Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

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Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Fat Cat » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:15 pm

Okay, bit of advice needed.

I hired a car recently from Arnold Clark. Unfortunately, I exited Glassford Street Car Park, turned right and into a bus lane (didn't realise at the time). this was on 30 July. I got a letter from Arnold Clark today stating that I owed them £60 as they had paid it. However, on checking the gcc website, I see it's £30 if paid within 14 days. So, how should this be played. Can AC claim £60 from me or should I ask for proof of when they paid it. It does state in the letter "do not attempt to pay the authority direct as we have already settled the charge". I'm not disputing the fine, but what AC are asking. If they paid within 14 days, should I pay £30 or the £60 they ask?
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Sharon » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:25 pm

I think you should challenge it. If policy is to pay it and not contact you directly as soon as it is received, they could have settled within the 14 days.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby hound dog » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:31 pm

I'm a bit confused :? Did you know about the fine before you got a letter from Arnold Clark today or was the fine sent directly to them because it was one of their cars? If the latter then surely it was their responsibility to ensure it was paid on time? If the latter then I certainly would not be paying the full whack.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby The Egg Man » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:33 pm

I'd want to see proof of payment. If they paid £30 and are asking you for £60 - you have them over a barrel.

If they paid £60 but the dates suggest they could have paid £30 - they probably won't welcome the attendant publicty you'll bring down on their heads.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby old jock » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:51 am

I agree you should look into it and ask for an explanation. I'd also check any paperwork or details on the website for terms and conditions beforehand. They may well have you over a barrel if its stated that there is some sort of administrative fee levied, or minimum penalty THEY charge you, if they have to pay a fine that has been incurred by an offense that you have committed.

I would think the fine would come direct to them for sure, as they are registered owner/keeper of the vehicle.

Its always nice to have your ducks lined up before you reach for the rifle.

Post office or is it parcel force do something similar for paying a customs fee and its an utter rip off, which makes me mad. That's free enterprise for you dreaming up ways of ripping you off or obfuscation of the facts to wring more money out you and maximize profits. Super Super frustrating.

Might not be the case at all and they are just chancing it but that's just what I'd do. If there is nothing stated then there case is much weaker and your's all the stronger.

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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:15 am

There's also usually a clause in a hire agreement that usually says something along the lines of 'you are responsibile for any fines incurred....'.

Well you would have been responsible if you'd been given the opportunity. I would challenge what they have issued you with but as the previous posts mentioned, they usually get you with the 'administration fee'.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Bridie » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:54 am

Has anyone ever challenged an "administration" charge ie asked for a breakdown?

A stamp/an A4 sheet of paper and 5 mins of someone's time = £30
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Time is the 'essence' in your point and well made.

Ever called a plumber? Usually there is a call out charge and then an hourly or half hourly rate - even if it only takes 5 mins!
So a simple job of tightening a nut can become an expensive bill.

Our previous 'factor' once billed us and 'we' queired the bill and demanded a breakdown and explanation. It turned out that the firm charged for labour rounded up to the hour for two men (eg £27 x 2) and then fuel for the van (£5.50) for a 1/4 mile journey and then they charged for use of materials and so on and of course VAT at 20% on top. I used my car to drive from their depot to my place and it would have worked out at the then Inland Revenue rate of 0.45 pence per mile. Thus in mileage terms it would have been something like 0.11 + VAT.

As for the material - I went into Scotstoun Emporium and asked if they had the item and if so the cost, it came to something like £2.95 and we were being charged something like £68.00 and so the whole bill came to over a £100. Fair do's the company has to make profit, there are overheads but when we challenged the whole thing - the company came back with a reduced amount, claiming they made a mistake and overcharged (It was still higher than doing the thing ourselves).

I know it's not perfect like for like but that's often how they break things down but often we the consumer (in the instance of the fixed penalty - the unwilling participant) don't always appreciate how 'companies' work and there are other times that we know it is just a rip off!
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Time is the 'essence' in your point and well made.

Ever called a plumber? Usually there is a call out charge and then an hourly or half hourly rate - even if it only takes 5 mins!
So a simple job of tightening a nut can become an expensive bill.

Our previous 'factor' once billed us and 'we' queired the bill and demanded a breakdown and explanation. It turned out that the firm charged for labour rounded up to the hour for two men (eg £27 x 2) and then fuel for the van (£5.50) for a 1/4 mile journey and then they charged for use of materials and so on and of course VAT at 20% on top. I used my car to drive from their depot to my place and it would have worked out at the then Inland Revenue rate of 0.45 pence per mile. Thus in mileage terms it would have been something like 0.11 + VAT.

As for the material - I went into Scotstoun Emporium and asked if they had the item and if so the cost, it came to something like £2.95 and we were being charged something like £68.00 and so the whole bill came to over a £100. Fair do's the company has to make profit, there are overheads but when we challenged the whole thing - the company came back with a reduced amount, claiming they made a mistake and overcharged (It was still higher than doing the thing ourselves).

I know it's not perfect like for like but that's often how they break things down but often we the consumer (in the instance of the fixed penalty - the unwilling participant) don't always appreciate how 'companies' work and there are other times that we know it is just a rip off!
"Listen, it's too big a world to be in competition with everyone. The only person who I have to be better than is myself. And in your case, that's enough."
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Monument » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:38 pm

Speaking of Factors, I just received a bill from Spiers Gumley Factors, via my solicitor, relating to powerwashing charges for the flat I sold and moved out of at the end of July 2011. And this is after the robbing bastards charged me £50 to close my account last year.

Chances of me paying it, not good.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby BTJustice » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:30 pm

I rent out campervans on a self drive basis and we automatically charge a £25 admin fee on top of the fine recieved. We explain it at collection and its clear as day on the terms and conditions.

If I were you I would check the paperwork you signed when you collected the car as you may find it states an admin charge.

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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Fireman » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:15 pm

Fat Cat wrote: Unfortunately, I exited Glassford Street Car Park, turned right and into a bus lane (didn't realise at the time).


Only an opinion, however I would imagine you're not the first or the last car hire customer who will fall foul of this situation and I would have thought the AC service reps would be aware of this and should warn unsuspecting customers like yourself - that is unless they have been told not to.

Likewise, I feel its worth challenging because of the fact AC didn't warn you about the restriction - you can bet if it was Mr Very-Rich they'd roll over. Plus, its got to be worth at least a telephone call to Traffic Enforcement (or whatever its called now) asking how many people coming out of that exit are being fined.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby The Egg Man » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:06 pm

I doubt Arnold Clark can be expected to ask every hirer if they intend to use Glassford Street Car Park and if so remind them not to turn right on exit. There is, after all, a sign directly opposite the exit reminding motorists of the bus lane restrictions.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby Dot » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:34 pm

My OH accidentally went into a bus lane when we were in Glasgow in July.
We had been driving along and I spotted some Police standing in a side street with a hand held camera.
Wondered if they were checking for speeding cars or other motoring offences.

Had been in the bus lane for a short spell and immediately changed lanes once he realised.
He felt certain we would be getting some sort of letter with a fine.
Perhaps we were just lucky but fingers crossed and all that.
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Re: Bus Lane Fines (grrr)

Postby RDR » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:01 am

I don't have a problem with the concept of bus lanes in principle but some of them are not very well thought out.
The short one leading up to the entrance of Gartnavel Hospitals, heading out of the city, give the moterist a very small gap indeed at the end to try to get over and turn left into the hospitals. In fact it is impossible without encroaching on the bus lane at all and if busy you end up holding up the traffic going forwards whilst you wait to get over.
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