Parking fines worth millions of pounds have been written off because local authorities are unwilling to track down the owners of unregistered non-UK cars. One council alone has written off three quarters of a million pounds of parking debts in the last year. Non-UK cars that come over from the EU do not need to be registered with the DVLA in the UK for six months, and it was recently determined that there were at least 15,000 unregistered cars in the country, meaning a loss of £3m in vehicle excise duty. The Local Government Association has said that it would cost too much money and take too much time to make it viable to try chasing up on the parking tickets.
European vehicles are allowed, by EU rules, to drive on UK roads for a period of six months before they must register with the DVLA and pay vehicle excise duty. No records are kept of the cars entering the country, though, so it is believed that many of them remain unregistered but still used on the roads for longer than six months. The RAC recently declared that there were at least 15,000 such cars on our roads and that it was costing £3m because of the lost excise duty.
Brighton and Hove Council along has written off £750,000 in parking fines, indicating that the total cost throughout the country is likely to be several millions of pounds. Money raised by local councils from parking offences and parking tickets is used to improve the transport system. Many drivers have complained about the state of local roads since funding was cut for filling in potholes and performing other maintenance and repairs.
The LGA said that the only records details of foreign cars on the roads if one is involved in an incident reported to the police, or if they receive a tip. The Border Force and DVLA have both said that there are plans involving both parties, and other parties within the government in order to ensure that information is shared more freely between the two to help reduce the problems.