Fleet News

Congestion charge change ‘won’t help fleets’

INCREASING the deadline for paying the London congestion charge will not benefit most fleets, industry experts have claimed.

From June 19, Transport for London (TfL) introduced the Pay-Next-Day scheme which will allow drivers to pay the £8 congestion charge until midnight on the day, or pay £10 until midnight on the following day.

Previously, drivers who passed through the congestion zone had to pay the charge by midnight that day or pay a £100 penalty, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

However, leasing firm Masterlease believes it is unlikely to turn forgetful drivers into attentive ones and the system still does not allow leasing companies to provide TfL with driver details directly, which is the main cause of a massive amount of costly administration for fleets.

Louise Hill, service delivery support manager at Masterlease, said: ‘The sums are huge – we alone deal with nearly £400,000 worth of fines for late payment every year and the figures run into millions nationally.

‘Add to that the £25 charge we have to add to cover our administration costs and it becomes clear how much businesses are spending as a result of the congestion charge. The relaxed deadline won’t help forgetful drivers to become less absent-minded overnight and those who have not paid on purpose probably won’t change their mind.

‘One of the best ways TfL can really help fleets is by making it possible for leasing companies to provide driver details when the fine is submitted. Currently, as the registered owners, we have to pay and then reclaim the fine, which is more expensive for our customers.’

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