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Speeding fines: how much do you have to pay?

When it comes to UK motoring offences, speeding tops the list. If you’re caught driving too fast, don’t just assume you’ll get a small speeding fine and points on your licence. Depending on how fast you’re going, there are different fines – and some can mean serious penalties.

When it comes to UK motoring offences, speeding tops the list. If you’re caught driving too fast, don’t just assume you’ll get a small speeding fine and points on your licence. Depending on how fast you’re going, there are different fines – and some can mean serious penalties.

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rory Reid
Car and technology expert
Last Updated
6 JUNE 2023
6 min read
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What are the penalties for speeding?

If you’re caught speeding, the minimum penalty is a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fine of £100 and three points on your driving licence. You might be offered a speed-awareness course instead of points (assuming you haven't attended one in the past three years).

If you get 12 points or more on your licence over a three-year period, you could get a driving ban. New drivers who build more than six penalty points within two years of passing their driving test could have their licence revoked.

How much is a speeding fine?

The minimum speeding fine in the UK is £100. But if your offence is considered serious and the case is passed to a magistrate’s court, you could be fined much more.

How speeding fines and penalty points are calculated will depend on how much over the speed limit you were.

Band A

Legal speed limit (mph)  Recorded speed (mph) 
20 21-30 
30 31-40 
40 41-55 
50 51-65 
60 61-80 
70 71-90 

Points = three penalty points

Fine = 25%-75% of weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re caught on the motorway).

Band B

Legal speed limit (mph)  Recorded speed (mph) 
20 31-40 
30 41-50 
40 56-65 
50 66-75 
60 81-90 
70 91-100 
Disqualification/points = disqualified for 7-28 days or 4-6 penalty points
Fine = 100% of relevant weekly income, although the magistrate can fine you anywhere in the range of 75%-125%, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re caught on the motorway).

Band C

Legal speed limit (mph)  Recorded speed (mph) 
20 41 and above 
30 51 and above 
40 66 and above 
50 76 and above 
60 91 and above 
70 101 and above

Disqualification/points = disqualified for 7-56 days or six penalty points

Fine = 125%-175% of weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re caught on the motorway).

There are also fines of up to 700% of weekly income for very serious speeding offences.

What about the 10% leeway?

Some people assume there’s a ‘buffer zone’, which lets you get away with driving 10% over the speed limit. But this isn’t the case – even if you do 31mph in a 30mph zone, you’re technically breaking the law.

I’ve been caught speeding – what happens now?

What happens when you’re caught speeding will depend on the circumstances. But here’s a guide to what you can expect:

Caught by a speed camera

If you’re caught by a speed camera, you’ll be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a Section 172 notice within 14 days of committing the offence.

You must send back the Section 172 notice within 28 days, telling the police who was driving the car. You’ll then receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a letter telling you to go to court.

Caught by the police

If you’re stopped by the police, it’s likely you’ll receive either a verbal warning or an FPN.

If you were speeding excessively or are repeatedly stopped, the police could order you to go to court. This will be up to the police officer and how serious they consider the offence.

Minor speeding offences

For minor speeding offences, it’s likely you’ll be fined £100 and given three points or have the option to go on a speed awareness course.

Major speeding offences

If you plead not guilty and decide to dispute the charge, you’ll have to go to court. You may also end up in court if you’ve gone way over the speed limit, have repeatedly committed a speeding offence, or have ignored an FPN you were issued.

If you end up in court and are found guilty, you could face a higher fine, more penalty points and a possible driving ban.

How to pay a speeding ticket

You can pay your speeding fine online through the government’s Penalty Notice Portal. Or check your penalty notice for alternative ways to pay.

Can I dispute a speeding fine?

If you think you were unfairly given a speeding ticket, you can dispute it. You’ll find the relevant section on the NIP and you’ll need to submit it within 28 days.

Be careful about your reasons for disputing the fine. If the police don’t accept your appeal, you could be taken to court and end up with a much heftier fine.

Acceptable reasons for dispute

You may be able to dispute your fine if:

  • The speed limit sign was unclear or missing
  • You weren’t driving
  • The details on the speeding ticket are incorrect or missing
  • It was a genuine emergency.

Unacceptable reasons for dispute

Remember, the courts have heard every excuse out there. These won’t cut it:

  • You were in a rush due to an emergency, but can’t prove it
  • You weren’t aware of the speed limit
  • You didn’t notice the speed limit had changed
  • It was late at night and the road was quiet.

If you have to go to court, it’s worth getting legal advice. If your car insurance includes legal expense cover, this might cover your solicitors’ fees.

What else could affect the court’s decision?

As well as the speed you were caught doing, there are other factors the court will want to consider. For example, speeding near a school or in poor weather could go against you.

Speeding in an HGV could also work against you, as lorries can cause more damage than cars.

Will a speeding ticket affect my car insurance?

A speeding ticket is a motoring offence, which means it will affect your car insurance. If you’ve had a speeding fine in the past five years, insurance providers might consider you a greater risk and increase the cost of your car insurance.

If you have penalty points for speeding, Compare the Market can find you quotes from a range of car insurance providers. We can also help you compare specialist car insurance for convicted drivers.

Start a quote now to see if you can save.

Frequently asked questions

Can I check if I’ve been caught speeding?

If you think you were zapped by a speed camera but aren’t sure, you’ll just have to wait and see if a ticket arrives in the post. You should receive a notice within 14 days.

How long do penalty points stay on my licence?

Penalty points for speeding stay on your licence for four or 11 years, depending on the offence.

Can I check if I have points on my licence?

You can view information about your driving licence and check whether you have penalty points on the GOV.UK website.

If you have penalty points for speeding, you’ll also see a code for the type of speeding offence. The most common are:

  • SP30 – speeding on a public road
  • SP50 – speeding on a motorway.

Can I do a speed awareness course after doing 38mph in a 30mph zone?

You may be eligible for a speed awareness course if you were driving at up to 42mph in a 30mph area. However, it’s up to the discretion of the police and isn’t guaranteed.

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Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Rory Reid - car and technology expert

Rory Reid is a car and technology expert. He serves as the main presenter on Auto Trader’s YouTube channel and was previously a host on BBC Top Gear and its sister show Extra Gear. He is also a presenter on Fifth Gear. Previously, he hosted Sky TV’s Gadget Geeks, CNET’s Car Tech channel, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition and on the YouTube channel Fast, Furious & Funny.

Learn more about Rory

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