Owning and driving a car is already an expensive business. But there are various motoring offences that could make it even pricier if you commit them. We’ve hunted down a selection of the four-figure fines that you could be hit with for driving, car and admin infringements.
You might be surprised to read that some fines for what might seem like fairly petty offences are actually quite hefty.
Dodgy tyres could get you the biggest fine
If you have four illegal tyres, you could be hit with a £2,500 fine per dodgy tyre plus three penalty points on your licence. That means for four unroadworthy tyres, a driver could be stung with a £10,000 fine and lose their licence with 12 penalty points.
But that’s in a very extreme case. It’ll be obvious the driver has been putting themselves and other road users at risk. What’s more, they will probably have been doing so knowingly and over a period of time.
If a police officer or officer from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency notices a tyre that’s worn a bit beyond the 1.6mm legal tread depth, they will usually decide whether to give a fixed penalty notice. That will be a fine between £50 and £300.
In serious cases, they will refer offenders to court. The magistrates then decide how much the fine will be. Courts take a dim view of motoring offences such as driving with bald tyres. According to research by Confused.com, the average tyre offender is hit with six points on their licence. And those who have been fined by the courts pay an average of £2,700.
Drive without reasonable consideration for other road users and you could be liable for a fine of up to £5,000. But that is for extreme cases. Splash a pedestrian by driving through a puddle and you’re probably more likely to get a £100 fixed penalty notice.
Equally, swearing at another driver might be considered disorderly conduct. The result could be a fine that’s 75 per cent of your weekly income, up to a maximum £1,000. In extreme cases, if it’s judged to be threatening behaviour, the fine can be as much as £5,000.
Driving with no MOT could land a hefty penalty
If the police stop you because their Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras show you don’t have a valid MOT, that’s a motoring offence that could result in a £1,000 fine.
As with the illegal tyres, if it’s your first offence, it’s a genuine oversight and you get an MOT swiftly, you’re likely to get away with a lot less. But if your car isn’t roadworthy…
Driving an unroadworthy car? Best not to
The fine for driving with no MOT is significant. But if your car doesn’t have an MOT, there’s a good chance it will have some faults that make it unroadworthy too. Driving a car that isn’t safe to be on the road attracts a £2,500 fine in extreme cases.
If that doesn’t deter you, the points might. A court can award you three points for every fault. So faulty lights will be three points, unsafe brakes three points, a bald tyre three points and so on. It’ll only take four faults before you’ve reached the 12 points to lose your licence.
Check your cat
Catalytic converters are expensive bits of kit. And cat thefts have been soaring (they’ve more than doubled over the past 12 months according to research by Which?). Yours might have been stolen and not replaced. Or perhaps it’s failed and you’ve taken it out instead of replacing it. In either case, you could be hit with a £1,000 fine.
Like the other penalties, you’re unlikely to get the full £1,000 fine if your cat was only pinched the previous week. But it could still be expensive.
Keep on top of the admin
Moving house can be a busy time. But forgetting to tell the DVLA might result in a fine of up to £1,000. As with all the others, this is in extreme cases when you haven’t told them for years. But even so, no fine is a good fine.
Don’t mess with your number plates
With winter coming, the roads are going to get dirty. And that means car number plates can become obscured. A bit of muck is fine. But the authorities take a dim view of number plates that are so filthy they can’t be read. Equally, number plate lights that don’t work and character spacing, size or fonts that don’t comply with the law could all land you with a £1,000 penalty.