Driving offence punishments

September 07, 2017 at 8:30 PM

Whatever your views are on UK driving laws, like them or not, we all have to adhere to them. Most of us do. And yet you'd be surprised how many well-respecting individuals manage to break them. 

When you drive off in your new used van, don't get carried away 

People do make mistakes. Often because they're distracted or driving too fast. Both are right up there for warranting points on your license and a fine. Or a day in court and then a prison sentence; losing your licence and your freedom. Nobody is perfect all the time, sometimes we just need a little nudge to keep us up to speed with the law. 

Driving offences fall into two main groups: major and minor. Minor offences are mostly dealt with through endorsable and non-endorsable FPNs

In most cases, if you've done something wrong and the police pull you over, they'll issue you with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). This is the typical points and a fine story, but you only get points with endorsable FPNs, usually for more serious minor offences. Expect to be fined anything between £50-300 and up to 6 points; you can either accept it or wait for your court summons. 

Often it's common sense, but the laws change sometimes too. That shiny used van you've got your eye on isn't invisible to speed cameras or the police and their fancy equipment, so here's a reminder which common driving offences catch some of us out, and the ones which deserve to be handed out. 

Minor offence punishments

Minor offences don't usually carry the weight major offences do, but each vary, and at their extremes cross the line to becoming major offences. Some offences' punishments have been upgraded to reflect their seriousness, so make a note. 

  • Driving without due care and attention: anything from 3 points to a ban and 5 years in prison, fines between £100-2,500. fines.
  • Incorrect or unsafe child seat: £500
  • Speeding: exceed the limit by 10% and get 3 points and a £100 fine; 45% over equals a trip to the magistrates' court, a huge fine and a possible ban.
  • No or incorrect insurance: £300-unlimited fines, 6 points or a ban, your used van being seized.
  • Handheld mobile use: £200-1,000 fine and a court appearance, plus 6 points.
  • Major offence punishments

    You'll hopefully agree that it's the major offences resulting in serious incidents which warrant the most severe punishment. If you mess up big time, you could be prosecuted for breaking multiple laws, with massive fines and lifelong consequences. 

  • Drink and drug driving: unlimited fines, a criminal record, minimum 1-year ban, 6 months to 14 years in prison.
  • Dangerous driving: carries the same penalties as drink and drug driving, and will be decided by the Magistrate.

  • The best advice is to stay safe on the roads and don't break the law. As you can see, it's not worth pushing your luck.


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