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What is a fixed penalty notice and what it means for PCO drivers?

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Driving in and around London can be tricky, especially if you’re new to private hire driving. 

For Uber drivers, a fixed penalty notice (or an FPN) can be issued for a wide range of minor motoring offences, such as speeding, restricted turns and box junctions. 

Worse still, we recently noticed some drivers ended up being charged significantly more when they failed to complete the process properly. 

But don’t worry – the Otto Team is here to help. Nobody is left behind. 

Here’s everything you need to know about fixed penalty tickets, including what to do after receiving a speeding ticket, and how much speeding fines are.

Read more: How to avoid getting fines as an Uber driver

What is a fixed penalty notice?

A fixed penalty notice is a conditional offer – which means you can accept guilt, pay the fine and take the penalty points without going to court. You’ll have to go to court if you plead not guilty.

A fixed penalty notice can be issued on the spot, or sent by post. 

If you are caught by a speed camera, after receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and returning the Section 172 notice, you’ll normally be sent a fixed penalty ticket, that’s the speeding ticket. 

What should a PCO driver do after getting a fixed penalty notice?

There are many different types of fixed penalty notices. Speeding is one of the most common offences. 

If you’re caught speeding, it’s likely you’ll have to pay a £100 fine and have 3 penalty points added to your licence. You’ll have 28 days to make the payment. 

Please note, you must send your driving licence to the DVLA to have the penalty points added. 

Find out more about how to pay your speeding fine online here

Check out the top hotspots where PCO drivers get a speeding ticket here

What happens if you don’t pay your speeding fine?

If you accept the fixed penalty notice but then fail to pay or provide the necessary information within 28 days, you may have to go to court. 

Did you know?

If you ignore the fixed penalty notice and get sent to court, your speeding fine could be much higher. 

The amount you are fined depends on the speed limit and the recorded speed when you were driving. It’s usually a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway).

London PCN hotspots for Uber drivers

Can I take a speed awareness course instead?

Yes, only if you have been invited. 

Minor speeding offenders may be sent an option to attend a speed awareness course, instead of being issued a fixed penalty notice. 

When assessing your eligibility for the course, the police will consider your speed, and whether you’ve already completed one within three years. 

Please note that you’ll have to pay for the course, which is about the same as a typical fixed penalty notice, but you don’t get any penalty points on your driving licence. 

What’s the difference between a fixed penalty notice and a penalty charge notice?

A fixed penalty notice (FPN) is issued by the police for motoring offences, such as speeding. It can lead to higher fines, penalty points on your driving licence, court action and even a driving ban. 

However, a penalty charge notice (PCN) is issued by local councils or transport authorities for parking contraventions or minor driving offences. You can get a PCN for not paying the London Congestion Charge, Dart Charge, or ULEZ Charge

We hope this article is helpful to private hire drivers in London. The last thing you want is to get a ticket. So to avoid getting fined and keep your hard-earned money, the best way is to drive safely and respect all speed limits. 

To learn more about FPNs, PCNs or private hire driving as an Uber driver, read our guide here, or feel free to pop into any of our London hubs

Want to learn more?

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