PARKING, speeding and other fines are costing the UK contract hire industry £9.5 million a year.
The administrative costs and interest on penalties – equivalent to £3.50 per car per year – is growing, according to research by Siemens Financial Services.
The firm wants the Government to allow the industry to retain a percentage of the fines collected from fleets to subsidise the task.
Under legislation regarding owner’s liability, the leasing company is ultimately responsible for payment of any penalties incurred by the drivers of vehicles it finances. The leasing company then has to shoulder the burden of collecting the outstanding fines from the drivers.
This problem has recently escalated due to rapid growth in fines imposed by government agencies, and bureaucracy that has increased the complexity of fine collection for vehicle leasing companies.
The research shows that on average payment from drivers lags 59 days behind the date by which the leasing company has to pay the relevant authorities.
Richard Taylor, head of sales at Siemens Motor Contracts, said: ‘Financing tools such as contract hire have been instrumental in helping companies and individuals to afford up-to- date, efficient and environ-mentally-friendly vehicles, while at the same time managing cash flow.
‘Why then does the fines collection regime penalise the industry that is improving the country’s vehicle stock?
‘We are not so naïve as to expect that the whole burden of penalties collection will be lifted from our shoulders, but some acknowledgement of our contribution by the Government seems only fair.’