When you’re thinking about making a small claim, remember that you need to pay a small claims court fee before you start. So, it’s important that you’re confident that you can recover this cost before you think about starting a small claim.
For non-monetary small claims the small claims court fee is £175, but for money claims the exact figure will depend on the amount that you are claiming.
The small claims court fees differ, depending on whether you are making the claim through the county court or online through the Money Claim Online website.
At the date of writing this article – 1 May 2012 – the small claims court fees are as follows:
Court issued small claim fees
Money claims for only £5,000 or less can be heard in the ‘small claims track’ of the county court.
- Up to £300 claimed – £35
- £300.01 – £500 claimed – £50
- £500.01 – £1,000 claimed – £70
- £1,000.01 – £1,500 claimed – £80
- £1,500.01 – £3,000 claimed – £95
- £3,000.01 – £5,000 claimed – £120
Money Claim Online (MCOL) fees
Some court claims can be made online using the Ministry of Justice’s secure website Money Claim Online (MCOL).
You can only use Money Claim Online if your claim is for a fixed amount of less than £100,000.
- Up to £300 claimed – £25
- £300.01 – £500 claimed – £35
- £500.01 – £1,000 claimed – £60
- £1,000.01 – £1,500 claimed – £70
- £1,500.01 – £3,000 claimed – £80
- £3,000.01 – £5,000 claimed – £100
- £5,000.01 – £15,000 claimed – £210
- £15,000.01 – £50,000 claimed – £340
- £50,000.01 – £100,000 claimed – £595
Keeping up to date
Since the small claims court fees do change, it’s best to have the staff at the small claims court advise you what your fee will be when you issue the small claim.
Alternatively, you can find out the latest fees, published on the Ministry of Justice’s website, outlined in Form EX50.
The defendant will be ordered to pay the small claims court fee if you win your small claim, but remember that you still have to recover the money from the defendant.
What if you cannot afford the small claims court fees?
If you cannot afford to pay the small claims court fees, you may be entitled to a remission (reduction) of the small claims court fees payable or you may be exempted from having to pay the small claims court fees at all.
You will need to read Form EX160A to see if you qualify.