Foreign cars in the UK - No Congestion charge, no fear speed camara's & unpaid fines
This recent headline has once again raised the topic of whether drivers of foreign registered vehicles are
flouting Congestion charges, parking fines, being nabbed by gantry mounted or fixed roadside Speed
Camera's and a host of other penalties, for which the primary means of obtaining the name and
address of the driver is derived from the number plate of their car.
The Dart Charge on the M25 is a case in point - up until November 2014 drivers crossing the Thames
at Dartford had to stop at a toll booth to pay the Dart Charge but due to the obvious congestion
problems this caused on the M25, it was changed to an online charge backed up by ANPR camera's
mounted across the motorway; to enforce the rule and fine those drivers who crossed the
Dart bridges without paying ( although crossing the Dart bridges are free for traffic crossing over
between 10pm and 6am )
BBC News - More than a million foreign drivers don't pay the M25 Dartford bridge charge
In London the Congestion charge has frankly never been enforced against foreign registered vehicles,
as entry authorisation and penalties cannot be issued to non-UK number plates using ANPR.
So how Dart Charge hoped to enforce it when London has given up - I don't know.
Of course these foreign registered vehicles are those typically used by many Europeans on short
assignments or holiday in the UK and are therefore quite legally driving their foreign registered cars
in the UK within the 6 month period; provided they can prove that they are bona fide visitors or
Non UK residents within the 6 month period.
As far as parking charges are concerned, traffic wardens in many towns and cities, have simply
not bothered in issuing a ticket on any offending foreign car, due to the obvious problems
of enforcing it on non UK registered cars.
Although saying that, there are a number of towns and cities have started to engage the services
of Debt Collection Agencies with a European wide presence with mixed results.
While Britain remained a member of the EU, there was some hope that the enforcement of Congestion
charges and fines could be harmonised across Europe, although even here the UK along with the
Republic of Ireland and Denmark have chosen to opt out of such arrangements.
Now with Britain leaving the EU by the end of March 2019, it's become highly noticeable that
the British government, along with other UK enforcement agencies, are using Brexit as an excuse
to kick the issue into the long grass; and the prospect of Britain co-operating in any European
wide effort, looks particularly forlorn as the UK has it's heart set on bolstering her legal sovereignty.