5. Fixed penalties
If you get a fixed penalty from a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officer or the police, the amount you have to pay could depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.
Offences you can be fined for include:
- your vehicle weighing more than its maximum permitted weight
- driving for too long without taking a break
- your vehicle not being roadworthy (for example, if it has a bald tyre)
You can be fined between £50 and £300. You can be taken to court for more serious offences, and a magistrate will decide how much your fine is.
You can check you’ve been fined the correct amount by reading DVSA’s guide to offences and fines.
Endorsements to your driving licence
For some offences, you’ll get points added to your licence (endorsements) as well as a fine. For example, if your vehicle has defective brakes, you’ll be given a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence.
You must present your driving licence within 14 days if the offence is endorsable.
Fixed penalty notices
You must have a UK address you can be easily contacted through. Bed and breakfast, hotel, agency or solicitor addresses aren’t normally accepted.
If you have a satisfactory UK address, you’ll have 28 days from when you’re given a fixed penalty notice to either:
- pay the fine
- ask for a court hearing if you want to appeal
In Scotland, you’ll get a ‘conditional offer’ instead of a fixed penalty notice. You get 28 days from the date of issue to pay the fine. After this, you could be prosecuted if you don’t pay.
If you don’t have a satisfactory UK address
You’ll have to pay a ‘financial penalty deposit’. This will be either:
- the total of all fixed penalty notices issued (if you want to appeal, you must do so within 28 days)
- £500 per offence if you go to court - you’ll have to pay on the spot and go to court later
In both cases the maximum amount you’ll have to pay as a deposit is £1,500. You have to pay this straight away - if you don’t, you might not be allowed to drive your vehicle.
The money from deposits is used to pay any fixed penalties or court fines.
You’ll be refunded any money left over from your deposit after fines have been paid.
Your vehicle will be immobilised if you don’t pay the deposit.