National Car Rental is predicting between a 6% to 10% increase, year on year, in Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) incurred by its customers, as the extent and variety of fines continues to increase, adding to the overall cost of motoring. The prediction follows analysis of the number of fines National has received for its vehicles across the whole of the UK in the past year.
PCNs comprise parking fines, congestion charge fines, bus lane and speeding fines. In the first 4 months of 2004, National received a total of 19,100 PCNs for customers driving the company's rental vehicles. Yet in 2003, the total number of fines received for the entire year was only 54,000. These comprised15,000 parking fines, 15,000 fines for speeding offences, 22,000 congestion charge fines and 2,000 bus lane fines.
Brian Jayes, Vice President UK Operations comments: “Fines are increasing across all areas of the UK, not just London where the congestion charge was introduced in February 2003.
“Many cities are increasing parking restrictions, speed cameras and ‘yellow box’ offences. Cardiff is the most recent city to introduce bus lane fines, some boroughs of London are just implementing trials of ‘yellow box’ cameras to catch culprits and other cities are following with similar initiatives during the year. Added to this, with Ken Livingstone’s re-election as Mayor of London, it looks fairly likely that the London Congestion Zone will expand, plus Edinburgh and other cities seem set to introduce their own Congestion Charge zones.
National has a team dedicated to dealing with PCNs incurred by its customers and, like other rental companies, due to the time and resources spent handling these fines, it charges an administration fee to cover its costs.
“The clear message is that drivers need to be much more careful. With the vast majority of these fines costing upwards of £10 - and many in the £40 region – they will be hitting the pockets of both businesses and consumers. Whilst some drivers may regard PCNs as fact of life, the growing number of businesses who end up paying these charges should consider the long term impact of drivers not sticking to the law, or paying congestion charges on time.”
Notes to editors:
In the UK, National Car Rental has 145 locations and a fleet of 35,000 vehicles.
National Car Rental is the winner of the Best Daily Rental Company Award in the Fleet News Awards 2004 - the tenth year that the company has won this prestigious award.
National is also winner of the Daily Rental Service Award in the Fleet Excellence Awards 2003 and 2004, the Innovation Award in the Fleet World Honours 2004, the Business Car Services Award in the Business Travel World Awards 2003 and European Car Rental Company 2003 judged by the Institute of Transport Management (EITM) Awards Committee. National was also voted one of the Best Workplaces in the UK, in the Financial Times 50 Best Workplaces in the UK survey for 2003.
Cars and vans in the UK can be booked online at www.nationalcar.co.uk
National Car Rental now operates in over 80 countries worldwide, with nearly 3,200 locations and a fleet in excess of 350,000.
For further press information please contact Alison Reeson, Cecile Stearn, Sarah Thorne, Sarah Samee or Marie Woods at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. Fax: 020 8977 5200.
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