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EPC PLC fine for no valid vignette in hungary


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Hi. 

It's almost 2 months since I received 4 invoices from the same company, 2 each time with 3 weeks between them. 

I bought the vignette online, not sure the reason but the availability of them started with exactly one month later than it should. 

I did struggle for almost an hour to get it from the last shell garage in Austria, but was not reasonable to do so, reason why I decided to get it online. 

Spoke to them directly and they agreed to pay only 2 of them, worth of about £100. 

For Christmas we might be traveling Hungary again, with the same car. They have my details, otherwise they would not discuss the matter at all. 

In spring we might drive trough again, to get to Turkey. 

I'm worried that they might impound our car or arrest me or anything like that. 

If I pay that hundred straight to them, without paying anything to epc, will I make it worse for myself? 

Any thoughts? 

Thank you 

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Hello everyone

In mid summer we did an european road trip , and we drove trough hungary . 

We travel trough quite often , so we know minimum legal requirments for driving trough . I did heard similar stories before about them , but i never thought they can be so obtuse .

Before we crossed border , we stopped at 2 petrol stations in Austria trying to get the vignette . First one didn't had it  ( if i remember right ) , and second one was just before the border . We tried to get  it from the counter , but after waiting on the queue for maybe 15 minutes and it was my turn ,  i been asked for the v5 which of course i didnt had it with me .

I showed him picture of the car with plate number  , but no !  I must add i can remember the smell and sweat inside the store , being mid summer and full of people . The employee was fed up too , and you could tell that by the way he was treating customers that didnt speak local language  . 

 i went to get the v5 , got back to queue , but now people got irritated and asked me to wait on the queue again .  i did , for another few minutes , when i realised i can buy it online . 

Went back to car , filled everything in right , while double checking everything with my missus . Tried to pay it , and pay been denied . I assumed its cause of low credit ( as i have a credit card just to use on holidays , especially in dodgy places like this ) .

I added more money to it , but now website was showing like an erorr 404 or something like that . Refreshed it , put details in again , and bought it .

Waited for confirmation e-mail , but it wasn't coming . I thought it has to be cause of the internet connection , i took a screenshot of reg and how much i paid ( valid for a month ) and we carried on . All this must've took about 45-50 minutes , which i can prove  on google maps timeline . Drove through for 5-6 hours , crossed border in Romania with no issues .

3 weeks later we came back on on the same way , never been stopped by vignette control or anything . 

About 2 months later i get 2 letters from epc plc telling me i had no vignette . It was then when i remembered about it , when i looked for the e-mail i found it . Not sure the reason , but instead of starting on 14 july , it started on 13 of august . Probably something got stuck in cache browser ? is that possible ?

I soon realised i will be waiting for 2 more , for the return trip .  ( as they can only issue one a day . ) 

I've wrote to them ( both epc and toll authorities from Hungary ) , telling what happened and showing proofs that i had all the good intentions , but no , they don't care and they want the money . 

Hungarian side asked me to prove i am the registered keeper if i want contact with them , so they have my details now .

It takes them ages to reply and usually they not the most friendly if you dont talk Magyar . I sent them first e-mail in Hungarian language with google translate , and replied in 4 days . I then sent another in English and didnt replied for 2 weeks , and i thought they're not doing it because they 'dont understand' the e-mail .

i sent another one asking for something called maximisation ( you only pay for just 2 fines , no matter how many you had ) , and they replied couple of weeks later saying that maximisation been approved and if i pay till 7 of dec i can pay just 2 of them worth of about £100 . If i miss the opportunity it will be about 5 times more expensive if i get caught . 

Trouble is , we go through quite often  ( next time around Christmas time , with same car ) and i'm not sure about the laws there .  EPC side is £45 for each letter x4 thats almost £200 + £100 to Hungarians . 

Of course EPC says same thing about if i wont pay they'll take me to court and be a lot more expensive , but i think i can defend myself in court over here , reason for why i don't even consider paying their side . ( should i ? ) 

Not so much if i'm being taken to court in hungary .. i might go there one time and find out i've got a warrant or god knows what . Or take our car away . I know in Austria that if u get caught like that you have to pay it on the spot or they won't let you go  .

I missed quite a few nights of sleep over this crap , it can't be £300 over something like this . Even if it was my fault and i miss typed the date , it's just a crazy amount . 

Any thoughts ?  Thank you .


We where planning to visit Budapest in couple of years time , now it changes my mood just when i think of it .  Good thing i haven't and never will , there are plenty of other welcoming places ..

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Hi Tzwigz and welcome to CAG,

The advice is to ignore...

Here's a link to similar...

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/459903-fine-from-epc-for-having-no-vignette-in-hungary/#comment-5235801

And have a read around other threads, theres more of the same...

We could do with some help from you.

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Are you resident in UK?

Just thinking about this...

I believe Hungary is in the Shengen zone?

If so, there are no border checks from other Shenghen areas?

So, I can't imagine that they will stop you at the border to impound your car, or anything similar.

If they were THAT efficient, they would have surely picked you up the first time you tried to use a toll road?

I wouldn't worry too much about going back there.

And CERTAINLY don't worry about EPC chasing you here!

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

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I am UK resident ,  but got family in Romania . 
Indeed hungary is Schengen  , but Romania is not . So there are border controls over there .

Yes , thats why i am so upset  .  Like i travelled 3 weeks apart , so when i came back i already had the invoice for first time in their system . 

It would've been fair if they would've told me since  ,so it would be sorted a lot easier and cheaper . 

There even is the option of buying a vignette for the full year retrospective since first fine , and the rest of fines are cancelled . Which i would've went for , as we travel through a lot anyway . But even doing that , these EPC pests still want their share . 

Think i'll bite the bullet and  pay hungarians , just for peace of mind , as if things get complicated over there , i can't even defend myself . I might even ask for a refund for vignette a bought ( about 35 quid if i remember right ) because i haven't received the goods/service  , it would sweeten up a bit . 

I appreciate the time for your thoughts .

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EPC can never do court ..end of.

pers id not worry about the 'fines' that exist once you get a new yearly 'pass'. do it online.

 

  • Thanks 1

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ha !

 

It seems their customer support works just as good as their online vignette system .

 

I been given the wrong IBAN check digit to pay the fine into . Was meant to start with hu58 ( on their website)  and in the e-mail i received with the confirmation that the fines can  be maximised , it's hu04  . As such , no banks allows me to transfer money to an account that does not exists .

This is all stated into a .pdf document .  

 

this must be the worst experience ever , from start to finish . 

 

i think i'll call it a day , too much time lost and frustration trying to settle things with these people . 

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you dont ever need to settle them.

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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