A guide to speeding offences and how speeding can affect your car insurance

Speeding offences are the most common driving conviction 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 the most common driving conviction 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.  

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
7
minute read
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Posted 12 NOVEMBER 2021

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

Penalty points, also called endorsements, are given to you for driving offences such as speeding. They 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 a worry for a lot of drivers – according to government figures, 53% of cars exceeded the speed limit on motorways, rising to 56% on 30mph roads.

In truth, it’s likely that a speeding offence will bump up your insurance premium. 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 five years as a risk. As a result, they’ll probably charge you more for your car insurance.

Every insurance provider has its own way of assessing and calculating premium costs, however.

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

Motorway speeding convictions, coded SP50 on your licence, could add an average of £101 to your annual car insurance bill, according to market research company Consumer Intelligence.

If you’re caught speeding on a public road – SP30 – it’s likely to add around £36 a year. This is based on analysis of 36,000 car insurance quotes, between April 2017 to April 2018.

The data also found that the extra cost of a speeding conviction is proportionally higher for the over 50s. They could see their premium rise by £58 for any speeding convictions – £166 a year for a motorway speeding offence.

Type of driver  Cost with no
convictions
Cost with any
speeding conviction
Cost with SP30
convictions
Cost with SP50
convictions
All drivers  £693  £743  £729  £794 
Under-50s  £795  £840  £836  £865
Over 50s  £469  £527  £483 £635 

Insurance providers 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. And if you’re convicted of a driving office after taking up insurance, you should let your insurance provider know.

How much will I be fined for speeding?

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine, plus 3 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 £80 to £100.

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 UK drivers are treated consistently:

Limit

Fixed penalty

Summons

20mph

24mph

35mph

30mph

35mph

50mph

40mph

46mph

66mph

50mph

57mph

76mph

60mph

68mph

86mph

70mph

79mph

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
  • issuing a court summons, via letter 

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

Did you know?
If a child is hit by a vehicle travelling at 20mph, they have a 90% chance of survival. At 40mph, that chance of survival is just 10%.

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, but other offences might apply for longer.

You’ll only be given the option of attending a speed awareness course if it’s your first 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 will vary and 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. 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.

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 is no single national limit in the UK. Speed limits depend on the type of road you’re driving on, where you’re driving and the type of vehicle you’re driving. The national speed limit is 70mph for a car or motorcycle on a motorway, and 60mph for a car or motorcycle on a single carriageway.

Be aware that local councils can reduce the speed limits for certain roads, to ensure the safety of road users. However, the speed limit must be clearly displayed. So, don’t just assume you know the limit for that road without looking at the signs.

Can I break the speed limit to overtake?

In short, no. According to the Highway Code, you should only overtake quickly 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 a Sunday 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.

Could a black box stop me from speeding?

Black box or telematics car insurance is a good way of helping new and young drivers behave more safely and responsibly on the roads. While telematics technology can’t stop you from speeding, it can monitor your driving style and make you more conscious of your driving habits. 

The information collected by the black box is sent to your insurance provider. If you stick within the speed limits and demonstrate good driving skills, it could help reduce your insurance premium.

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