Speeding is a common offence in the UK and can result in hefty fines, penalty points on your licence, and even disqualification from driving. As a driver, it's important to understand the different types of speeding offences and the penalties associated with them. This is particularly important for Motability Scheme customers who have a responsibility to inform the Motability Scheme insurer of any speeding fines or convictions.
Our handy guide will give you an overview of the penalties associated with speeding, including the degrees of punishments for different road offences.
The vast majority of people who are caught speeding will have committed what's known as a 'minor offence' and will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs)
FPNs are issued by the police and usually result in a minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points on your driving licence. If you receive an FPN, you have 28 days to pay the fine or contest the offence in court.
If you were caught by a speed camera, you’ll be sent:
The Section 172 notice must be returned within 28 days, telling the police who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.
If you choose to contest the FPN, you’ll have to go to court and plead not guilty, but beware as this can result in an increased fine and more penalty points if the court decides you are guilty of the offence.
If you're caught speeding at a higher speed or have a previous speeding conviction, you may be issued with a Court Summons. This will require you to attend court where you may face a higher fine, more penalty points, and potentially a ban from driving.
Speed Awareness Courses
In some cases, you may be offered the option to attend a speed awareness course instead of receiving penalty points on your licence. These courses are designed to educate drivers on the dangers of speeding and can help to prevent future offences.
You could be offered a speed awareness course if:
While a speed awareness course will take up a day of your time and typically costs around £100, many people think it’s worth it to avoid having points added to your driving licence.
Whether you receive a FPN or a Court Summons is largely dependent on the severity of the speeding offence.
If you do receive a Court Summons for excessive speeding, the table below outlines the penalties for each type of offence:
|Speed Limit (mph)||Recorded Speed (mph)|
|Band A (Minor)||Band B (Medium)||Band C (Serious)|
|20||21-30||31-41||41 and above|
|30||31-40||41-50||51 and above|
|40||41-55||56-65||66 and above|
|50||51-65||66-75||76 and above|
|60||61-80||81-90||91 and above|
|70||71-90||91-100||101 and above|
|Penalty Points||3 points||4-6 points or 7-28 days disqualified||6 points or
7-56 days disqualified
|Fine||25-75% of weekly income||75-125% of weekly income||125-175% of weekly income|
These fine amounts are capped at £1,000, rising to £2,500 if you are caught on a motorway.
For more serious offences, bands D, E and F also exist but these are much rarer. Factors that can move the offence into bands D, E or F include prior convictions, poor road and weather conditions and evidence of unacceptable driving over the speed limit, and can result in a fine as high as 700% of your weekly income.
For lower income offenders who receive a means tested or other state benefit (such as Universal Credit) the Sentencing Council suggests that the speeding fine amount should be calculated based on 'an amount that is deemed to represent the offender’s relevant weekly income'.
For unemployed offenders, the fine amount will depend on a range of financial factors, including weekly outgoings and any current savings.
According to UK law, you’re potentially liable for a speeding fine as soon as you exceed the limit. So, if you’re caught doing 41mph on a 40mph road or 71mph on the M1, technically you’re breaking the law.
Guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) recommends giving drivers a ‘10% plus 2’ leeway, to aid police officers in using their discretion, but this is only a recommendation, and doesn't apply to speed camera settings.
You can be completely banned from driving if you are convicted of a serious driving offence or manage to accumulate 12 or more penalty points within 3 years. How long you're banned for will depend on how serious the offence is.
If you're a new driver and have only recently passed your driving test, collecting 6 or more penalty points within 2 years will see you lose your licence, and you'll have to take both your theory and practical tests again.
If you are a Motability Scheme customer, you have a responsibility to inform the Motability Scheme insurer of any speeding fines or convictions you (or your named drivers) receive. This is because the insurer, Direct Line Motability, needs to know about any changes to your driving record as this can affect your insurance premium.
If you fail to inform Direct Line Motability of any fines or convictions, you risk invalidating your insurance and potentially facing legal action. It's important to be transparent with the insurer and to inform them of any changes to your driving record as soon as possible.
In addition, any driver who has been disqualified from driving for more than 30 days within the last 5 years cannot be insured to drive a Motability Scheme vehicle.
Just like with parking or traffic fines, it is the customers responsibility to make sure any fines are paid in full and on time.
The easiest way to avoid a speeding fine is to stay alert and stick to the speed limit.
Of course, it’s not always that simple. If you think you might need some help to slow down, many satellite navigation devices, smartphone apps and some built-in car systems can alert you when you go over the speed limit, and can also announce when you’re approaching a speed camera, giving you time to check your speed and slow down if you need to.
Speeding offences can have serious consequences, so it's crucial to understand the different categories of speeding offences and the associated penalties to ensure compliance with the law. For Motability Scheme customers, promptly informing the scheme's insurer about any motoring offences, including speeding violations, is essential to maintain compliance with the terms of the lease agreement. Remember, safe driving should always be a top priority, both for your safety and the safety of everyone you share the road with.