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Exceptional Hardship – Avoid a Totting Up Ban

Our Motorist Defence Team have an outstanding success rate of helping drivers keep their licence or reduce a ban with the Exceptional Hardship argument. If you have 12 points on your licence and need some advice we are here to help Email our Transport Team

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What is Exceptional Hardship?

Exceptional hardship can usually be argued on the grounds of either emotional hardship or financial hardship. In order to successfully argue a case of exceptional hardship you will need to put forward a compelling and convincing argument that proves a ban would cause you more difficulties than would normally be suffered by other motorists in your position. For example, it is not enough to argue that losing your driving licence would cause an inconvenience and loss of job in itself isn’t always accepted to be exceptional hardship.

What is a totting up ban?

If you have accrued 12 or more penalty points for driving offences then you automatically face a six month driving ban under totting up rules. Understandably this could have a detrimental impact on your employment, finances and family. However, under an argument of exceptional hardship you may be able to avoid a disqualification.

Need help with 12 points on your licence? Call our exceptional hardship experts – 0115 910 6234

It is important to note that whilst the court might not disqualify you, your licence will still be endorsed with penalty points which will remain live for three years, for the purposes of future court proceedings. This means that if you face disqualification again within three years, you may not be able to put forward the same argument to avoid disqualification again.

12 Points on licence – How long could you be banned for?

If you do accumulate 12 points or more within a three year period, you will be disqualified for a minumum of at least 6 months under the totting up rules unless you successfully argue exceptional hardship. However, the length of ban can increase depending on your driving record:

  • 6 months – standard minimum ban as required by the courts as soon as you reach 12 points on your licence
  • 1 year – You will receive a 12 month ban for accumulating 12 points if you have had a previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 36 months
  • 2 years – You will receive a two year ban if you have had more than one disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 36 months

Our motorist defence team are experts in advancing exceptional hardship arguments and can help you receive a shortened ban or even avoid disqualification altogether.

97% success rate in helping clients to avoid a totting up ban through exceptional hardship arguments – check our Google Reviews

Arguing exceptional hardship is not easy, and seeking legal advice is often recommended as there is a great deal of preparation required in order to put forward a satisfactory argument. At Rotheras we have a wealth of experience in preparing and putting forward successful exceptional hardship arguments for our clients, ensuring that they can keep their licence.

Why use Rotheras for Exceptional Hardship arguments?

We will help you in gathering materials to support your argument and assess all relevant information relating to your personal and professional circumstances to put before the court.

We will use our previous experience to collate the necessary documentation and evidence to improve your chances of achieving a positive outcome.

You will be assigned a member of the motoring team who specialises in exceptional hardship arguments and will guide you through the process from start to finish.

We regularly appear at Magistrates’ Courts throughout the UK to present exceptional hardship arguments.

We can offer Skype and Zoom meetings and represent clients across the UK.

We will work closely with you to ascertain your personal circumstances so we can provide a tailored exceptional hardship argument and legal advice that is specific to you.

We have a site dedicated solely to Motoring Offences whilst still using the same expert Motoring solicitors, so if you’re looking for more information about types of offences, our team, where we operate or case studies from some of our previous clients, then head over to Keep Me On The Road. If you feel you’ve read enough and want to speak to one of the country’s leading Transport Law teams, call now on 0115 910 6234

We’re award winning and top rated in Google, have a look at our Google reviews for your own piece of mind

Strongest arguments

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Hourly rates apply, these are as follows:

Anton Balkitis



Chris Powell

Senior Associate


Olivia Maginn



Lindsey Thorpe



Lauryn Wright




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Anton Balkitis

“Our experienced and specialist team represent clients nationally on a day-to-day basis”

Anton Balkitis
Head of Transport Law

If you’re happy then we’re happy too.

4.8 244 reviews

Posted 27/01/2020

"Impressive group with expertise in both matrimonial finance cases and children matters. A strong childcare team handles cases involving physical and emotional abuse, as well as fatalities. Well versed in matters with international aspects, Hague Convention cases, as well as adoption and guardianship issues.

Chambers UK, 2018

Posted 27/01/2020

Anton Balkitis frequently represents the operators of both goods and passenger vehicles in court proceedings. Clients remark: "He has a commercial understanding of real-life issues and will always provide a balanced view

Chambers UK, 2019

Posted 27/01/2020

Impressive group with expertise in both matrimonial finance cases and children matters. A strong childcare team handles cases involving physical and emotional abuse, as well as fatalities. Well versed in matters with international aspects, Hague Convention cases, as well as adoption and guardianship issues.

Chambers UK, 2018

Posted 02/06/2020

Chris Powell at Rotheras was recommended to us by a trusted associate within the Transport Industry; without doubt we wouldn’t have had the excellent outcome we did without his and his team’s involvement. The level of professionalism, expert advice and assistance was faultless; we felt reassured and well informed throughout the whole process. It was a pleasure to do business with him and would highly recommend his services!

Julian Brindley - John Brindley Ltd

Posted 12/08/2020

The team at Rotheras, and Mr Powell in particular, have provided us with an outstanding service. We are extremely grateful for the help and support they gave us in dealing with issues relating to our transport operations and our goods vehicle operators licence. Mr Powell was professional, knowledgable, efficient and effective. He quickly understood our business and the problem we had. He responded with sensible advice and acted quickly on our behalf to resolve the matter. I cannot thank him enough for his help and I would recommend Mr Powell, and the Rotheras team, without hesitation. I am extremely grateful for the help they gave us.

Richard Hitchcock - Hitchcock & King

Posted 12/08/2020

I would highly recommend James Briggs, solicitor at Rotheras. He has been extremely helpful, patient and thorough whilst helping me with affairs following the death of my husband. Even during lockdown (covid) he maintained communication and kept me informed of what was happening. He successfully achieved the outcome I needed and I would not hesitate to recommend him.

Yvonne Gold

Posted 30/09/2020

We are in the middle of launching our own packaging agency and contacted Rotheras for some professional legal advice with regards to contracts. After an initial call with Billy, he made it clear what we needed and asked plenty of questions to understand what it was we needed. He was very responsive to our questions, whether it be over the phone or via emails and made the process really simple. We had little experience in this area so it was fantastic to work with Billy, who explained everything concisely. We were also really pleased with the quick turnaround and great value offered. Would thoroughly recommend working with Rotheras.

Tom Burden, Director of Rightbox Ltd

Posted 30/09/2020

Billy understood our requirement from the get go and really nailed down on what we needed in our commercial agency agreement. Billy kept us informed every step of the way and showed great professionalism. We would recommend his services to any start-up business who is in need of legal advice and guidance with commercial contracts.

Axl Barber, Sales Director of Rightbox Ltd

Posted 11/02/2021

I was extremely pleased with the service that Kerry provided in order to sell my mothers house. Good, prompt communication and all questions dealt with or answered as requested. Consequently I would recommend yours services to others.

Adam Stevens

Posted 25/03/2021

Anton has substantial experience acting for commercial goods hauliers and other transport operators. He advises on a range of contentious issues including operator licence, maintenance and tachograph matters, with a wealth of experience acting in public inquiries before Traffic Commissioners."Anton is a highly informed and personable lawyer.

Chambers UK, 2020

Posted 25/03/2021

Chris Powell focuses his practice on road transport issues, regularly representing haulage, transport and logistics companies. He has considerable experience in regulatory matters involving operator licences and compliance failings, as well as more serious criminal investigations relating to fraud.

Chambers UK, 2020

Posted 07/06/2021

Dear Sally, I can’t thank you enough for today! You took the pressure off me and I felt so looked after and understood everything that was happening. Thank you so much!

Kelly Neave

Contact our Motoring Offence Team
Motorist Offence Team
Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis leads the Transport Law team and is a nationally recognised Transport and Motoring Law specialist at Nottingham-based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn is a transport and motoring law specialist at Nottingham based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Transport Solicitor

Chris Powell

Chris Powell is a senior associate solicitor at Rotheras, specialising in road transport law and motorist defence. He advises and represents haulage and PSV operator licence holders, Transport Managers and drivers on all road transport regulatory matters.

Lindsey Richmond

Lindsey Thorpe

Lindsey is a Chartered Legal Executive and Paralegal based in our transport and motorist offence department.

Lauryn Wright

Lauryn Wright

Lauryn Wright is a paralegal in Rotheras’ Transport and Motoring department and is based at our Head Office in the Lace Market.

Telephone Receptionist

We’re Recruiting: Telephone Receptionist

An opportunity has arisen to join our team as a Telephone Receptionist.  This person will be the first point of contact for all inbound telephone enquiries.

We are looking for a friendly and cheery person who has excellent communication skills.  You will be dealing with clients on the telephone, taking messages and passing calls on to other members of staff.

The role is full-time, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and can be based at our office in The Lace Market in Nottingham or at home or a mixture of the two (hybrid working).

External Transport Manager

A Short Guide to Meeting Your Responsibilities as an External Transport Manager

It is not easy being an External Transport Manager. You have the same responsibilities as a full-time in-house Transport Manager however you might only be contracted for a handful of hours a week in the case of a single vehicle operator. Even for a diligent External Transport Manager it can be difficult to exercise continuous and effective control when you may only see the vehicles you are responsible for a few hours a week.

This guide is intended to be a short, no-nonsense crib sheet for External Transport Managers. It is by no means comprehensive, but it does flag up some of the more common issues that can ultimately lead to problems with the Traffic Commissioner.

Find out how Rotheras can help you