Foreign drivers racking up millions in unpaid car parking fines every year
A poll by the Local Government Association (LGA) of a third of councils found thousands of tickets issued to vehicles registered outside the UK parking are being ripped up if unpaid within 28 days.
EU rules allow European vehicles to drive on UK roads for six months before having to register with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). However, the Government does not keep a record of the estimated three million entering the UK each year.
As a result, councils face an impossible task to chase payments even though British drivers parking illegally in other countries can be tracked and chased for payments due to local laws.
As an example, Oxfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth councils have collectively been forced to rip up more than 10,000 tickets issued in the past five years to foreign-registered vehicles valued at more than £500,000.
The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said the Government can get tougher on those trying to cheat the system by logging foreign vehicles entering and exiting the UK and cracking down on those who fail to register after the six-month deadline.
Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said: ‘Drivers of foreign-registered vehicles need to realise they are not above the law in this country. Too many are blatantly disregarding thousands of fines for parking every year in this country, which is hugely unfair to drivers of British cars who have to pay up if they break the law.’
He added: ‘Introducing a central database would allow the Government to get tougher on people failing to register their vehicle. A crackdown on those trying to cheat the system would see a greater number registered to UK addresses and councils finally able chase payment of some of these outstanding parking fines.’