12 Points (Totting Up) & Exceptional Hardship
What does ‘Totting Up’ mean? – If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your licence for motoring offences committed within a 3 year period then the court has to consider imposing a minimum 6 month ban. This is often referred to as a ‘totting up ban’.
The offence dates are used to calculate the 3 year period so if you are on 9 points there’s no point delaying the sentencing date until some of your points ‘drop off’ your licence (reach their 3 year anniversary).
How can a Totting Up ban be avoided? – The most common way that we can seek to avoid the minimum 6 month totting ban, is often referred to as arguing Exceptional Hardship. To successfully argue exceptional hardship (and therefore avoid a ban or secure a totting up ban for less than the minimum period), we have to convince the court that yours is an exceptional case. Here are some examples of what is and isn’t usually considered to qualify as exceptional hardship –
Circumstances usually accepted to amount to exceptional hardship
- A ban results in you losing your job, your family’s finances are such that without your income you will have your house repossessed.
- You have no savings to enable you to manage the mortgage payments during the 6 months that you cannot work, you have no relatives who could provide you with a roof over your head, basically you would be homeless.
Circumstances NOT usually accepted to amount to exceptional hardship
- A totting up ban results in you losing your job but your partner’s income or savings are sufficient to enable you to just about manage during the period that you are unable to work.
- A totting up ban results in you losing your job but you have assets that can be sold to enable you to keep up with mortgage payments or rent until you can work again.
- A totting up ban results in you losing your job but you are likely to be able to get other work relatively easily (even with a lower wage) and the income from that alternative work enables you to just about manage your mortgage.
Things that can help
- Would other people reliant upon you suffer hardship as a result of you receiving a totting up disqualification, for example, children or elderly/disabled relatives who are dependent upon you for their livelihood/accommodation?
What is the ‘minimum period’ that applies to totting up bans?
- The usual minimum totting up disqualification is 6 months (unless you can argue exceptional hardship) BUT –
- If you have one previous disqualification for a period of 56 days or more, imposed within 3 years of the date of the new offence, then the minimum totting up disqualification period rises from 6 months to 12 months.
- If you have two previous disqualifications for periods of 56 days or more, imposed within 3 years of the date of the new offence, then the minimum totting up disqualification period rises from 12 months to 2 years.
Here is some client feedback relating to totting up / exceptional hardship cases that we have dealt with. (Also see our Google reviews and Trust Pilot reviews where you will find numerous further examples of clients for whom we have successfully argued exceptional hardship)
This client had made a bit of a mess of his case when attempting to represent himself. He subsequently instructed BB Law Ltd days before he was due to be disqualified by Luton Magistrates’ Court. We were able to get the conviction reopened and one of the offences dropped, which meant the client avoided a minimum 6 month Totting Up ban and walked away with a £60 fine, £0 court costs and 3 points! Here are the client’s feedback comments –
“Good evening Bobby. I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your professionalism and I would just like to thank you for representing me and the work you did for me. I appreciate it greatly. You have been an immense help, and I was in awe at the way you handled my case. I can only say that I feel that you handled my case very professionally and were very prompt with your replies to my questions which put my mind at ease immediately. It has meant that I can sustain my livelihood and continue to support my family; which is the most important thing and I will gladly promote your services. Thank you very much again!” – Mr J, W – Wigan
“Hi Bobby. Thank you for helping and supporting with such a difficult case, of which I was truly amazed with the outcome, realistically I should of lost my licence! If only more business and people were such good communicators as BB Law Ltd the world would be a better place. I certainly can’t thank you enough. Kind regards.” – Mr A, C – Hertfordshire
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your effort in saving my licence. I was pleased with the service I received. The communication, advice and direction was perfect. I received prompt responds to emails and any queries. I was also pleased with the way you took control of the hearing and dealt with it. I will be happy to direct any friends and family who will ever need your service. Once again, thanks for a job well done” – Mr A, F – West Midlands
“Many thanks for your help with my case. I would be very happy for you to quote the following as feedback on your site –
Bobby is an exceptional professional giving expert tailored advice. He is always approachable and always seems to reply instantaneously when you have a query. Prior to my case he was very thorough and if I had to use another lawyer in the future I would definitely approach Bobby again to get his opinion first. Thanks” – Mr J, C – Manchester
Even though this client had no grounds to argue Exceptional Hardship, we still managed to get his Totting Up ban reduced to 2 months rather than the usual 6 month minimum. It’s too complicated to explain on here how we did it but this is what the client had to say –
“Dear Bobby. Thank you for your superb advice and advocacy which led to an excellent result in my recent speeding trial. I was very impressed by how fast you responded to all of my questions (much faster and more flexible than more traditional ’9 to 5′ lawyers) and the quality of your advice was always accurate and clear. Your representation at the trial was very impressive and got the results I was looking for. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone I know who is looking for professional legal advice. Best regards” – Mr J, H – Bury St Edmunds
“Thank you Bobby. My journey leading to the positive outcome of not getting a driving ban even though I had reached twelve points (totting up ban) could not have gone any better. In the initial stages the costs can be scary but I am assured now more than ever that it was one of the best investments I could have made. I say investment as otherwise I believe that I could have lost my licence and earnings. I would like to thank you again for the great service and helping me to retain my licence. I would not hesitate in recommending Bobby to anyone. Thanks Again” – Mr S, H – Chesterfield
“Please accept my sincere thanks for getting me through the court process on Monday. You dealt with my case efficiently and effectively, all within a matter of two weeks. The preparation was thorough and the good advice ultimately led to the achievement of my desired result. I was immediately relieved as soon as you took on the case. Your experience showed, and your timely response to every query I had put my mind at ease. For that, I thank you once again.” – Mrs L, L – Manchester
“Dear Bobby. First, I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for saving not only my license – but by extension, my job. Given the turn of events that overtook proceedings on the day, I was impressed by the mettle and resourcefulness you showed in handling matters – and inexpressibly relieved by the final outcome. I can say with hand on heart, that your fee is probably the best investment I’ve ever made … or probably ever likely to. Excellent value not just in terms of outcome, but also for the quality of communications – and the timely manner in which I was kept abreast of proceedings and options at each step of the way. Having chosen you from a number of other specialist solicitors, I was immensely pleased by the vindication of my choice – not just in terms of outcome, but on cost too. My decision to appoint you was as much a result of your reputation on the forums, as of the confidence you inspired during our preliminary discussion … so, long may your stock continue to rise. With sincerest gratitude.” – Mr N, F – Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
“After long last I had my day in court today! Bobby had travelled down to Surrey where I met him at the court. He was prompt at checking us in and then sitting down with me to go over some details, with all that sorted, we were called in to court. This was new to me so I didn’t know what to expect but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, it was a bit “Apprentice” like with Alan Sugar sitting there with his 2 sidekicks. To anyone worried about appearing in court, as long as you KNOW you have told the truth, you have NO need to fear, it really isn’t bad.
My fear disappeared as soon as I saw the interior of the court room and I had the reassurance of Bobby who was eager to sink his teeth in. Charges were read out and Bobby set about defending me, each of the Magistrates were provided with a letter from my MD which Bobby advised me to get as I need my car for my job along with an aerial photo of the area I was caught to show the short distance the car was into the 50 zone. The clerk was an absolute monster, she really was on the ball and worth her money. She was trying her best to get me down for a 6 month totting ban and any excuse to throw dirt in our faces, she would. Bobby was able to put her back in her place every time, he oozed confidence and not once did he back down. He fought my corner to perfection and showed his knowledge without a stutter. A true professional. The result, 20 day ban and £200 fine. Result! It really would not have happened without the might of BB Law. All in all, another +1 for BB Law. I will not hesitate for 1 second to recommend BB Law. The service was superb, any time I would email, I would get a response instantly. Professional throughout, turning a messy situation into quite an enjoyable one.” – Mr M, B – Surrey
This client had 10 points on his licence and had already relied upon an exceptional hardship licence to avoid a 6 month totting up disqualification only a couple of months prior to this new Speeding offence (45 in a 30mph limit). The client posted this comment on a well known motoring law internet forum –
“Went to court on this without any excuses after hiring the services of Mr Bell of BB Law. Great communication from the start, only 30% of the cost of the last law firm i employed, and I would say all in all i had a better experience, more informative, faster communication and a better understanding of just how to approach the magistrates where as last time it was a just throw all we have from the start approach. This time we were fighting a losing battle from the start with my poor record but I ended up with a 21 day ban for the offence with no points on my license, this is just a great result for me and I wouldnt hesitate if anything ever happened again (praying it wont) to employ them again, happy this is all over, but invaluable forum here at pepipoo” – Mr J, S – Blackpool