What is an SP30 driving offence?

Get up to speed (but not over it).

Overworking the speedometer on public roads can lead to an SP30 driving offence.

Rules around speeding are there to keep everyone on the road safe. Understanding them will ensure that you help to do so, too. Plus, your wallet and your driving record will thank you.

Read on for all you need to know about speeding code SP30 and how not to be caught by it. 

What is an SP30 driving offence?

The legal definition of an SP30 offence is:

Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road

Here’s what that means in plain speak:

  • In the UK, driving offences are coded according to type
  • SP30 is the code to classify the act of going over the legal limit on a public road and getting caught

This kind of violation can be picked up on a speeding camera and by a mobile police van at a police spot check. 

Is an SP30 serious?

The short answer is that it’s definitely better to avoid getting an SP30 driving offence. 

It comes with a minimum penalty of:

If you’re unfamiliar with the system, points (also called endorsements) are added to your licence when you commit a driving offence. It’s a method of deterring drivers from committing dangerous actions. Depending on the offence, these points will stay on your record for between four and 11 years. 

If you accrue 12 or more points over three years, you may be disqualified from driving. The rules are even stricter for new drivers, where just six points in two years can result in your licence being revoked. 

The bottom line is it’s best to keep these points away from your record. That means staying away from an SP30 driving offence and any other violation that will add points to your licence. 

What is the difference between an SP30 and SP40?

An SP30 and SP40 are both codes for driving offences, but you get them for different violations. As discussed, an SP30 is the code for driving too fast on a public road. 

An SP40 is very similar, but it is specifically given out to passenger vehicles. A passenger vehicle is, as you may have guessed, one that carries passengers, like a car or motorbike.

The official legal definition of an SP40 offence is:

Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit

If you’re thinking that sounds similar to an SP30, you’re right. They are similar infractions that typically come with the same amounts of points added to your licence. 

So why do these subtle differences in code exist? Essentially, they help the authorities log the specific nature of the offences being committed. In some cases, you may get more than one endorsement for one incident of bad driving — even more reason to obey the rules of the road. 

Other speeding offences include:

  • SP10: Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits
  • SP20: Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)
  • SP50: Exceeding speed limit on a motorway

Like an SP30, these speeding offences all come with a fine and three to six points on your licence.

What happens if you get an SP30?

If you fear you may have been caught speeding on a public road, you’re likely wondering what happens next. Here’s what to expect — and what’s expected of you. 

If you are caught by a speed camera, here’s what will happen:

  • The following documents will arrive by post within 14 days of the offence:
    • A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) which will outline the details of the offence. 
    • A Section 172 notice, which you will have to complete within 28 days of receiving it to let the authorities know who was driving the car at the time. If you ignore this, you may be prosecuted.
  • It’s your responsibility to return the Section 172 within the allotted time frame.
  • Once you have sent your completed Section 172 notice back, you will receive one of the following:
    • A fixed penalty notice (FPN), which will inform you of the fine you have to pay and the number of points that will be added to your licence. 

You have the opportunity to comply by pleading guilty. If you do this, it usually means you’ll have to pay the fine and have the penalty points added to your licence. That way, you don’t have to go to court. 

If you plead not guilty, the next step is going to court. It’s important to note that if you’re found guilty in court, you could get a higher fine and more penalty points added to your licence. So it’s best to be really sure you’re on the right side of the law before taking this course of action. 

  • Notification to appear in court

If a police officer stops you for speeding, the process is similar. They may:

  • Give you a verbal warning
  • Issue you an FPN that will detail the penalties for your offence (they may give this to you on the spot or have it sent to you by post)
  • Give or send you a notification to appear in court

You may have the option to attend a speed awareness course rather than paying a fine and having points added to your licence. The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme course is specifically for minor offences and offers drivers the opportunity to alter their driving behaviour so that everyone around them can be safe. 

You can only take this course if you have been invited to do so. If this is you, here’s where you go to book your course.

If you are driving a hired vehicle, the fine will be sent to the rental company. They will likely deduct the fine amount plus an admin fee from the bank card you used to book the vehicle or pass your name on to the authorities so that you can pay it directly. 

SP30 driving offence: FAQs

How do I contest an SP30 offence?

If you have been issued an SP30 unfairly, you can contest the ticket. Unfortunately, you will have to go to court to do so. You will have the opportunity to appeal your case. It’s essential, however, that you are sure it was delivered incorrectly, as if your appeal is unsuccessful, you could face an even higher fine and more penalty points.

How long does an SP30 stay on your licence?

An SP30 offence will remain on your driving record for at least four years from the date you were caught. For example, if you committed the offence on 30 May 2024, the endorsement will stay on your licence until 30 May 2028. 

More serious offences, such as drink driving and drug driving, will stay on your record for 11 years. 

Will an SP30 affect my insurance?

If an SP30 shows up on your driving record, you’ll likely pay more for your vehicle insurance. That’s because your insurance provider will consider you more of a risk than if you had a clean slate. 

Our research shows that an SP30 speeding conviction will increase your insurance costs by about £36 a year.

The good news is that a speeding offence is not as much of a blemish as other offences, such as driving under the influence

Comparing insurance quotes from different providers can be really helpful here, as some insurers specialise in covering convicted drivers. 

There’s another option, too. By installing what is known as a “black box” — a device that is fitted to your car and reports back to your insurer about your driving habits — your insurer may be willing to lower your rate.

If you’d like some help with all things insurance, we’re happy to chat!

Quickfire summary

An SP30 driving offence is a code given to the driving offence of speeding on a public road. 

If you’re caught speeding under this code, you will receive an NIP detailing the offence. You will also receive a Section 172 notice that you’ll have to return to the authorities with details of who was driving at the time. You have the right to appeal the offence, but it has to be done in court. 

An SP30 driving offence comes with a minimum penalty of a £100 fine and three to six penalty points on your licence. A speeding conviction can also affect how much you pay for vehicle insurance. 

If you have received an SP30 and want to ensure that you get the best insurance deal, speak to the team at Howden. There are insurance options available to suit your circumstances.

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