UK Motoring Fines System: Is It a House of Horrors?

As well as being annoying and expensive, it seems as though motoring fines are now going to get us in trouble with the bailiffs and ruin out credit ratings.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed well over a million UK drivers had some form of unpaid debt put against their name at the Traffic Enforcement Centre last year.

Photo credit: zeevveez

Meanwhile, the groups who look after the interests and welfare of motorists say that drivers are being hounded by vans which scour British streets using number plate recognition technology to try and track down vehicles which have got outstanding fines registered against them.

In fact, the motorist isn’t always aware of the fact that there is a debt to be paid. For example, they might have bought the car with a parking fine already noted against it.

Of course, once a driving fine gets passed to the Enforcement Centre in Northampton it automatically gets bumped up by 50%. This is before we add in the bailiffs fees, which are often bigger than the original fine itself.

1 in 10 Cases Given to Bailiffs

Recent figures suggest that over 10% of all motoring fines given out by local councils end up being worked on by bailiffs. As well as the extra cost to the driver this means that there is extra hassle involve and the possibility of credit rating damage as well.

Motoring groups such as the London Motorists’ Action Group, AppealNow and the AA have been showing concern about the system for some time now, with some experts going as far as to compare the situation as being like the Wild West or a house of horrors.  There are also accusations of the bailiffs going around in their vans and acting like bounty hunters while charging excessive fees from the motorists they track down.

What do you think; does more need to be done to protect motorists from this system or is everything fine as it is?

This entry was posted in News and Views by Robert Bell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Robert Bell

Robert Bell is a regular contributor to the First Vehicle Leasing Blog. He moved from the UK to South America in order to save the rainforest and ended up staying there. He drives a very old Toyota Hi-Lux which he just can't bear to change.

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