What Are the Different Penalties for Being Caught Speeding in England and Wales?

Speeding is the most common driving offence, with more than 100,000 drivers being pulled over or caught by cameras every year. Some of these cases go to court, with varying outcomes for the drivers. Penalties vary and courts treat each case individually and take any mitigating circumstances into account.

Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been caught speeding in the UK:
If you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, your maximum fine is £100 and you’ll probably get points on your licence. This is usually for minor and first time offences. Drivers well over the speed limit, or repeat offenders, will normally see their cases going to Court and face the prospect of a heavier fine and up to six points or a ban being imposed.

I think I was flashed by a speed camera, when will I know?
If you weren’t pulled over by the police and informed about a fine or prosecution straight away then the police must issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution so that it arrives in the post at the address of the registered keeper within 14 days.

How many points?
Between 3-6 points depending on your speed, the circumstances and your previous record.

Can you get a ban?
If you accumulate 12 points on your licence within three years, you’ll face the possibility of a totting-up ban of 6 months. Higher level speeding offences can carry disqualification instead of points.

I was speeding, but can I escape the fine?
If you’re a first timer and you were just over the speed limit – police will normally allow 10% over the speed limit plus another 9mph– then you might be offered a speed awareness course if you haven’t attended one within the previous three years. You’ll have to pay for the course yourself, but you’ll avoid those points.

Fixed Penalty
If there’s no speed awareness course offered, you’ll probably get the fixed fine of £100 and three points. There’s no court appearance and no other costs. You can’t reduce this fine and this option doesn’t look at your mitigating circumstances or previous record. You’ll have to accept the fine within 28 days or wait for your case to proceed to Court instead.

Court summons
If your offence is deemed too serious for a Fixed Penalty Notice, you’ll be summonsed to court. The police have to start proceedings within six months of the alleged offence.

Can I ask for a speed awareness course instead?
The police decide if they can offer you a speed awareness course and they tend to offer them to first-time offenders or drivers just over the acceptable limits.

How long will penalty points stay on my licence?
The points will stay on your licence for three years from the date of the offence for totting up purposes. Your endorsement will be removed from your driver record after 4 years but must be declared to insurance companies for 5 years.

I have a foreign driving licence – what happens?
You can still be prosecuted and you may still have to go to court. You could face a fine, as well as penalty points applied to a so-called “ghost licence” that the DVLA creates for you. You could still face a ban in the same way as another driver and the points would remain if you obtain a valid UK licence.