What are the steps if you're caught speeding?

A record 2.02 million speeding tickets were handed out to drivers in England and Wales in 2017, shows figures obtained by the Home Office cited by the Telegraph.
It was the first time ever that over two million tickets were issued to drivers. The figure represented a 2.4% increase compared to the previous year – or 48,000 extra tickets. In 2011, less than 1.5 million tickets were handed out.
During the same year, one million people (also a record) attended a driving awareness course after being caught speeding. Specifically, 49.9% of the 2.02 million drivers choose to go on a course rather than take points on their licence or go to court. This figure stood at just 18.8% of speeding drivers back in 2012.
If you’ve been caught committing a driving offence like speeding, it can be tough getting affordable car insurance. But not if you use Insurance Factory. We specialise in convicted driver insurance; judging each case individually, we’ll work with our panel of leading providers to find you cover that reflects your needs, for a competitive price.
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If you think you’ve been caught speeding, or are simply curious to find out what happens if you commit the offence, here’s everything you need to know about what will happen.

Speeding penalties explained

As Gov.UK notes, the minimum penalty for speeding is three points on your driving licence and a £100 fine. The process differs depending on how you’re caught speeding, though.

If you’re caught by a speed camera

Saw a flash? Chances are a speed camera has just picked up that you were speeding. If this is the case, you’ll receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) along with a Section 172 Notice within two weeks.
The Section 172 Notice is your chance to tell the police who was driving the car at the time. You have to send the notice back within 28 days of receiving it – fail to do so and you could end up in court. After sending the notice back, you’ll receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

If the police stop you

If the police pull you over because they suspect you were speeding, several things can happen. They might give you a verbal warning, issue you with an FPN (or send you one), or order you to go to court – in which case you’ll be sent a letter explaining the next steps. Generally speaking, verbal warnings are for less serious offences, while court orders will be given to drivers who were caught exceeding the speed limit by a significant amount.

 Police watching road as lorry speeds past

Receiving an FPN

When you receive an FPN, it’s down to you whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Here’s what happens in both cases:

A guilty plea

If you admit that you committed a speeding offence, you’ll have three points added to your licence and will have to pay a £100 fine, unless you’re given the option of undertaking a speed awareness course. Fines can be paid online, though alternative payment methods may be given on the actual ticket. A speeding code will remain on your driving licence for four years – during this time, it’s vital you tell us about the offence if you apply for convicted driver insurance.
You may be invited to take a speed awareness course if the police decide it’s suitable for your individual case, and if you’ve not been on a course in the last three years.

A non-guilty plea

If you don’t believe you’ve committed a speeding offence, then you’ll have to see the case through in court.
There’s a possibility you’ll receive a higher fine plus more points on your licence if the court finds that you are in fact guilty of speeding. The exact amount depends on what the speed limit was and by how much you exceeded it. Fines are often calculated as a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (or £2,500 for motorway speeding offences).
Which? delves into fines in a little more detail, explaining that the government enforces a banded system when it comes to speeding offences and fines. You can be placed in Bands A-F – for example:
  • You’ll be put in Band A if you were driving 1mph to 9mph over the legal limit. You’ll receive an FPN (three points on your licence) and a fine of between 25% and 75% of your weekly income.
  • Band B is for drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by between 11 and 20mph. You might need to go to court, where you’ll receive a fine of between 75% and 125% of your weekly income.
  • Band C will be for drivers who exceed the speed limit by 21mph or more with fines between 125% and 175% of your weekly income.
  • You can be put into Bands D, E or F for very severe offences (including those committed while on bail, while in poor road and weather conditions, or while driving for hire). End up in Band F and you could be fined anywhere between 500% and 700% of your weekly income.
If you were driving much faster than the speed limit, there’s a chance you could be banned from driving or have your licence suspended. In either case, you’ll want to turn to experts like Insurance Factory to find you convicted driver insurance when it’s time to get back behind the wheel.


What to expect on a speed awareness course

If you’ve been given the option to take a speed awareness course, here’s what to expect, as outlined by iNews:
  • The cost of the course varies between regions, but is usually around the £100 mark.
  • The course is four hours long and during it, you’ll learn about the life-threatening risks associated with speeding.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the courses aren’t hosted by police officers. They’re actually run by advanced driver trainers, committed to stopping drivers from re-offending.
  • It’s vital you arrive on time. Otherwise, you could be asked to leave and referred back to the police.
  • Don’t play with your phone mid-course – you’ll be asked to leave.
  • Completing the course simply requires you to show up on time, pay attention and engage with the professional instructor.
  • You won’t need to sit an exam to pass, but your knowledge will be put to the test in a group quiz later on in the day.
At the Insurance Factory, we can compare quotes for convicted driver insurance on your behalf, saving you a job! We consider convictions including speeding, dangerous driving and driving without insurance, accessing our panel of specialist insurers to find you competitively-priced cover. Get a quote today!