The Fixer: Avoiding a speeding fine
Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?
It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.
This week, she advises a motorist how to contest a speeding conviction and prevent it pushing up her insurance premiums.
A month or so ago I was caught speeding by a speed camera. It claims that I was travelling above the speed limit for the A road on which I was driving.
I am therefore being asked to pay a £60 fine. Worse than that, however, I have been told that three penalty points must be added to my driving licence.
And a friend has warned me that this will increase the cost of my car insurance, which I am already expecting to go up next year because the European Union is stopping insurers offering lower premiums to women.
I am not even convinced that I was travelling faster than I should have been. What would you advise?
M Bridge, Derby
Dear Miss Bridge,
Your friend is right about a speeding conviction increasing your car insurance premiums.
Figures from comparison website MoneySupermarket indicate that a speeding conviction adds around 17% to the cost of an annual policy.
However, you may be able to avoid penalty points – and your insurance premiums going up – by opting to take a National Speed Awareness course (as long as you have not been caught speeding before or taken the course within three years).
If you really are convinced that you were not exceeding the speed limit, it is also worth knowing that speed cameras have to be calibrated at least once a year.
You should therefore ask to see a calibration certificate that proves that particular camera has been calibrated within 12 months of the alleged offence.
You may even be able to get your case dropped completely if it has not been done within that timeframe.
If not, remember that shopping around for car insurance rather than simply accepting the renewal quote from your existing insurer can reduce your premiums by hundreds of pounds a year.
Whatever your financial problem, write to email@example.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.