Speeding Fine FAQs: What To Do If You Get a Speeding Ticket

Have you found yourself on the receiving end of a speeding fine lately? You're not alone – the number of speeding tickets issued to drivers in the UK increases every year. It's no surprise, as digital speed cameras are becoming more advanced whilst variable speed limits on motorways catch many people out.

However, there is still a lot of confusion around what to do if a speeding ticket (or 'Notice of Intended Prosecution', to be formal) lands on your doormat. Here, we answer all your questions, from how much the fine will cost to whether it is worth contesting it.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CAUGHT SPEEDING

If you are caught speeding, there are three possible outcomes: 

  1. You get offered a speed awareness course. 
  2. You get a speeding ticket, also called a Fixed Penalty Notice, along with a speeding fine and points on your licence. 
  3. If your speed was excessive and dangerous, you could be summoned directly to court and prosecuted. If found guilty, you will get a fine, points on your licence and possibly even a driving ban.

WHAT IS NOTICE OF INTENDED PROSECUTION?

A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is a document sent by the police to the vehicle's registered keeper following a speeding offence. It details the offence and contains instructions on what to do next. You will not receive a NIP if you were pulled over by the police for speeding and given a verbal warning of prosecution or if your speeding was a factor in a road traffic accident.

HOW FAR CAN YOU GO OVER THE SPEED LIMIT?

By law, anything over the official speed limit is liable for a speeding ticket. However, the police usually offer a buffer of 10% plus 2 mph above the speed limit, though this is entirely at their discretion. Breaking the speed limit to a truly excessive degree may lead directly to a court summons and prosecution.

Find out more in this complete guide of driving offences from the Crown Prosecution Service. 

HOW MUCH IS A SPEEDING FINE?

The minimum fine for a speeding offence is £100. However, if you are prosecuted for excessive or dangerous speed, the fine goes up to £1,000. The minimum fine rises to £2,500 for dangerous speeding on a motorway.


The table below shows how the bands are set in relation to speed limits. 

Speed limit (mph) 

Recorded speed (mph) 

 

Band C 

Band B 

Band A 

20 

41 and above 

31 - 41 

21 - 30 

30 

51 and above 

41 - 50 

31 - 40 

40 

66 and above 

56 - 65 

41 - 55 

50 

76 and above 

66 - 75 

51 - 65 

60 

91 and above 

81 - 90 

61 - 80 

70 

101 and above 

91 - 100 

71 - 90 

 

Fine range per band 

125% - 175% of weekly income 

72% - 125% of weekly income 

125% - 175% of weekly income 

 

Variables including the time of an offence, driving conditions and circumstances can further influence the fine level. Aggravating factors such as these can push the offence into bands D, E and F, where the fines increase to between 200% and 700% of your weekly income (but the £1,000 and £2,500 limits still apply). 

HOW MANY POINTS DO YOU GET FOR SPEEDING?

An average speeding ticket (the most commonplacing in Band A) will result in three points, or endorsements, on your licence. It may rise to six points for excessive speed.

If you already have eight or more points on your licence, the police may choose to prosecute instead of giving you more points, and you could end up with a driving disqualification. 

 

Band C 

Band B 

Band A 

Points/disqualification 

6 points  
OR 7 – 56 days disqualification 

4 – 6 points 
OR 7 – 28 days disqualification 

3 points 

I’VE RECEIVED A SPEEDING TICKET, WHAT DO I DO NOW?

When the NIP arrives, you must complete Section 172 confirming who was driving at the time, even if that person was not you but another registered driver. You must return this to the police within 28 days.

You will then receive a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from the police. If you are eligible for a speed awareness course, this notice will offer it as an alternative. Otherwise, you will have to accept the points and fine. 

You have 28 days to accept the FPN and pay for your speeding fine by cheque or card. If you are accepting points, you need to send off your driving licence. You should get it back within four weeks.

If you are taking a speed awareness course, you must do this within four months of the offence date. The course provider will inform the police when you have completed it, and the matter will be considered settled.

WILL I GET OFFERED A SPEED AWARENESS COURSE?

For minor offences, you may be offered a speed awareness course, to escape the fine and points on your licence. But it has to be offered – you cannot request it. 

You are only eligible for a speed awareness course if: 

  • You have not been convicted of any other speeding offences in the last three years.
  • You were not travelling more than 10% plus 9 mph over the limit (for example, 42mph in a 30 limit).

Speed awareness courses are run by external providers, not by the police, so you will be expected to pay for the course. This cost varies by provider.

HOW CAN I GET OUT OF A SPEEDING TICKET?

If you were indeed speeding then you really have no defence, and the best thing to do is accept the ticket. But you can contest it if you weren’t speeding or you weren't the one driving at the time.

I wasn't driving at the time, is the ticket still viable?

If your car was stolen or sold, or someone else was driving at the time, you are not liable for the fine. You must respond to the NIP to tell the police this. If someone else was driving your car at the time, you must inform the police of who the driver was. It is illegal for you to accept responsibility for another person's offence.

It is also illegal to decline to provide the driver's details, whether it was you or another person. This carries a minimum sentence of six points on your licence or even a driving ban. 

I have received a NIP but weren't exceeding the speed limit; what should I do? 

If you believe you were not exceeding the speed limit and that the NIP was wrongly issued, you must be able to prove this to be able to contest the ticket. If you didn't realise you were speeding, didn't know the speed limit, or you were only speeding for a moment, the speeding ticket is still valid.

You can also plead mitigating circumstances, such as driving someone to the hospital in an emergency. For such circumstances, write up the details with the NIP and return it to the police.

WHAT ABOUT THE 14 DAY LOOPHOLE?

The law states that the police must send the NIP within 14 days of the offence, not including the day it happened. So, the NIP you receive must be dated within 14 days of the offence. If it is dated outside of this time, the notice is invalid. However, it can arrive after the 14-day period as long as it is dated and sent out during that time. 

There are other caveats. If you recently sold or bought the car, or it is a company fleet car, and the first notice was sent to the previous registered keeper during the 14-day period and comes to you afterwards, it is still valid. 

However, if the notice is dated after the 14-day period, it may be invalid. In this case, you can respond to the police to state this. You must still confirm your name, address and if you were indeed driving at this time.  

It is not guaranteed that a NIP is invalidated if dated outside of the 14-day period and does not automatically mean you escape the charge. Read this advice on the gov.uk website and always take legal advice if you have any doubts.

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