Exceptional Hardship

Since 2011, 92% of our clients who had 12 or more penalty points were able to continue driving.

Our Service

We have an excellent record of helping clients avoid penalty points disqualifications. This has been built up over many years of representing clients throughout the whole of England and Wales. We will advise you what supporting documentation needs to be obtained to support the argument being put forward and, for a fixed fee, will spend however long it takes with you to meticulously prepare the case. You will then be represented by a specialist road traffic solicitor or barrister in Court. Call us now for a free no obligation consultation.


What happens if I have 12 points endorsed on my driving licence?

If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your licence for offences that occur within a 3 year period (often referred to as “totting up”) the court will normally impose a penalty points disqualification of at least 6 months. The only exception is if it is proven that as a result you or someone who relies upon your ability to drive would suffer “exceptional hardship” as a result. The Court may only decide not to impose a penalty points disqualification if it finds that exceptional hardship would be caused. This discretion only applies to a penalty points disqualification. It does not apply to offences which carry a mandatory disqualification, such as driving with excess alcohol.

What is a penalty points disqualification and how can it be avoided?

Exceptional hardship is not merely hardship in being disqualified (which everyone would suffer as a result of a penalty points disqualification) but something “exceptional.” To have a good chance of succeeding, it will be necessary for you to prove hardship which would have wider reaching consequences to you and/or other people in the event that you were to be given a penalty points disqualification.

Does how I reached 12 points make a difference to my exceptional hardship argument?

When considering an exceptional hardship argument the Court cannot take into consideration any mitigating circumstances which relate to the offences themselves. In other words it is considering the effect of the disqualification only and not how you reached 12 penalty points.

What happens if the Court finds there is exceptional hardship?

If the Court finds that exceptional hardship does apply to your case it can either impose no penalty points disqualification or disqualify for a shorter period that the normal minimum period of 6 months. If the Court decides to impose no penalty points disqualification then the penalty points on your driving licence will continue to apply, meaning you may still be at risk should you commit further offences.

Do I have to attend Court for exceptional hardship?

You may enter your plea by post initially but if disqualification is being considered the Court will adjourn your case for you to attend in person. If you do not attend the adjourned hearing then the Court could disqualify you in absences so it is essential that you do so.

I have argued exceptional hardship successfully before – may I do so again?

Should you commit a further offence within 3 years which results in you appearing before a Court again with 12 or more penalty points on your licence, you will be unable to rely on the same circumstances relied upon previously to avoid a totting up disqualification. To be successful, you must show that the circumstances relied upon are different in nature to those put forward previously.