If you’re caught speeding in the UK, you might have to attend a one-day speed awareness course, receive a fine and points on your licence or be subject to a driving ban. The punishment you face will depend on the severity of your offence and your driving history.
The Government’s recently re-jigged how speeding fines are calcuated. Now you could be charged as much as 175 per cent of your weekly salary per offence – up to £2,500 – receive as many as six points on your license and be banned from driving for as long as 56 days.
For full details on how fast you can legally drive, read our detailed guide to UK speed limits.
What happens if I get caught speeding?
If you get caught speeding, you could be issued with an order to attend a speed-awareness course, a fixed penalty notice or a court summons. The penalty you face will depend on how fast you were travelling and whether you have any previous speeding offences. Points may also be applied to your licence.
You can only attend a speed-awareness course once every three years. If you’re caught speeding again, you’ll have to pay a fine – usually £100 – and receive a minimum of three points on your licence.
What is a speed-awareness course?
A speed-awareness course is a half-day instructional course designed to highlight the inherent dangers of speeding. They usually cost the same as a £100 fixed penalty notice but no penalty points will be added to your driving licence.
Speed-awareness courses can be taken once every three years – if you’re caught speeding again, you’ll be issued with a fine and at least three penalty points.
What is a fixed penalty notice?
A fixed penalty notice – also called a speeding ticket – will be issued to drivers who’ve already attended a speed awareness course or who’ve been caught travelling significantly faster than a given speed limit. They usually result in a £100 fine and will add three penalty points to your driving licence.
If you already have eight points on your licence, you may be issued with a court summons for fairly minor speeding offences. This will depend on your own specific circumstances, however.
What are income-based speeding fines?
More severe offences call for larger penalties – issued in the form of income-based speeding fines. The aim of these is to provide a fair and balanced punishment to all motorists by handing out flexible fines based on set percentage of their weekly salary. They’re divided into three bands from A, the least serious, to C, the most severe.
Band A fines – handed out for exceeding the limit by up to 10mph in 30mph limits and up to 20mph on dual carriageways and motorways – will land you three penalty points and cost you between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of your weekly salary.
Break the speed limit by more than 11mph in a 30mph limit by more than 21mph on a motorway or dual carriageway and you’ll have to hand over between 75 and 125 per cent of your weekly salary. You could also receive between four and six penalty points or have your licence suspended for 28 days.
For even more serious speeding offences – such as travelling more than 51mph in a 30mph limit or exceeding 101mph on the motorway – you’ll receive a Band C fine. These equate to between 125 and 175 per cent of your weekly salary, come with six penalty points and may be accompanied by a licence suspension of as many as 56 days.
Break the speed limit by any more than this and you could be fined as much as £2,500 for offences committed on a motorway and as much as £1,000 on single-carriageway roads.
What happens if I have to go to court?
If you’ve been issued a court summons, you could be liable for a steeper fine and a more penalty points. If you’ve already been caught speeding, you could lose your licence or be banned, depending on the severity of your offence. Usually between three and six points will be issued if you’re found guilty.
If you were speeding on a single or dual carriageway you could face a fine of as much as £1,000 – speeding on a motorway could result in a £2,500 fine.
Will I be banned from driving if I get caught driving more than 100mph?
The default position of courts is to disqualify drivers caught speeding at more than 100mph or at 30mph above the relevant speed limit. At the court’s discretion, this punishment can be reduced if you can prove losing your licence would result in ‘exceptional hardship’.
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