Most organisations (61%) do not appeal Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) even though they may receive more than 60 fines a month in some cases, according to an ACFO survey.
More than 50 car and fleet managers from a wide cross section of businesses, who have registered to attend ACFO’s all-day members-only seminar entitled ‘Another Fine Mess?’ next month, were surveyed.
Half of respondents say they receive an average of up to nine parking fines per month. However, 14% of respondents receive 20-29 fines a month, 9% receive 30-39 fines a month and 9% receive more than 60.
ACFO director John Pryor, who is involved in organising the seminar, said: “Managing PCNs relating to parking and moving traffic offences can prove to be a legal, financial and HR administrative nightmare for fleet decision-makers and company car and van drivers alike.
“In the build-up to the seminar we wanted to find out from members details of the levels of fines incurred; the volume of PCNs levied by local authorities or private parking firms; and how the administrative process was handled.
"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.”
Most fines were PCNs from local authorities with fewer organisations saying they received fines from private companies managing car parks.
More than a third (35%) of respondents appeal against up to 10 local authority imposed fines per month and 26% appeal against a similar number of private company PCNs.
However, 4% of companies appeal against more than 50 local authority issued PCNs per month and 9% appeal against up to 50 private company PCNs.
To find out more about appealing a PCN, see our feature here.
The vast majority of survey respondents (87%) lease their company cars and vans and 48% say that their contract hire and leasing companies pay the PCN and then levy a recharge. However, 26% of respondents say the fine is forwarded to them for payment.
Pryor said: “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.”
A total of 86% of respondents say their vehicle leasing supplier issues an administration fee for fines.
Among leasing companies charging an administration fee, 50% charge between £20 and £30 per fine, 11% say their supplier charges under £10 with the remainder saying it was £10 to £20.
Pryor said: “I was surprised that administration fees levied by leasing companies were on average not higher.
“Similarly I was surprised that more employers do not charge drivers that incur a PCN an administration fee and that more companies did not levy a higher fee as quite a lot of work is involved in processing a fine.”
The ‘master class’ of issues to be tackled at the forthcoming seminar will include liabilities facing employees and employers when police issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or a local authority issues a PCN; the fine and appeal process relating to parking in public car parks and on private land; and HR issues impacting on employers and employees when fines are levied.
The seminar will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at the Henry Ford College, University Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TL.
More than 100 ACFO members have already pre-registered for the event, which is being sponsored by Ford.
Non-ACFO members wishing to attend the seminar can do so by joining the organisation before June 3.