Paying a Speeding Fine
- Fixed Penalty
- Will I be given time to pay a speeding fine? Can I pay by instalments?
- What will happen if I ignore a Fixed Penalty Notice?
- If I elect for a Court hearing, will the Magistrates be more lenient?
- Is it true that if I overpay my Fixed Penalty the computer system will not be able to endorse my driving licence?
- Court Summons / Postal Requisition / Citation
- Will I be given time to pay a Court fine? Can I pay by instalments?
- What if I cannot afford the fine imposed?
- I think the Court fine imposed is too high. Can I appeal the amount?
- How can I make payment?
- What will happen if I do not make payment/ignore the penalty?
- I have accidently failed to pay my fine. What should I do next?
- Can someone else pay the fine on my behalf?
A Fixed Penalty will be subject to acceptance within 28 days. This means that you must comply with all terms imposed which includes processing payment within that time period. If for any reason you cannot make payment in the time limit stipulated, you cannot accept the Fixed Penalty.
The Fixed Penalty is a conditional offer, which means that the terms imposed must be complied with. If you ignore a Fixed Penalty, or fail to comply in time, the case will referred to Court.
If you plead guilty, having rejected a Fixed Penalty, the likelihood is the penalty will be more severe. A Fixed Penalty already takes into account any mitigation that would be considered by the Court.
If you plead not guilty and the case is dismissed, you will not face any punishment at all and should recover your costs. However, should you plead not guilty and be convicted, the likelihood is that the penalty will be more severe than if you pleaded guilty from the outset.
Is it true that if I overpay my Fixed Penalty the computer system will not be able to endorse my licence?
No. Before a Fixed Penalty is processed, you will have to submit your driving licence. If you do not do so, the payment will be returned. If you pay the wrong amount, again, it will be returned. In both cases, the matter will then be referred to Court as you have failed to comply with the terms of the conditional offer. This could then result in a higher penalty.
Any fine imposed by the Court would normally be subject to immediate payment. However, if you request time to pay, it will normally be granted if you can show an inability to make immediate payment. The Court will set the date by which payment should be made in full (i.e. within 28 days) or detail a payment schedule (e.g. £100 per month).
If you cannot make payment pursuant to the deadline/schedule, you must contact the Court and apply for an extension of time or for the payment schedule to be amended. It is your obligation to notify the Court as soon as any difficulty arises. If you fail to do so, and miss a payment, the Court can issue a warrant without further notice.
Yes. As with any penalty, if you believe that it is unreasonable, you have the option to appeal. You need to lodge an appeal with the Court who will then set a date to review the case and consider any further submission you wish to make.
If you are at Court, you can make payment by cash, cheque, debit/credit card at the Court Funds Office. Alternatively, you can pay by credit/debit card over the phone:
England: 0300 790 9901
Wales: 0300 790 9980
For some Courts in England and Wales, payment can be made online via the DirectGov website. This service has not yet been extended to all Courts; it is due to be completed by September 2009.
At present, fines in Scotland have to be paid via the individual Court office but a nationwide online system should be introduced shortly. However, there are fine enforcement teams for six different areas whose details can be obtained from the following website:
Failure to make payment will result in further action which will also lead to further costs. Initially, you may receive a reminder but the Court can enforce the Order by way of instructing bailiffs, or imposing an Attachment of Earnings Order and obtaining payment direct from your employer before you get paid. Other enforcement steps can be taken or in extreme cases, a Warrant will be issued for your arrest and if payment is still not made, a custodial sentence can be imposed.
If you are in a position to do so, make the payment immediately. If it is clear that his has been a one off error, in all probability, no further action will be taken.
Yes, if they are willing to do so, and have all the appropriate details to process the payment.