UK speeding fines 2021 – what are the latest penalties for drivers?

Speeding fines were increased in spring 2017, with harsher penalties for the worst offenders. Here's everything you need to know...

Speeding fines header

Keeping Britain’s roads safe is of consistently high priority for law enforcement teams, so in efforts to reduce the number of accidents and road deaths, the government introduced new rules surrounding speeding penalties in 2017. The new speeding fine laws don’t blanket harsher penalties across all offenses, but instead concentrate on the very worst offenders who pose the greatest risk to the public.

Should a driver receive a penalty for excessive speed, they’ll be fined an amount equal to 150 per cent of their weekly income, up from a maximum of 50 per cent before 2017’s changes. These will be given solely to the very worst offenders, with speeds falling under ‘Band C’, the highest category in the table below.

Over 100,000 UK drivers help fill the HM Treasury coffers to the tune of millions of pounds a year, the most dangerous being removed from our roads in the process, receiving bans of varying lengths depending on the severity of the offense.

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2021 mobile phone regulations

Before we get onto the penalties for speeding, it’s worth pointing out that another thing the government is cracking down on is mobile phone usage behind the wheel. Distracted driving is becoming an even greater issue than excessive speed, and while the legality of using a phone behind the wheel has always been a little hazy, recent regulations have made things much clearer-cut.

Since 2003 it has been illegal to use a mobile phone behind the wheel, but previously there were loopholes that didn’t explicitly exclude things like taking photographs or scrolling through music.

This has now been outlawed. Effectively, there is no scenario in which you can touch or pick up your phone while driving. This includes using the device at traffic lights, even if the car is out of gear and stationary with the handbrake applied. Exceptions include hands-free calls provided you aren’t touching the phone to answer, while satellite navigation systems and strangely two-way radios remain legal. That said, the police can still use their discretion should you appear to be distracted with any legal usage too.

The basic fine for using your phone is currently set at £200, with six penalty points on your licence – and if you passed your test within the last two years, you’ll lose your licence entirely.

Speeding fines in the EU

The Cross Border Enforcement directive came into effect in 2015, allowing authorities from EU countries to pursue drivers for motoring offences should their car have been registered within the EU. The UK's departure from the EU will put an end to this, however, meaning UK drivers caught on speed cameras will likely avoid penalties. Get caught by police in countries such as France though, and you can still be subject to an on-the-spot fine.

2021 UK speeding fine bands

The maximum penalties for speeding were previously £1000, with a £2500 cap for those caught speeding on motorways. While the higher caps remain, law enforcement has been instructed to hand out a greater number of the maximum-level fines. Details of the various speeding bands are displayed in the table below.

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

Points/disqualification

Disqualify 7 to 56 days or 6 points

Disqualify 7 to 28 days or  4 to 6 points

3 points

Under the old speeding fines system, fines falling under bands B and C equaled 100 per cent of an offender’s weekly income. However that has now increased to 150 percent. Offenders could be subject to the double whammy and banned from driving for up to 56 days or get six points on their licence.

According to www.gov.uk the current minimum fine for speeding is £100, plus three penalty points. You also risk disqualification if you amass 12 or more penalty points within three years.

However, points and fines can be avoided in certain scenarios. If this is your first offence and you have a clean licence, you may still be able to circumvent the points hit by attending a speed awareness course providing the new incident isn’t considered too serious. Previous speeders will not be extended such opportunities, and they will see their points total climb further towards a ban.

It's understood the majority of Band A fines will equate to a half of your weekly wage. However, this initial fine could be adjusted subject to the court's discretion based on the specifics of the case in question. Such variables include, poor weather, the population density of the area or the timing of an offence in relation to previous convictions committed (if applicable).

The same adjustment can be made to Band B and C fines too. Look below to see the various adjustment rates.

 

Starting point

Range

Fine Band A

50% of weekly income

25 – 75% of weekly income

Fine Band B

100% of weekly income

75 – 125% of weekly income

Fine Band C

150% of weekly income

125 – 175% of weekly income

What could a speeding ticket cost you?

The average speeding fine in 2015 was £188 with over 150,000 falling prey to speed cameras and traffic patrol units. With fines rising by 50 per cent the average fine could increase to £282. Although the £100 minimum, which is likely to be the most frequent fine, may reduce that average.

Using the UK’s average salary as a reference we will go through a few eventualities to explain the increased fines. According to the Office of National Statistics, the mean average salary as of 2019 stood at £30,673. Read below to find out what you could pay if you earn the average UK wage.

> Government ‘noise camera’ trial aims to catch drivers with loud exhausts

Band A offence example

  • If you were caught travelling at a recorded speed of 36mph in a 30mph zone you would be prosecuted under Band A rulings.
  • Three points will go on your licence.
  • The initial fine would be £285.85, 50 per cent of your weekly wage.
  • Depending on the circumstances the final figure could range between: £142.93 (25 per cent of your weekly wage) and £428.78 (75 per cent of your weekly wage).

 

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£285.85

50

Maximum fine

£428.78

75

Minimum fine

£142.93

25

Band B offence example

69mph in a 50mph zone

 

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£571.70

100

Maximum fine

£714.63

125

Minimum fine

£428.78

75

Band C offence example

105mph in a 70mph zone

 

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£857.55

150

Maximum fine

£1000

175

Minimum fine

£714.63

125

Mitigating factors

The sentencing council quotes a number of factors that can increase or decrease the severity of your sentence should you end up facing a judge. Here below we list the factors that could work in your favour or land you with more points or longer a period of disqualification.

Factors reducing seriousness or reflecting personal mitigation

  • Genuine emergency established
  • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct

Factors increasing seriousness

Previous convictions, having regard to a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction

  • Offence committed whilst on bail
  • Towing caravan/trailer
  • Carrying passengers or heavy load
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

Further still, should you acknowledge your driving infraction and plead guilty to the offence, the court may reduce your sentence, taking into account all other circumstances.

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