Originally published April 25th 2017
Motorists from 24 April 2017, motorists face significantly higher fines if they are caught speeding. The new rules mean that, if you are caught speeding, you could be hit with a fine worth as much as 175% of your weekly salary. Previously, the maximum fine stood at 100% of weekly salary
Different speeding punishments
The level of punishment if you are caught speeding varies depending on exactly how fast you were going, relative to the speed limit on that particular road.
For example, if you are snapped doing 35 miles per hour (mph) in a 30 mph area, or 75 on the motorway, that is classed as a Band A offence. For these offences, drivers will be subject to a fine with a starting point of 50% of your weekly income, as well as three points on your licence.
Band B offences are more serious. For example, if you were caught doing between 41 mph and 50mph in a 30mph area, or 91-100mph on the motorway, the fine would have a starting point of 100% of your weekly wage, plus either disqualification from driving for 7-28 days or 4-6 points.
For the most extreme speeding offences, a Band C fine will apply.
This would be implemented if you were caught doing over 51mph in a 30 mph area, or more than 100mph on the motorway, and carries a fine with a starting point of 150% of your weekly wage. On top of this, you would also be disqualified from driving for 7-56 days, or face 6 points on your licence.
The Sentencing Council, which sets the penalties, explained that it had increased the penalty for the top band of seriousness “to ensure that there is clear increase in fine level as the seriousness of offending increases”.
The new speeding fines come into force from the 24th April.
Starting points and aggravating factors
It’s important to remember that these percentages are only starting points for magistrates when determining your actual fine. Magistrates can increase or decrease that fine, depending on certain factors.
So with a Band A offence, the magistrate could increase the fine to as much as 75% of your weekly salary, or drop it down to as little as 25%. Band B fines can range from 75% to 125% of your salary, while Band C fines can range from 125% to as high as 175% of your salary.
The court will consider a host of factors when deciding exactly where to set your fine. For example, the following factors could lead to your fine being increased:
- Previous convictions related to the nature of the offence
- If you are on bail
- Poor road or weather conditions at the time of the offence
- If you were driving an LGV, HGV or other large vehicle
- If you were towing a caravan or trailer at the time
- If you were carrying passengers or a heavy load
- The location of your speeding, for example if you were near a school.
However, if you have had no relevant previous convictions, demonstrate good character or can prove that it was a genuine emergency, then the fine may be reduced.
Fines aren’t limitless, and the previous caps still apply - speeding motorists will be fined no more than £1,000, or £2,500 if their offence takes place on a motorway.
How does a speeding fine affect my car insurance?
The financial cost of a speeding offence will stretch beyond paying the fine itself though.
When you take out car insurance, your quote is based on how risky the insurer thinks you are. Having a speeding offence on your record will make insurers a little more jittery about insuring you, so the quotes you receive will likely be significantly higher than for an identical driver with no such black marks on their driving history.
The more significant the offence, the bigger the increase you are likely to see in your car insurance premium.
There are ways to mitigate the financial damage though.
For example, it may be worth taking out a telematics car insurance policy. These include the installation of a telematics black box into your car to measure your driving style and speed. You can then demonstrate that you have learned your lesson and are a safer driver.
You can , including telematics policies – these will be marked as such in your quotation results tables.