Speed limits are in place for a reason, and despite the well-known potential dangers of breaking them, speed limit offences are the most common type of motoring offence. In 2021, 33% of motoring convictions were for speed limit offences, and the previous year saw 1.84 million speed limit offences in England and Wales.
If you have been issued a speeding ticket or had points added to your driving licence as the result of a speeding offence, you’ll no doubt be wondering where that leaves you in terms of your insurance policy.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about speeding tickets, including how they may affect your insurance, the different penalties for speeding, and how to make your insurance premium more affordable following a conviction.
Do speeding tickets affect insurance?
The short answer is yes. But how do speeding tickets affect insurance? Essentially, getting a speeding ticket will likely increase your insurance premium. If caught and convicted of a speeding offence by the courts, you can be fined and issued penalty points (also called ‘endorsements’) on your driving licence.
The more points you have on your licence, the risker you are as a driver in the eyes of your insurance company. This means they will usually charge a higher rate to provide you with an insurance policy. Additionally, the severity of the motoring offence you committed will determine the impact on your insurance premium — the more serious the offence, the bigger the increase in the price of your car insurance premiums.
What is the penalty for speeding?
The minimum penalty for a speeding conviction is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your driving record.
Each motoring offence is allocated a code, as well as a range of points that are on a scale. You will receive more points for a more serious offence.
The following table shows the different types of speeding offences and the number of penalty points they carry if you are convicted:
|Exceeding the goods vehicle speed limits
|3 to 6
|Exceeding the speed limit for the type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)
|3 to 6
|Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road
|3 to 6
|Exceeding the passenger vehicle speed limit
|3 to 6
|Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway
|3 to 6
How much is a speeding fine?
As previously mentioned, the minimum amount you will be charged for a speeding offence is £100. However, if you are found guilty of speeding by a court, fines are usually worked out as a percentage of your weekly income — this can be up to £1,000 (£2,500 if you were speeding on a motorway).
You may be allowed to take a speed awareness course instead of a fine, but you’ll have to cover the course cost — this is usually around £80 to £100.
What happens if you’re caught speeding?
If you have been caught speeding by a speed camera, you’ll be sent the following within 14 days:
- A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
- A Section 172 notice — this is to ask who was driving the vehicle
You need to return the Section 172 notice within 28 days confirming who was driving the car and their details — failure to do so means you might be summoned to court. Once the Section 172 notice has been received, you’ll get a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
If the police stop you for speeding, they can:
- Give a verbal warning
- Give or send a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
- Order you to attend court (you will receive a letter telling you what you need to do)
What happens if you are given a Fixed Penalty Notice?
If you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, you can accept it or contest it.
If you accept it, you’ll receive three points on your licence and a fine of £100. You may be offered a speed awareness course instead of a fine if the police decide it is appropriate and you have not already been on one in the last three years.
If you choose to contest the Fixed Penalty Notice, you will have to attend court. If you are found guilty of speeding by the courts, you can be fined more and receive more penalty points on your driving licence. In some cases, you may also receive a driving ban or have your licence suspended.
How fast would you have to be driving to be prosecuted?
It is illegal to break a speed limit by even one mph. However, to ensure that all drivers are treated equally, there are guidelines that law enforcement follows. The following table provides a breakdown of the speed limits in the UK and the penalties incurred as a result of breaking them:
|Legal Speed Limit (mph)
|Recorded Speed (mph)
|Recorded Speed (mph)
|Recorded Speed (mph)
|41 and above
|51 and above
|66 and above
|76 and above
|91 and above
|101 and above
|Points or disqualification length
|Disqualification lasting 7-28 days, or 4-6 points
|Disqualification lasting 7-56 days, or 6 points
|25-75% of relevant weekly income
|75-125% of relevant weekly income
|125-175% of relevant weekly income
It is worth noting that the courts decide the fine you receive, so this is to be used as a guideline. However, fines are capped at £2,500 if you are caught speeding on a motorway and £1,000 on all other roads.
Will you be disqualified from driving if you get a speeding ticket?
You will generally not be disqualified from driving due to a speeding offence (unless it is a Category C offence for careless driving). However, it will depend on whether you already have points on your licence.
You will be disqualified from driving if you receive 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence within three years. The courts will decide the length of your driving ban based on the severity of the offence. Most driving bans last for less than 56 days, but if you receive a longer ban, you will need to reapply for your driving licence once it has ended — this means retaking both the driving theory and practical test.
Once you get your driving licence back, you’ll be subjected to the rules for new drivers. This means if you receive six or more penalty points on your licence within two years of passing your driving test, you’ll be banned from driving again.
Can you contest a speeding ticket?
Yes, you can contest a speeding ticket if you believe it was unjustly issued. However, to overturn a speeding ticket, you’ll need to prove one of the following:
- You weren’t speeding
- You weren’t driving your car when the offence happened
- Your car was stolen
- The car caught speeding does not belong to you
- There was no indication of the speed limit
Some police forces will accept an informal appeal for a speeding ticket. However, if this is not the case, the alternative is to reply to the speeding ticket and plead not guilty. You will then be called to a court hearing which will follow four steps:
- Plea and Mitigation form: You’ll need to fill out a plea and mitigation form where you’ll either state whether you are pleading not guilty or guilty with mitigating circumstances. If you choose the latter, you’ll need to state why you were speeding and why that means you think you should receive a more lenient penalty.
- Request evidence: You can ask for evidence of the offence to clarify the situation.
- Court appearance: Here, the court must prove that you were the one driving and that you were speeding.
- Result: Here, you will find out whether you have been found guilty. If you are found guilty, you’ll be fined and receive penalty points on your licence. The case will be dropped if you are found not guilty, and you’ll face no further action.
Does your insurance go up if you get caught speeding?
Market research company Consumer Intelligence provides a breakdown of how much your insurance may increase if you are convicted of a speeding offence. It provides a great outline of how points on licences actually affect insurance policies.
How much does 3 points affect insurance?
On average, an SP30 speeding conviction, coupled with 3 penalty points will increase your insurance costs by £36 a year, while a motorway speeding conviction (SP50) can increase your premium by £101 yearly.
Those over 50 will likely see the biggest increase in their insurance premium in proportion to other drivers — offences can increase the cost of insurance by £166 if committed on a motorway and £58 for other speeding convictions.
|Type of Driver
|Cost With No Convictions
|Cost With Any Speeding Convictions
|Cost With SP30 Speeding Convictions
|Cost With SP50 Speeding Convictions
How much does 9 points affect insurance?
Naturally, leaping from 3 to 9 points will only see additional insurance costs grow even further, potentially tripling. Drivers with 9 points on their license could even be refused insurance by providers.
Drivers with 9 penalty points should also expect to be deemed as a ‘high-risk’ client to insurance providers.
Can you reduce your insurance premium if you have a speeding conviction?
Following a driving conviction, you’ll likely find that the cost of your insurance increases. Thankfully, there are several ways for you to make it more affordable.
Firstly, try comparing insurance quotes. Some insurers specialise in providing cover for convicted drivers or those with penalty points. As such, they will have a better understanding of the associated risks and are more likely to offer a more competitive premium than a standard policy.
Another way to potentially reduce the cost of insurance if you have been issued penalty points is to consider telematics (‘black box’) insurance policies. A black box is a device fitted to your car that monitors your driving and relays the data back to your insurance provider. Often, insurance companies consider it a good sign that you are trying to improve your driving and be safer on the road, and in turn, offer you a lower insurance premium.
Where possible, try to reduce your mileage. Statistically, the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident which should reduce the cost of your insurance. You can also increase your voluntary excess, which is the amount you are willing to pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. Increasing it can help lower your premium, but make sure that before you do so, you can afford to pay it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you check how many penalty points are on your licence?
You can view your driving record online or contact the DVLA to see if you have any penalty points on it and to check whether old convictions have been removed. To view your record online, you will need:
- Your driving licence number
- Your National Insurance number
- The postcode that is stated on your driving licence
How long does a speeding conviction stay on your licence?
The following speed-related motoring offences will stay on your driving licence for four years:
- SP10: Exceeding the goods vehicle speed limits
- SP20: Exceeding the speed limit for the type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)
- SP30: Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road
- SP40: Exceeding the passenger vehicle speed limit
- SP50: Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway
The four years start from the date of conviction if the offence resulted in a driving disqualification or the date of conviction in all other cases. While a conviction will stay on your licence for four years, penalty points only have effect for three years.
Do I need to inform my insurance company of a speeding ticket?
Yes, you must tell your car insurance provider about speeding tickets. You have a contractual obligation to notify your insurance company if you have received penalty points on your licence due to a driving offence or a Fixed Penalty Notice. If you fail to do so, you will invalidate your insurance policy, and in more extreme cases, you could face fines or even jail time.
Some insurance companies will want you to declare points as soon as you receive them, whilst others will allow you to disclose the information when you renew your insurance — make sure you check your policy documents to see what you need to do and when.
It is worth noting that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, endorsements for driving offences that have been imposed by a court or the issuing of an FPN become spent after five years (two and a half if you are under 18). Once a driving conviction has been ‘spent’, it will be automatically removed from your licence, and you will no longer need to declare it to your insurance provider.
Can you speed in an emergency?
Not unless you are driving an emergency vehicle — otherwise, there are no exceptions.
What is the national speed limit in the UK?
The UK has different speed limits throughout, so there is no single set speed limit. Speed limits depend on the type of road you are on, whether it is in a residential area, and the type of vehicle you are driving. Always observe road markings and speed signs, so you know what the limit is.
If you see a national speed limit sign, the speed limit for cars and motorcycles is 70 mph on motorways and 60 mph on a single carriageway.
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