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What Happens if You Ignore a Speeding Ticket UK? 2022

HomeCouncil FinesWhat Happens if You Ignore a Speeding Ticket UK? 2022
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What happens if you ignore a speeding ticket in the UK? It’s estimated that over two million UK motorists receive a speeding ticket each year. Most drivers agree to pay the fine and move on. But some people ignore their speeding tickets. 

Is this a good idea? Find out below in this MoneyNerd guide. 

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UK speeding tickets explained

If you drive above the speed limit on UK roads, you could be caught by a speed camera or police officer and eventually issued a speeding ticket, officially called a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

The amount of your fine will be primarily determined by how far over the speed limit you were travelling and your weekly income. There are different “bands” to determine the severity of your speeding. The more you speed the greater the percentage of your weekly income that you’ll be fined. A full table of these bands can be found here

Band F allows the police to fine you between 500% and 700% of your weekly income. However, Fixed Penalty Notices are capped at £1,000 and £2,500 on motorways. 

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What happens after you get caught speeding?

If you get caught speeding by a police officer, the officer can give you a verbal notice of potential prosecution. But if you’re caught speeding by a camera, the registered vehicle keeper will be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) in the post. 

The NIP comes with a Section 172 Notice, which the keeper is required to fill out, detailing who was driving the vehicle at the time of the speeding incident. 

After returning the document, the offending driver will be sent a Fixed Penalty Notice telling them how much they are being fined and how many penalty points they can accept on their license. 

However, if you already have 8+ penalty points on your license or were speeding excessively, you could instead be prosecuted in court. 

What happens if you’re prosecuted instead?

When you’re prosecuted instead of issued a Fixed Penalty Notice, you’ll receive notice through court summons. This means you’ll have to attend a court hearing, where the fines and punishments for speeding are likely to be more significant. 

The police have up to six months to send out court summons. 

What happens if you ignore a NIP?

It’s the registered vehicle owner’s legal obligation to respond to the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 28 days. If you ignore a NIP, you will be summoned to the Magistrates’ Court for failing to comply, as well as for the original speeding offence. 

The Magistrates’ Court could then fine you up to £1,000, add six penalty points to your license and a judge may even disqualify you from driving altogether. 

How long do you have to respond to a speeding ticket (UK)?

After receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice for speeding, you have 28 days to accept the fine and possible penalty points on your license

What happens if I ignore my speeding fine?

If you don’t respond to the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) within 28 days, the matter will be referred to the Magistrates’ Court. The court will send you a letter, giving you an opportunity to plead guilty to ignoring the FPN. If you accept guilt, you’ll be handed an even bigger fine and you’ll have to pay court costs.

If you don’t accept guilt, you’ll be subject to further court action a warrant for your arrest could even be issued. So, it’s a good idea to never ignore a speeding ticket in the UK. 

Can you get out of a speeding ticket UK?

There are limited ways to get out of a UK speeding ticket. The best way to get out of a speeding ticket is if the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is sent to you more than 14 days after the alleged offence. 

If a NIP is sent after 14 days, the case cannot progress to court, meaning they can never be prosecuted for speeding on this occasion. 

But remember, a NIP isn’t required if a police officer already gave you verbal notice. 

The other way to get out of a speeding ticket is to contest the matter in court. It can be difficult to successfully contest a speeding ticket. If you’re proven to have been speeding at all, even for just a brief moment, you will lose the case. 

The only way to contest it and get out of a speeding ticket is to prove:

  1. You weren’t speeding at all
  2. Your car had been stolen
  3. You weren’t the one driving
  4. There was no legal notice of the speeding limit on the road

Speeding tickets in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Speeding tickets work identically in Scotland and Northern Ireland as they do in England and Wales. There are some differences, however:

  1. Speeding offences in Scotland get reported for prosecution to the Procurator Fiscal. Failing to pay will get you referred to the District Court. 
  2. Drivers from Northern Ireland who commit a speeding offence in England, Scotland or Wales can accept endorsement penalty points, which avoids the need for them to attend court.   

What happens if you ignore a speeding ticket in the UK? (Recap!)

If you don’t respond to a Fixed Penalty Notice for speeding within 28 days, the case can be passed to the Magistrates’ Court. The court will send you a letter as an opportunity to own up to ignoring the speeding ticket, and you’ll have to accept an even greater fine and pay a court fee. 

If you don’t admit guilt when this letter arrives, further legal proceedings will be made against you and a warrant for your arrest could be issued.

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