Who pays for the parking ticket on a lease car?
Ooops, you’ve got a parking ticket on your lease car. Don’t panic, it happens to the best of us. Put it down to experience and try not to let it ruin your day. If you have a lease car and receive a parking ticket you might have some questions which I hope to answer in this article. Questions like, who pays for parking tickets on a lease car? If your lease vehicle is issued with a PCN there are certain procedures you’ll need to follow.
What does PCN stand for?
PCN stands for Penalty Charge Notice and commonly refers to parking infringements. Parking violations are enforced with a PCN because they aren’t considered to be criminal offences. So, the good news is you won’t get a criminal record or points on your licence for a parking offence. PCN’s are usually issued by being stuck to your car window but some are sent by post. If you have a lease car and your PCN is served by letter it can be a bit more complicated.
What can I do about a PCN?
Your options are to either pay it or contest it. If you are in agreement and decide to pay the fine then you are given 28 days to do so. Some PCN’s come with a reduced fee if you pay the fine within 14 days. Try not to leave paying it until the last minute because you could save yourself half the money by paying within 14 days. If you want to contest the PCN you will need to refer to the ticket for details of how to do so. Some will ask for a letter in writing, others an email and some an online form the contest your PCN. It all depends on who has issued it. Try this a step by step guide on how to contest a parking ticket from the Money Saving Expert.
What if there was no notice on the car?
If you have knowingly parked illegally and you return to your car to see there isn’t a PCN attached to the window there are one of two eventualities. Either, you have been very lucky and got away with it, or your finance provider will soon be receiving a letter with the details of your parking infringement. Don’t worry, the finance company can’t up your premium or take your lease car away for making a parking error. However, they will have to make an admin charge to you.
What is the admin charge for?
The admin charge covers the process of receiving the letter, paying the fine, notifying the driver and increasing the next Direct Debit payment to cover the fee. I should specify that the admin charge is in addition to the cost of the PCN. Most finance houses will endeavour to pay the PCN within a 14 day period to ensure you receive the reduced fee. But, if this is missed then the finance company will have the right to pass the full PCN charge on to you. Plus an admin fee.
How much is an admin charge for settling a PCN?
This will vary between finance houses. Some finance houses will ask the issuer of the PCN to contact you directly to obtain the fee. Others will pay the fee and charge it back to you via your next Direct Debit payment plus an admin charge. A standard admin charge is anywhere between £25 – £50 as standard. You should check your lease paperwork for details on admin charges for your specific finance house to be sure.
As you can see, the best solution is to avoid receiving a PCN in the first place. Not only will you be liable for paying the fine, but you’ll also be asked to pay an admin fee if the lease company receive it in paper form. Prevention is better than cure so familiarise yourself with parking regulations here.
What if I don’t pay my PCN?
If you receive a PCN on your windscreen and you do not pay within the 28 day period then a letter will be sent to your finance company to recover the fee. The charge will have increased because the deadline will have expired. At this stage, your finance company may choose to pay the fine and reclaim it from you. Or they may provide the ticket issuer with your contact details so they can proceed with collecting the fine. You’ll also have to pay an admin charge. Ouch!
If the finance house chooses to pay your fine you’ll receive a letter notifying you. The letter will contain a breakdown of the charge amount plus their admin fee for handling it on your behalf. This will then be taken with your next Direct Debit payment.
If you receive a letter from the ticket issuer it means the finance company have passed them your details to collect the fee. It is then your responsibility to pay the fine. If you still neglect to pay after some time then a collection agency could be instructed to reclaim the fees from you. A collection agency charges additional fees on top of the original fine amount so it can get very expensive. Sometimes into the thousands!
What happens if my car gets clamped or impounded?
If you neglect to pay your fine the collection agency could clamp your car. This could be at your place of work, your home or anywhere they find the vehicle. This will incur additional charges. You can find out how much you will be charged for removal of a clamp or to reclaim your car from impound on the government website.
What if my car is damaged when it is clamped or impounded?
If your car is damaged during clamping or being impounded you will be responsible for paying for any repairs. You will be covered under your insurance but any claim could increase your premium. You are able to try and sue for damages but the decision over who must pay is with the courts. The finance company accept no liability for damage incurred as a result of impounding or vehicle clamping.
Ultimately you will need to pay your parking fine. Failure to do so results in additional charges. You’ll also potentially have the hassle of your car being clamped or impounded and have to pay very hefty fees in the process. Most PCN’s can be paid online or over the phone quickly and easily, so it should only be in very rare cases that the situation escalates to the scenarios detailed in this article.