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Councils to employ DCAs to track down foreign car owners.

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Saw this story on the news this morning - http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/17947/online-news/dcas-in-crackdown-on-foreign-driver-parking-fines

 

But the news piece didn't really give much of an explanation and nor does the above story.

 

So currently, councils cant access foreign car data (unlike our UK DVLA system), but they are going to employ DCAs (who we all know have zero powers even in the UK) to track down these foreign car owners (how ??), and ask them nicely to pay ?

 

I cant see the success rate being very how, surely it will only end up costing councils ?

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Why don't we just make them pay a toll when they enter the country ?


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I recently visited UK in a foreign, non-EU, registered car.

 

Knowing the UK parking rules fairly well we deliberately chose an unsigned parking bay in a Controlled Zone (I know from long experience, including past Appeal successes, there had never been a sign on that bay).

The CEO issued the PCN and then walked down the street, past dropped kerb and several metres of yellow line, to photograph a sign at a different bay further along the road to 'support' his knowingly fraudulently wrong statement (assuming he was properly trained before being 'released' on the public).

 

That is irrelevant to the thread but explains background.

 

What may be relevant to this thread is that the CEO's PCN machine appeared totally incapable of coping as the PCN only showed 8 of the complete 12 digits of the Registration Plate - totally missing the Country Identifier (necessary, as it is part of a federation of republics and other states) and the full code for the registration region (there are several hundred of such codes covering nearly 100 different registration authorities within the specific country alone).

 

Another difficulty is the registration contained some 'Cyrillic' letters which, although resembling some 'Latin' letters, are completely different in sound, computer and keyboard recognition. Oh dear!

 

Good luck to the DCA in serving a 'Notice to Owner' to determine the Driver - who will no doubt appeal the PCN was invalid and the car correctly parked according to the signage (or lack of)!

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How can I get a foreign registration number for my car so I can park with impunity anywhere in the UK.

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Maybe register your car in the Irish Republic?

 

Isn't there a requirement though for UK residents to register a foreign plated car inside a certain time frame? So unless you spend time travelling in your vehicle overseas on a regular basis to re-register in another jurisdiction would be self defeating.

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Yes there is. Cars permanently kept in the UK must be UK-registered. If someone's brought a car over on holiday etc then there's no requirement to register it. It is quite difficult finding out who is responsible for an overseas car, and then pursuing them to enforce payment. In the end, it's hardly worth it. Dangerously parked cars can be towed - an overstay in a Pay and Display bay - is it really worth trying to identify and then force someone in Italy or Hungary or Portugal to send back payment?

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Why don't we just make them pay a toll when they enter the country ?

 

We already have Toll roads in the UK like most other EU member states

 

Are you suggesting a Tariff passport system to use the road network in all 28 member states??

 

How about another airline tax to use the skies in a member state, or how about another railway tax?

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A lot of the problems with offences caused by foreign registered cars is the inability to access EU data bases due to the governments refusal to sign up to whatever Protocol is was that allowed EU wide access to member states vehicle registration data.

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So instead of the usual default EU Bashing

 

The fault as usual lies with our own Government

 

Schengen agreement and "Opt-outs"

 

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A lot of the problems with offences caused by foreign registered cars is the inability to access EU data bases due to the governments refusal to sign up to whatever Protocol is was that allowed EU wide access to member states vehicle registration data.

 

This was mentioned in the story but cant see how it would make much difference even IF identified, DCAs have no power so it would involve starting court proceedings, presumably in the visitors country, this would be very difficult and expensive.

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I fail to see how this can work.

Apart from having no powers (as Andydd above), who is the DCA going to chase? The Owner (who has not been served with an NtoO) or the Registered Keeper (ditto) or the Driver (who may have received a PCN on the vehicle, but only becomes liable if his identity is disclosed following an NtoO to the RK). This presupposes a similar set-up for vehicle registration/ownership AND that it can be accessed by private firms.

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in just about every other country parking offences are still criminal offences so the UK is not allowed to access the other countries' databases as there is an incompatibility in the law. This makes the data protection legislation stop the transfer of data to the UK as no criminal act has occurred.

The DCA's will have no power to do anything and I see it as they have oversold themselves and may fall foul of the law if they misuse the data by collecting and processing it. So what do they intend to do, wander round Berlin noting reg numbers and then follow people home?

A few years ago the best car reg to have was a South African one as they were the same as the British in format, ie ABC 123D and then A123 BCD. You could cause utter confusion to those like Hounslow council who cannot spot the wrong details when they issue demands (long thread on here a while ago). It was also common for spooks to drive around in SA or Dutch and Belgian registed cars, with the latter you just caught the ferry and swapped it for another one at an auction.

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This begs the question as to whether issuing so many PCN's is the main issue. Yes some of it relates to vehicles being parked causing economic loss or hazard, but much of it is purely a way to raise revenues.

 

If we accept that 99% of PCN's are purely to raise money, then look at other options. If vehicles are parked causing an economic loss or a hazard, then make this a clear issue, have the vehicles clamped or removed, somthe relevant penalty is paid.

 

As for chasing foreigners what a waste of time. A relative of mine who moved around for job reasons, had loads of unpaid PCN's. If they were ever tracked down, they spoke fluent Spanish to the person attending, saying they had never heard of the person they were seeking. And that was in the London area, not Spain. If they chased in other countries they would find ut virtually impossible


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So its unclear on how the DCAs will get any money, paid a flat amount, a percentage of any fees recovered ?

 

And secondly how they will track down the owners/drivers, as the story heavily focusing on the fact that councils cant access the equivilant DVLA data, and even if they did have this info. surely all they could do is send a letter, which presumably will be ignored by 99.9% or is it a nice little [problem] an excuse to visit warmer climates for a jolly :) ?

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It can never get to the DCA stage as for a debt to be registered a Notice to owner must have been sent to the registered address which is unlikely to ever occur as the Council would have no access to foreign versions of the DVLA. In London Councils have the power to impound any vehicle with outstanding PCNs even if parked legally subject to certain conditions which is used on foreign vehicles. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/2008/3/part/5/enacted

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