Magistrates' Allowances

Magistrates are unpaid volunteer members of the judiciary, however allowances may be claimed for certain expense


Expenses can cover certain costs, including travel and subsistence where required. 

It is expected that magistrates will commit to a minimum of 26 half-day sittings in court each year. The law requires employers to grant magistrates sufficient time off work to enable them to fulfil their magisterial duties; please check the Employment Rights Act to ensure you know your rights.

Magistrates who suffer a loss of earnings as a result of their duties can claim a loss allowance, usually at a set rate; evidence of financial loss must be provided before magistrates can make a claim. 

Below you will see the rates of allowance for financial loss, travel and subsistence (as of May 2010). Please note that these are maximum figures. 

Financial Loss Allowance

Allowance Type

Current Allowance Rate

Allowance Rate from 1 April 2021

Gross Rate

(self employed justices)

(self employed justices)

Up to four hours



Over four hours



Net Rate

(other justices)

(other justices)

Up to four hours



Over four hours



The upper payment threshold applicable to a magistrate’s claim for financial loss is that which applied on the date of the submission of their most recent Annual Declaration. 

Current Motor Vehicle Allowance


Allowance Rate in Pence per Mile

Engine Capacity

Up to 1100cc

1101 – 1549cc

Over 1550cc

Standard MVA




Other Rates not dependent on engine size
Additional rate per passenger


Bicycle rate


Motor Vehicle Allowance from 1 April 2021

  Reimburesment rate per mile
Cars and vans (including hybrid and electric) 45p
Motor cycles 24p
Bicycles 20p
Passenger payment 5p

The applicable mileage rates are the approved tax-free mileage rates set by HMRC as available on Rates given are correct as at November 2020. The car and van rate is applicable for the first 10,000 miles in a financial year; miles thereafter are reimbursed at 25p per mile. 

Subsistence Allowances

Allowance Type

Allowance Rate

Night Subsistence: outside London


Night Subsistence: within London


Day Subsistence: 4 to 8 hours absence


Day Subsistence: 8 to 12 hours absence


Day Subsistence: over 12 hours absence