An increase in the number of motoring fines handed out to company car and van drivers means that businesses must introduce innovative solutions to limit the resulting legal, financial and HR administrative nightmare, according to fleet operators’ association ACFO.
During its latest webinar, entitled ‘Managing Penalty Fines’, delegates heard that Clear Channel UK’s fleet manager Glenn Ewen had persuaded the company’s vehicle leasing providers to re-register its fleet of 280 light commercial vehicles and 130 company cars to the firm’s own address.
Prior to this move, he said any fines incurred were paid by the leasing company and forwarded to Clear Channel as a cost with an administration fee added on, making an appeal difficult.
“We decided that we wanted first sight of any fine and so registering vehicles in Clear Channel’s name to the company’s address was the answer,” he said, claiming that fines for commercial vehicles – which typically incurred fines at a rate of 20 per day at a cost of £50,000 a year – all but disappeared after the move. “We now contest all fines and win 99.8% of the time. Our vehicles are clearly liveried and if we lose it is usually because the rules have been broken,” he said, while in respect of company cars, which previously incurred a fine bill of some £15,000 a year with an average five penalties per day, any fines now received are immediately passed on to drivers for payment.
Julie Summerell, managing director of TR Fleet and ACFO digital chairman, welcomed the scheme: “I think that getting leased vehicles to be re-registered in the lessee’s name is quite unique. I don’t know any other fleet that does that. It will be interesting to see how leasing companies react if other fleet managers follow Clear Channel’s lead,” she said.