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Majority of fleets do not contest driver parking fines, ACFO reports

That’s the finding of new ACFO research which also discovered that 17% of employers charge drivers are an administration fee if they incur a PCN, which can be more than £30.

ACFO surveyed fleet operators who have registered to attend its all-day members-only seminar entitled “Another Fine Mess?” to be held starting on Tuesday 3rd June, 2014 at the Henry Ford College, University Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TL.

More than 50 fleet managers in charge of company car and van operations numbering between 50 and more than 4,000 vehicles in a wide cross section of businesses were surveyed with 50% of respondents saying they received an average of up to nine parking fines per month. However, 14% of respondents said they received 20-29 fines a month, 9% said they received 30-39 fines a month and amazingly 9% said more than 60.

A total of 61% of respondents said they didn’t appeal, while 35% said they appealed against up to 10 local authority imposed fines per month and 26% said they appealed against a similar number of private company PCNs.

However, it has also emerged that 4% of companies appealed against more than 50 local authority issued PCNs per month and 9% of respondents said they appealed against up to 50 private company PCNs.

Most fines were PCNs from local authorities, with fewer organisations saying they received fines from private companies managing car parks.

A total of 86% of respondents said their vehicle leasing supplier issued a fine administration fee – but 14% of fleet operators said their supplier levied no handling charge.

Among leasing companies charging an administration fee 50% charge between £20 and £30 per fine, according to respondents, although 11% said their supplier charged under £10 with the remainder saying it was £10 to £20.

It also emerged that some businesses (17%) levy their own PCN administration fee on drivers that incur a fine. A third of companies said that they levied a charge of more than £30 with a similar number saying it was £20 to £30 and the reminder under £10.

ACFO director John Pryor, who is involved in organising the seminar, said: ‘I was not hugely surprised at the volume of PCNs being handled because the use of closed circuit TV in car parks and town and city centres is increasing. However, it is perhaps surprising that more fines are not contested.’

He added: ‘There is no standard approach from leasing companies to the management of PCNs, which I think is something fleet operators would welcome. Alternatively fleet operators should discuss the matter with their leasing supplier(s) and agree a single solution for managing PCNs.’

Spaces for the ACFO seminar on parking fines remain available and anyone interested in attending should email the ACFO Membership Services’ Organisation at [email protected] or go to www.acfo.org. Non-ACFO members wishing to attend the seminar can do so by joining the organisation before 3rd June.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.