Maximum Penalties for driving offences

Maximum Penalties for Driving Offences

What is the maximum penalty for a driving offence?

Driving Offence


Penalty Points

Driving Ban


Causing death by dangerous driving* Unlimited 3–11** Mandatory 14 years
Causing death by careless driving (drink or drugs) Unlimited 3–11** Mandatory 14 years
Dangerous driving* Unlimited 3–11**
Mandatory 2 years
Driving without due care and attention (careless / inconsiderate) £5,000 3–9 Discretionary
Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds £5,000 3–6 Discretionary 6 months
Drink Driving £5,000 3–11** Mandatory 6 months
Failing to provide specimen for analysis £5,000 3–11** Mandatory 6 months
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence £1,000 3–6 Discretionary
Driving without insurance FPN:£300
Driving whilst disqualified £5,000 6 Discretionary 6 months
Scotland: 12
Drug Driving £5,000 3–11** Mandatory 6 months
Failing to identify driver / provide details FPN:£200
6 Discretionary
Failing to stop / report accident £5,000 5–10 Discretionary 6 months
Level Crossing FPN:£100
3 Discretionary 6 months
No MOT Certificate FPN:£60
Red Traffic light FPN:£100
3 Discretionary
Seat belt offences FPN:£100
Speeding FPN:£100
Using mobile phone FPN:£200
* Where a court disqualifies a person on conviction for one of these offences, it must order an extended re–test. The courts also have discretion to order a re†test for any other offence which carries penalty points: an extended re–test where disqualification is Mandatory and an ordinary test where disqualification is not Mandatory.
** If exceptionally not disqualified.
†† If driving a bus, coach or heavy goods vehicle.
FPN Fixed Penalty Notice.

How is the fine calculated?

Fines imposed for motoring offences are based on a means tested calculation, subject to the circumstances of the offence, an early guilty plea discount, mitigation and any maximum figure imposed by statute.


What about the maximum I can be banned from driving?

Please review our Maximum Ban page for further details.

Maximum Ban

What is the better outcome, points or a ban?

For the majority of offences, the Court has discretion on whether to impose penalty points or an immediate disqualification. You will not receive both, it is one or the other but you could receive penalty points and then face a totting up disqualification for reaching 12 points for offences committed within 3 years.

In some circumstances, an immediate disqualification and avoiding penalty points may seem a more attractive option but if that is your preferred outcome, bear in mind that a short instant disqualification may be up to 56 or more days; there is no guarantee that the Court will limit a ban to 7 days.

Other implications also need to be taken into account. A disqualification on your licence may be a short term solution and avoid points but it is likely to trigger a higher insurance premium which could have a knock on effect for several years. Likewise, some employers will look upon a ban of any description as gross misconduct, whereas penalty points would be acceptable. Additionally, some hire car companies will refuse to deal with a driver who has any ban of any description on their licence. It follows that there are other implications which you should take into account before deciding on what potential penalty works best for you.

Nowadays, the Courts are quite wise to individuals who anticipate a short term ban and book a holiday immediately after the hearing. You need to be careful about how your case is presented if you are hoping to achieve an instant ban and want to limit that ban to a manageable period of time.

What is the penalty likely to be in my particular case?

Please contact us for a free, no obligation, penalty review:

Penalty Review

When is a prison sentence likely?

A serious offence can be punished by a prison sentence or community service order, in addition to a driving ban. If a prison sentence is part of the punishment, the driving ban will not commence until you are released; you cannot serve the ban whilst in prison. For some offences, such as dangerous driving, a custodial order is discretionary and will therefore depend upon the circumstances and issues arising therefrom. For other matters, such as causisng death by dangerous driving, it is compulsory and therefore the circumstances of the offence etc., will only affect the length of the sentence, they cannot prevent it.