Speeding offences and car insurance

Speeding offences are some of the most common driving convictions in the UK. If you’ve been convicted of speeding, you’re no doubt worried about how it might affect your car insurance premiums in the future. Here’s what you need to know.

Speeding offences are some of the most common driving convictions in the UK. If you’ve been convicted of speeding, you’re no doubt worried about how it might affect your car insurance premiums in the future. Here’s what you need to know.

Alex Hasty
Insurance and finance expert
9
minute read
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Last Updated 17 AUGUST 2022

What are the different types of speeding offences and how many penalty points do they carry?

Penalty points, also called endorsements, are given for driving offences such as speeding. Speeding endorsements stay on your record for four years from the date of the offence. 

Here’s a breakdown of the types of speeding offence and the potential points they carry:

Speeding offences

Code Offence Number of penalty points
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits  3 to 6 
SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)  3 to 6 
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road  3 to 6 
SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit  3 to 6 
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway  3 to 6 

It’s not just about points and a fine though. You’re also likely to feel the sting of a driving offence when it comes to your car insurance.

Will getting a speeding ticket increase my insurance?

It’s very likely. Insurance providers base their pricing on their claims statistics, and they’re likely to view customers who’ve had a motoring offence in the past as a risk. As a result, they’ll probably charge you more for your car insurance, although every insurance provider has its own way of assessing and calculating premium costs.

Many drivers worry that a speeding ticket will bump up their premium, and with good reason. Government figures show that 48% of cars exceeded the speed limit on motorways in 2021, rising to 51% on 30mph roads.

How much is insurance likely to go up with a speeding ticket?

Your insurance provider will see you as a riskier driver and potentially more likely to make a claim – so they’ll probably charge you more once you've got a speeding ticket. By how much will depend on the seriousness of the offence and any other points you have on your licence, together with the usual things like the type of car you drive and your age. 

But don't put off telling your insurance provider about your conviction to avoid the price rise as that could result in worse consequences. If you don't declare any convictions your policy could be invalidated and won't pay out if you make a claim. It could also make it harder to get cheap car insurance in future.

How much will I be fined for speeding?

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine, plus three points on your licence.

If a court finds you guilty of speeding, however, the fine could be significantly higher. It’s often a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway).

Some drivers are offered speed awareness courses, instead of a fine. But you’d have to cover the course fee, which is typically around £73 to £95.

How fast would I have to be driving to be prosecuted?

You can be fined for going 1mph above the speed limit. And technology has made it easy to prove that someone’s been speeding, even by a small amount. 

There are guidelines, however, to make sure that drivers are treated consistently:

Limit

 

Fixed penalty

 

Speed awareness if appropriate

Summons

 

From

To

20mph

24mph

24 mph

31 mph

35mph

30mph

35mph

35mph

42 mph

50mph

40mph

46mph

46mph

53 mph

66mph

50mph

57mph

57 mph

64 mph

76mph

60mph

68mph

68 mph

75 mph

86mph

70mph

79mph

79 mph

86 mph

96mph

But it’s worth noting that if you’re pulled over for speeding, it comes down to the police officer’s discretion. Regardless of whether you’re over the limit by less than the stated guidelines, they could take a harsher view. Their approach might include:

  • A verbal warning
  • A Fixed Penalty Notice
  • An invitation to a Speed Awareness Course
  • A court summons.

And you could be prosecuted for dangerous driving, so there’s never a ‘safe’ limit for speeding. 

If you’re caught travelling between 45% and 50% over the speed limit, you could be given an instant driving ban.

Did you know?

Even a small increase in speed can make a huge difference. A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed, while a pedestrian hit by a car going 35mph has a one in three chance.

How will I know if I've been caught by a speed camera?

If you’ve been flashed by a speed camera, you’ll know within 14 days. You’ll receive:

  • a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
  • a Section 172 notice, asking who was driving the car

You must return the Section 172 notice within 28 days, with the details of the driver. If you don't, you could be called to court. Once you’ve returned the Section 172 notice, you’ll be sent a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

What happens if I’m sent a Fixed Penalty Notice?

It depends on how you plead. 

If you plead guilty

You’ll have to pay a £100 fine and 3 points will be added to your licence – unless you’re given the option to attend a speed awareness course. Penalty points stay on your licence for four years.

You’ll only be given the option of attending a speed awareness course if the police decide it’s appropriate for your offence and you’ve not attended a speed awareness course in the past three years.

If you plead not guilty

You’ll have to go to court. This could lead to a bigger fine and more penalty points if you’re found guilty.

The fine amount depends on the speed you were travelling and is usually worked out as a percentage of your income. You could also be disqualified from driving or have your licence suspended.

I’ve already got points on my licence. Will I be disqualified if I get a speeding ticket?

It depends on how many points you already have and how long it’s been since you passed your driving test. If you’re given 12 or more penalty points over a period of three years, you’ll be disqualified from driving.

The courts decide the length of the driving ban, based on the circumstances of the offence and your situation. Your first disqualification within three years can lead to a six-month ban, and if you clock up multiple disqualifications in the same time frame, your driving ban can last longer.

Disqualifications within three years Length of ban
1 6 months
2 12 months
3 2 years

Most driver disqualifications last less than 56 days. But if you’re given a longer ban, you’ll need to apply for a new licence when the disqualification ends.

Rules for new drivers are stricter. You could be banned from driving if you get six or more penalty points within two years of passing your driving test. Then you’ll need to re-do both parts of the driving test (theory and practical), to get your licence back.

Find out about the types of driving offence and how the points stack up in our guide to penalty points and their impact on your car insurance.

How do I check my penalty points?

You can check your penalty points on the gov.uk website

You’ll need your driving licence number, your national insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

Where can I find car insurance if I have penalty points for speeding? 

Compare the Market can generate quotes from a wide range of car insurance providers in the UK. We can also connect you with insurance providers who specialise in insuring convicted drivers and drivers with penalty points. 

Start a quote now and see if you can find a great deal on your car insurance.

Frequently asked questions

What is the national speed limit in the UK?

There’s no single national limit in the UK. The speed limit on motorways is 70mph. The speed limit on a single carriageway road is 60mph. But limits may be lower if you are towing a caravan or trailer.

A speed limit of 30 miles per hour (48km/h) applies to all single and dual carriageways with streetlights, unless there are signs showing otherwise.

Local councils can reduce speed limits for certain roads to ensure the safety of road users. That’s why it’s important to never assume you know the limit for a road and to look out for reduced limit signs, which must be clearly displayed.

Can I break the speed limit to overtake?

In short, no. According to Rule 163 of the Highway Code, you should only overtake if it is ‘safe and legal to do so’. In other words, if you have to break the speed limit for that road to get past another driver, you shouldn’t do it.

Can I speed in an emergency?

If you’re not driving an emergency vehicle, then no – there are no exceptions.

Can I be convicted for driving too slowly?

While there’s no actual law for driving too slowly, the police could pull you over and fine you for ‘driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users’. Careless driving carries a CD30 endorsement and three to nine points on your licence.

Minimum speed limits may apply on some roads. Look out for blue circular signs with a speed given in a white font. The end of a minimum speed limit is shown by a similar sign with a red diagonal line through it.

Could a black box stop me from speeding?

Black box technology can’t stop you from speeding but it’s a good way of encouraging drivers to behave more responsibly on the roads

When you buy a telematics car insurance policy, a black box will collect information about your driving to send to your insurance provider.  If you stick within the speed limits and demonstrate good driving skills, it could help reduce the cost of your insurance.

Do I have to tell my insurance provider if I get a speeding ticket?

Yes. Insurance providers usually ask that drivers declare any motoring convictions they’ve received within the past five years. So if you don’t declare yours when you apply for insurance it will invalidate your cover, meaning any claim you make will be rejected. If you’re convicted of a driving offence after taking up insurance, you should also let your insurance provider know.

How can I reduce my premiums if I have a speeding ticket?

Try all or a combination of the following tips to reduce the cost of your car insurance:

  • Shop around for the best deal
  • Look to buy three weeks before your current policy’s end date – we can send you a reminder
  • Try a black box policy
  • Increase your excess
  • Consider paying your yearly premium in one go
  • Drive fewer miles 

Find more useful advice on how to save on your car insurance.

Will a speed awareness course affect my insurance?

Potentially. A speed awareness course could raise or lower the cost of your car insurance depending on your insurance provider’s point of view. But don't forget, you'll have to pay to do the course – usually around £100 – similar to the cost of a fine. But it will mean you don't get points added to your licence.

They might consider the fact that you were speeding makes you more likely to be involved in an accident. Or they might take a different approach and think the skills you learn on a course make you less of an accident risk.

You won’t always get the option to take a speed awareness course but if you choose not to attend one and receive penalty points instead, your car insurance premium will almost certainly increase.

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