Fixed penalty notices are an 'administrative alternative' to prosecution before a magistrates’ court.

It includes a fine and in most cases penalty points too.

If you are stopped for a motoring offence which can be dealt with in this way you will be issued a notice on the spot or through the post from the police.

If you accept guilt, pay the fine or collect the points, you will avoid a court summons, but if you challenge it you will have to appear in court.

A notice will be £50, £100, £200 or £300.

There are two types of fixed penalty notices - endorsable and non-endorsable.

An endorsable ticket means points on your licence – normally three points – while a non-endorsable ticket is a fine only.

If you commit a driving offence which is considered more serious, for example drink driving, you will end up in court.

The RAC has put together a list of offences which could land you with a fine and points.

£50 non-endorsable fixed penalty notice offences include:

  • Neglect of traffic regulations (e.g. failing to conform to traffic signs – give way, roundabout vehicle priority, box junction road markings)
  • Negligent use of motor vehicle (e.g. not in proper control, driver not having full view ahead, opening car door as to cause injury)
  • Vehicle registration and excise licence offences (e.g. registration mark not easily readable)
  • Motorway offences (e.g. stopping vehicle on hard shoulder without a valid reason)
  • Vehicle or part in dangerous or defective condition (e.g. window not clear and unobstructed, no windscreen wipers)
  • Neglect of pedestrian rights (e.g. not driving on the road)
  • Lighting offences (e.g. lamps not showing steady lights, misuse of head/fog lights)
  • Noise offences (e.g. causing unnecessary noise, sounding horn at night)
  • Load offences (e.g. exceeding weight restriction)
  • Cycle and motorcycle offences (e.g. cycling on footpath, motorcyclists not wearing protective headgear)

£100 endorsable fixed penalty notice offences include:

  • Speeding offences
  • Careless driving (e.g. middle lane hogging and tailgating and reckless overtaking)
  • Motorway offences (e.g. reversing on a motorway, driving on hard shoulder/central reservation, using lanes marked with red ‘X’ signs)
  • Neglect of traffic directions (e.g. not stopping at a red traffic light)
  • Neglect of pedestrian rights (e.g. stopping within limits of zebra/pelican/puffin crossing)
  • Load offences (e.g. danger of injury due to number of passengers or manner in which they are carried)
  • Motorcycle offences (e.g. carrying more than one passenger)
  • Unrestrained animals (e.g. distraction from unsecured dogs in the back seat)

£100 non-endorsable fixed penalty notice offences include:

  • Failure to wear a seat belt whilst driving
  • Vehicle test offence (using a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate)

£200 endorsable fixed penalty notice offences include:

  • Duty to identify driver
  • Using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving

£300 endorsable fixed penalty offences include:

  • Driving without third party insurance