone, you will likely be prosecuted according to Band A rules. This means you’ll likely have three points taken off your licence.

Will I get a ticket for doing 35 in a 30?

Here, Band A rules would apply, too. If the local police service decides to prosecute you for speeding, you will probably be given the minimum fine of £100.

What is the penalty for 41 mph in a 30 mph zone?

Now you’re entering into Band B territory. For doing 41 mph in a 30 zone, you’re probably looking at four penalty points.

At what speed will I get a speeding fine?

While it’s illegal to drive even one mile over the speed limit, the law typically applies a window of tolerance to drivers. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines state that leeway should be given to drivers who are speeding below 10% plus 2 mph. (In a 30 mph zone, this would be 35 mph.)

This window has recently been reduced from 3 mph in order to crack down on speeding.

Remember, though, that this tolerance shouldn’t be used as an excuse for breaking the speed limit. It’s still best to drive within it.

Can you check if you’ve been caught speeding?

Unfortunately, you can’t check whether you’ve been caught speeding. Of course, you’ll know if a police officer stops you, but when it comes to speed cameras, you’ll have to wait and see if you receive a notice. 

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How long do speeding fines take to arrive?

You should get your NIP and Section 172 notice within 14 days of being caught speeding. You then have 28 days to fill out and send back your Section 172 notice.

How many speeding fines before ban?

Speeding bans generally vary from seven to 28 days for a Band B infraction and between seven and 56 days for a Band C infraction. In extreme situations, a ban can be even longer than this.

The reality is you can receive a driving ban after just one infraction if the authorities consider it a dangerous enough action.

You can also be disqualified from driving if you receive 12 or more penalty points on your licence.

If you’re a new driver, the limit is reached even more quickly — your licence will be withdrawn if you reach six penalty points. So it’s really important to take heed of the rules if you’re new to the roads.

Speeding tickets can also affect your insurance, more than likely increasing your insurance premium. The more points you have on your licence, the more of a risk you will be seen to be on the roads.

Read more: Do speeding tickets affect insurance? What to know

In summary

The bottom line is speeding is not a good idea. It’s dangerous, expensive, and can result in you being taken off the road.

You can be caught speeding by speeding cameras or by patrolling police officers, after which you will be formally notified. In both cases, you have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty to the offence. If you plead not guilty, you’ll have to go to court. 

Speeding fines are calculated according to:

How fast you were going in relation to the speed limit

Your income

The conditions and location of where you were caught speeding

Speeding fines are calculated in three different bands, depending on the severity of the offence. A standard penalty is £100 and three penalty points. For severe offences, you can face an immediate driving ban and fines of up to £2,500 if you are caught speeding on the motorway.

The best thing to do? Stick to the rules of the road. They’re there to keep everyone safe.

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