Fleet News

How to navigate the penalty charge notice ‘nightmare’

Speeding fines

Police forces in England and Wales issued 711,700 fixed penalty notices for speeding in 2013, the most recent year for which official records are available.

If an employee is caught speeding in a company vehicle, the registered keeper will receive a notice of intended prosecution (NIP).

It is their responsibility to provide details of who was driving at the time of the alleged offence.

Any failure to provide the information and a separate offence will have been committed.

Philip Somarakis, partner and specialist road traffic and regulatory lawyer at law and professional services firm Gordon Dadds and company secretary of ACFO, says: “Fleet managers must exercise reasonable diligence in identifying drivers through checking records: phone calls, emails and receipts, for example.

“If fleet managers are unable to instantly identify a driver, perhaps if they were at the wheel of a pool vehicle, then they must turn detective.

“Ultimately, if a fleet manager cannot identify a driver they must be able to satisfy a court that it was reasonable not to have a record of who was driving that vehicle at that specific time.”

The NIP must be served on the driver or registered keeper within 14 days of the offence, otherwise the offence cannot proceed at court.

Having received the NIP, the Section 172 notice must be returned providing driver details at the time of the alleged offence within 28 days (21 days in Northern Ireland).

If the police are going to send a conditional offer of a fixed penalty notice, they will normally do so shortly after the section 172 notice is returned. 

The offending driver must either pay the fine or formally contest the speeding offence in court.

Conditional offers have no official system for appeals, though some police forces do accept informal letters of appeal, especially if the speeding ticket has been issued in error.

If an employee is caught speeding, the action taken will depend on various circumstances, but mostly on how far the speed limit was exceeded.

In most cases a fixed penalty notice with a fine of £100 and three penalty points will be the result, but in the most severe cases a driver will be prosecuted in court and could face a fine of £1,000 (£2,500 of speeding on a motorway), between three and six penalty points, and a possible driving disqualification.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • tony.damelio - 23/09/2019 21:34

    Please note, in the majority of cases, the Parking ticket to owner/user, does not have an option to disclose driver details, in order for the Council/Private enforcement companies to pursue the fine from the offending driver.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • james darby - 01/11/2019 12:50

    got a ticket 4 months old do i have to pay it as new nothing about it

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • JEAN BICKNELL - 08/11/2019 19:45

    I'm not sure I agree with some of the statements in this article. Penalty Notices and Parking Charge Notices are sent to the Registered Keeper, the details of which are obtained from DVLA. Depending on where the alleged offence occurred determines how the recipient needs to act. Eg if it was a railway station the registered keeper can NEVER be held responsible - although the Parking Companies will try to convince the RK that they are. If the offence was on other types of land very strict rules apply to the way the notice was issued before the RK can be held liable and VERY frequently the notice was not issued correctly . Before responding to any sort of 'Parking Charge/Fine' you would be well advised to visit sites such as Pepipoo' or 'Money Saving Expert' to get advice on how to proceed. Very often the notices are invalid and you will ultimately not have to pay anything.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • R H Lewis - 06/01/2020 15:57

    There is nothing about "bus lanes"do they have to be paid?

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • LINDA HOAD - 31/03/2020 18:38

    CAN YOU GIVE any information on pcn for turning into a right hand turn when you should not have done. it was not a very clear sign as there were other according to the internet many people never noticed it when exiting b &q romford

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee