How many points for speeding
How many points for speeding
Getting caught speeding is not an ideal situation for any of us to be in. Whatever your reason might have been, getting caught breaking the speed limit could land you in hot water.
The level of severity of punishment can vary though, so we’ve broken down a few of the potential options for you in this handy blog.
How many points do you get for speeding in the UK?
The standard minimum penalty for speeding in the UK is a £100 fine and 3 points on your driving licence. However, there are all sorts of reasons why you might pay a higher fine, get more points, or even just get a slap on the wrist.
Here’s what might happen if you get caught speeding:
Getting caught by a speed camera
If you get caught by a speed camera, you should get a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a Section 172 notice within 14 days from the authorities. You need to return the Section 172 notice within 28 days of receiving it, with details of who was driving the car, or you could be sent to court.
After you send back the Section 172, you’ll either be sent a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), or a letter telling you to appear in court. This usually depends on how serious the offence was (we’ll get on to what counts as serious shortly).
Getting caught by the police
If you get stopped by the police, they can give you a verbal warning, give you an FPN, or order you to go to court. Again, this all depends on how serious the offence was.
If you’re wondering what other things the police look out for, you can check out our blog ‘Is it illegal to drive with a broken wing mirror?’
What is a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)?
An FPN is essentially a base-level penalty that is applied to a specific crime, in this case, speeding. In most cases of speeding this is the standard punishment, and comes with the minimum penalty of a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence.
You can plead guilty or not guilty to an FPN. Pleading guilty means you’ll just pay your fine and take the points. Pleading not guilty means you’ll go to court to argue your case.
Your FPN may also give you the option to take a speed awareness course, but we’ll get to what that means shortly.
Going to court
If you plead not guilty to your FPN or ignore a Section 172 notice then you usually have to go to court. This is your chance to argue your case, and you could get out of any fines if you have a good enough reason. However, if you lose, court fines tend to be based on a combination of how much you were speeding, combined with a percentage of your weekly income. You could even be disqualified from driving for a set period of time.
The amount of points you could get for speeding and additional fines are grouped into three bands, depending on how much you may have been going over the speed limit. Here are the guidelines for the bands:
These are the penalty boundaries for each band:
- Band A: 3 points AND 25%-75% of weekly income
- Band B: Disqualified for 7-28 days or 4-6 points AND 75%-125% of weekly income
- Band C: Disqualified for 7-56 days or 6 points AND 125%-175% of weekly income
The fines are capped at £1000, or £2500 if you were caught speeding on a motorway. If you have a low income or are on state benefits (like Universal Credit), the weekly income tends to be calculated at £120.
If your case is decided in court, the speed you were travelling decides the boundary of the penalty you might receive. The size of the penalty itself tends to be based on how serious they decide the offence was.
Here are a few things that make a speeding offence more serious in the eyes of the courts:
- If you were speeding whilst on bail for another crime
- If you were towing caravan or trailer
- If you were carrying passengers or a heavy load
- If you were driving for hire or reward
- If the road was in a bad condition or the weather was bad
- If you were driving an LGV, HGV, PSV etc
- If you recently had your licence revoked and returned for a similar offence
- If you were driving dangerously as well as speeding
- If you were near a school or hospital
- If there was a lot of traffic or pedestrians nearby
If you’re worried about getting in trouble with the police, you might want to check out our blog ‘Can you drive without wearing your seatbelt?’
There are also a few things that might reduce the seriousness of a speeding offence. These reasons might get you a smaller fine in court, or reduce the number of points you get on your licence:
- If you can prove you were in a genuine emergency
- If you have no previous or relevant convictions
- If you show good character, remorse, and good conduct
Do you always get points for speeding?
Depending on how fast you might have been going, it’s possible that you won’t always get points for speeding. There is some unofficial tolerance for speeding in the UK, usually about 10% over the speed limit, but it’s not guaranteed. Police officers are recommended to use discretion when dealing with speeding, and use their judgement on whether or not a driver was being particularly dangerous.
The police may also decide to send you on a speed awareness course. You might be given the choice of going on a speed awareness course instead of getting points on your licence if:
- The authorities decide your offence was minor
- You haven’t been on a speed awareness course in the past 3 years
It is important to note that none of this is a guarantee. 1mph over the speed limit is still speeding and is illegal. There is no official leeway in place for speed cameras or police officers. The safest way to avoid getting points on your licence is to stick to the speed limit.
How long do points stay on your driving licence?
Points of all kinds can stay on your licence from 4 to 11 years, depending on the offence. Points lasting for 11 years are for far more serious offences, like serious dangerous driving.
For speeding offences, points on your licence will be valid for 4 years from when the offence was committed.
How many points can you get before a driving ban?
If your case gets referred to court, it’s possible that you could get an immediate driving ban of up to 56 days if you’re in Band C. This tends to be in only very extreme cases, though, when a driver was going far over the speed limit.
You can also be banned from driving if you wrack up 12 or more penalty points on your licence. Your ban can last:
- 6 months, if you get 12 or more penalty points within 3 years
- 12 months, if you get a second disqualification within 3 years
- 2 years, if you get a third disqualification within 3 years
If you get a driving ban for 56 days or more you have to apply for a new licence before driving again. The court might also decide that you have to retake your driving test or take an extended driving test before getting your licence back. If your ban is less than 56 days you probably won’t need to get a new licence, you’ll probably just have to ask for it back from the court.
Getting points on your licence as a new driver
If you get 6 or more points within 2 years of passing your test, your driving licence can be fully revoked. This means you would have to get a new provisional licence, and take new theory and practical tests. Any points you might get on your provisional licence before passing your test will be carried over when you pass your test and last for 4 years.
If you’d like to learn more about provisional licences, you can check out our blog ‘Can you drive with a provisional licence?’
A few final tips…
Figuring out how much trouble you might be in for speeding can be a little complicated, so here’s the last few things to remember:
- The minimum standard penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 points on your driving licence
- You might be able to avoid getting points on your licence if you are offered a speed awareness course
- Points for speeding stay on your licence for up to 4 years
- If you get 12 or more points on your licence within 3 years, you could face a driving of up to 6 months
Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.