Paying a Speeding Fine
Fixed Penalty Notice
Will I be given time to pay a Fixed Penalty? Can I pay by instalments?
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. For Court hearings, the Court will specify a date by which the fine must be paid or will set a monthly instalment order.
What will happen if I ignore a Fixed Penalty Notice?
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 I elect for a Court hearing, will the Magistrates be more lenient?
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.
Will I be given time to pay a Court fine? Can I pay by instalments?
Any Any fine imposed by the Court is due in full immediately. However, in certain circumstances, with the correct approach a Defendant can obtain an Instalment Order or an extended period of time to pay. Do not assume that the Court will agree to payment by instalments in your case as the Magistrates may suggest, for example, that a fine takes priority and can be paid by credit card.
I think the Court fine imposed is too high. Can I appeal the amount?
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 within 21 days of the hearing. The Court will then set a date to review the case and consider any further submission you wish to make.
How can I make payment?
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 Courts in England and Wales, payment can be made online via the DirectGov website:
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:
What is a Collection Order?
The Collection Order is confirmation of the fine imposed (to include costs/victim surcharge) and how that money is to be paid. The Order will also clarify whether you are treated as an "existing defaulter" (i.e. a person who has failed to pay fines in the past) and whether any other terms have been imposed, i.e. an Attachment of Earnings Order, Deduction from Benefits Order etc. In most cases, the Order will simply clarify the figure, payment instalment and an indication as to the potential penalties should you default.
What will happen if I do not make payment/ignore the penalty?
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 Collection 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.
I have accidently failed to pay my fine. What should I do next?
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.
Can someone else pay the fine on my behalf?
Yes, if they are willing to do so, and have all the appropriate details to process the payment.