Speeding Fines & Penalties Guide 2023

speeding fine


Drivers who are caught speeding face a number of penalties, the most common being a speeding fine.

You could either be offered speed awareness training, or you will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (ie a speeding ticket) and points on your licence. In more serious cases, you could face criminal charges and potentially being given a driving ban if found guilty.

Under UK speeding laws, the police have the right to penalise anyone who is breaking the speed limit. If your vehicle exceeds the speed limit for a section of road, an offence has been committed and you are subject to a speeding penalties the moment you exceed the speed limit.

In most cases, the following national speed limits apply on UK roads, unless otherwise stated:

  • 30mph in built-up areas, or 20mph in some areas
  • 60mph on single carriageways
  • 70mph on dual carriageways and motorways

Therefore, if you drive 31 mph in a 30 mph zone or 71 mph on the highway, you are breaking the law.

The guidelines for police on when to issue a penalty were issued by ACPO in 2013, although these are not mandatory and the police retain discretion to act outside of these provided this is done fairly, consistently and proportionately.

Speed Limit

Maximum Speed for Fixed Penalty

Minimum Speed for a Prosecution

20mph 24mph 35mph
30mph 35mph 50mph
40mph 46mph 66mph
50mph 57mph 76mph
60mph 68mph 86mph
70mph 79mph 96mph

How much is a speeding fine?

Speeding fines can range from £100 for minor offences up to £1,000 for excessive or dangerous speed and up to £2,500 for dangerous speeding on a motorway.

The following table shows the current rules on speeding fine levels:

Legal speed limit (mph)

Band A

Band B

Band C

20 21-30 mph recorded speed 31-40 mph recorded speed 41 and above mph recorded speed
30 31-40 mph recorded speed 41-50 mph recorded speed 51 and above mph recorded speed
40 41-55 mph recorded speed 56-65 mph recorded speed 66 and above mph recorded speed
50 51-65 mph recorded speed 66-75 mph recorded speed 76 and above mph recorded speed
60 61-80 mph recorded speed 81-90 mph recorded speed 91 and above mph recorded speed
70 71-90 mph recorded speed 91-100 mph recorded speed 101 and above mph recorded speed
Points/ disqualification 3 points Disqualify 7-28 days OR 4-6 points Disqualify 7-56 days OR 6 points
Speeding fine 50% of relevant weekly income* 100% of relevant weekly income* 150% of relevant weekly income*

The minimum penalty for speeding is a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of a fine of £100 and 3 points on your licence.

In some cases, such as a first offence for speeding, the police may offer you a speed awareness course instead of the FPN.

Other factors that may be taken into consideration when determining the level of speeding fine include weather conditions at the time, and the time of day or night that you were caught speeding – for example, speeding near a school during pick up time may be an aggravating factor resulting in a higher fine.

Aggravating factors such as these can result in the offence being moved up into higher bands, where the speeding fines rise to between 200% to 700% of the drivers’ weekly income, although the £1,000 and £2,500 maximum fine limits still apply.

Points for speeding

Three points, or endorsements, will be added to your licence for an average speeding ticket from Band A. Excessive speed can result in six points on your licence.

If there are already eight or more points in your licence, the police may decide to prosecute you rather than issue further points, which could result in a driving ban.

What to do if you’ve received a speeding fine

If you’ve been caught speeding, the police should send you a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of the offence.

When the NIP arrives, you have to complete Section 172 to confirm who was driving, even if it was another registered driver and not you. You must complete and return this to the police within 28 days. Failure to return the notice can result in court proceedings being brought against you.

Next, the police will either make you a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a court summons. If you’re eligible, you may be offered speed awareness training as an alternative to the speeding fine.

You have 28 days to accept or challenge the FPN. If you plead guilty, and accept the £100 fine and 3 points, you have to send in your driver’s licence which will retain the penalty code for 4 years.

If you are taking the speed awareness course, you have to do this within four months of the date of the offence. After completing the course, the provider will notify the police and the case will be considered resolved.

If you are pleading not guilty – perhaps you weren’t speeding or weren’t the driver at the time – you may be eligible to appeal your speeding fine. You will need to attend court to present your case.

However, taking your case to court can result in a higher fine and more penalty points.

You can be fined more and get more penalty points if the court decides you’re guilty of speeding. You could also be disqualified from driving or have your licence suspended.

Stopped by the police for speeding?

Police have powers to pull over drivers for speeding, and to either give a verbal warning, issue a speeding fine (FPN) or order you to attend court.

Can you get out of a speeding ticket?

Drivers are permitted to appeal speeding charges, but be aware that it can be difficult to establish sufficient grounds to have the fine overturned. A speeding ticket is valid even if you did not realise you were speeding, did not know the speed limit, or were speeding for only a moment.

A further consideration is that if you lose your appeal, you risk a higher fine being issued.

If you weren’t driving at the time of the offence

If your vehicle was stolen, sold, or another person was driving at the time of the offence, you are not responsible for the penalty. You must respond to the NIP to inform police of this information. If someone else was driving your vehicle at the time of the incident, you must inform the authorities of their identity. Accepting blame for another person’s offence is against the law.

It’s also a criminal offence to refuse to disclose the driver’s information, whether you were the driver or not. This is punishable by a minimum of six points on your licence and potentially a driving ban.

If you weren’t speeding

If you believe that you did not exceed the speed limit and that the NIP was issued in error, you will need to appear in court to prove your innocence. You will need to ensure you have evidence to support your case, for example, requesting a calibration certificate for the speed camera that caught you be presented in court.

Contesting a speeding fine if you were speeding

Not knowing the speed limit, arguing the roads were quiet since it was late at night, or being in a hurry and claiming it was an emergency are generally insufficient grounds to contest a speeding fine.

Taking legal advice will help you understand if your case can be contested and on what grounds. Depending on the facts, you may be able to contest on based on a technicality, such as missing or erroneous information on the NIP or incorrect, absent, or hidden road signs.

If you decide to contest your speeding ticket, the case will be handled in magistrates court. Although you should consider coming in person (they may be more lenient if you demonstrate regret and detail extenuating circumstances), you can alternatively defend your case in writing.

You will need to provide adequate evidence of your grounds for appeal, such as photographic proof that the road signs were ambiguous.

If you admit that you were caught speeding, apologise and acknowledge that you have made a mistake and explain why.

With sufficient evidence, your excuse could be considered mitigating circumstances, which could result in a lighter sentence if you enter a guilty plea in court. Examples of mitigating circumstances could include transporting a person to the hospital in an emergency. In such situations, you should record this information on the NIP and return it to the police.

If you are at risk of losing your licence, for example, if you already have points on your licence, describe the repercussions if this were to occur, such as losing your job.

Are there speeding ticket loopholes?

According to the law, the police must deliver the NIP within 14 days of the offence, excluding the date of commission.

This means, the NIP must be dated within 14 days of the offence. If the notice is dated outside of this window, it may be invalid.

Note that if the notice arrives after the 14-day timeframe, it remains valid if it is dated and mailed inside that timeframe.

There are further caveats. If you recently sold or purchased the vehicle, or if it is a company fleet vehicle, and the first notification was given to the prior registered keeper during the 14-day period but arrives to you after the deadline, it is still valid.

If the NIP is dated outside the 14 day window, this does not automatically render the NIP invalid, nor does it mean that you are exempt from payment. You should inform the police of this fact in your response as you still have to validate your name, address, and driving status.

Is there a 10%+2  tolerance of the speed limit?

Official police guidance advocates providing drivers a so-called ‘10% plus 2’ leeway to enable police officers in exercising discretion, but it is important to remember that this is merely a recommendation and not the law.

Guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (APC) advises:


Device Tolerance

Fixed penalty when education is not appropriate

Speed awareness if appropriate

From                      To

Summons in all other cases and above

20 mph

22 mph

24 mph

24 mph

31 mph

35 mph

30 mph

32 mph

35 mph

35 mph

42 mph

50 mph

40 mph

42 mph

46 mph

46 mph

53 mph

66 mph

50 mph

52 mph

57 mph

57 mph

64 mph

76 mph

60 mph

62 mph

68 mph

68 mph

75 mph

86 mph

70 mph

73 mph

79 mph

79 mph

86 mph

96 mph

If you are caught speeding by a mobile camera, it is at the police officer’s discretion to penalise you or not;  they can choose to follow the NPCC’s recommendations, but they are not required to do so.

Drivers are advised therefore not to assume there is any tolerance and never to exceed the speed limit.

Does a speeding ticket affect your insurance premium?

The cost of insurance premiums are based on the driver’s perceived degree of risk. If you’ve been caught speeding, your perceived level of risk will increase and as such, it’s likely your insurance will go up too. How much more expensive it will be depends on your driving record, the severity of the offence and the insurer’s own rules when calculating premiums.

If your insurance provider asks if you have completed a speed awareness course, you should respond truthfully, as failure to do so could result in your coverage being cancelled. Whether your participation in a speed awareness course is factored into the calculation of your premium will depend on your insurer.

New drivers caught speeding

The New Drivers Act imposes a probationary period of two years after drivers have passed their first test.

If you earn six points during the first twenty-four months of having your licence, the DVLA will revoke your licence. To get your licence back, you will need to retake the entire test.

If you are found guilty, there is little scope for discretion or lenient penalties; once the DVLA are notified of the six points, they will be automatically applied to the licence.

Speeding fines FAQs

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Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.



Speeding Fines & Penalties Guide 2023 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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