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Speeding ticket for company car driver

in Motoring
24 replies 13.8K views
I have a motoring law query.

A few weeks ago, I think I may have got flashed by a manned camera. I drive a company car so the lease hire company is the registered keeper of the vehicle. I moved address a few months ago and forgot to inform the lease company straight away, but I e-mailed the lease company immediately after I got flashed requesting them to update their driver records so that any NIP can be sent to my new address.

After 14 days without acknowledgement, I e-mailed the lease company again to make sure they had received my first e-mail, and got a reply back straight away saying this had now been done. I can only assume it was done after I sent my second reminder e-mail.

I am now concerned that 6 weeks on I have still not received any NIP to my new address, and
I suspect that it may have gone to the old address. If it has gone there, it has probably gone in the bin (I have no mail redirection in place).

Now I am wondering where I stand with the law since I asked the lease company to change my address before the police would have sent the NIP to the registered keeper. So due to an oversight on their part, I may now have an NIP that I don't know about.

Assuming I have got an NIP, the lease hire company has correctly named the driver but failed to provide up to date address details of the driver, and therefore the driver would not have been able to return the Section 172 form to the police within the allowed 28 days. In this situation, would the driver still be liable for £1000 fine and 6 penalty points? OR, would the company be seen at fault and face a larger fine for failing to provide correct driver details?

I have e-mail records of the change of driver details for evidence. I have not spoken to the lease hire company or police about this.

Do I do nothing or contact the police?

Any advise would be appreciated.
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Replies

  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    You think you were flashed by a "manned" camera. Is that right?


    I think if I were you I'd be 'phoning the finance company to find out if they'd had a 172 and have given your old address details. You've already emailed them so I don't see what you'd be losing by 'phoning them.


    Others may have better advice...or you could try pepipoo...
  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    I think if I were you I'd be 'phoning the finance company to find out if they'd had a 172 and have given your old address details. You've already emailed them so I don't see what you'd be losing by 'phoning them.

    Good advice. There's no point getting in a lather about a NIP which may not exist.

    If you're not happy with the answer from the finance company, you can call the police ticket office to see if there's a NIP in the pipeline.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    If the car is registered to the lease company then the NIP only has to arrive with them in 14 days. It can then be served on you several months later as a named driver. You could ask the lease company if it did arrive within the 14 day limit but the general consensus is they won't tell you whether or not it did because they don't care and they certainly don't care enough to get involved in trying to sort out your mess. The only thing they'll do is fill in your details they have for you on the NIP and post it back to the police.

    As above your best port of call is the police ticket office to find out if one has been issued. You can then give your details.
  • AretnapAretnap Forumite
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    scott284 wrote: »
    Now I am wondering where I stand with the law since I asked the lease company to change my address before the police would have sent the NIP to the registered keeper. So due to an oversight on their part, I may now have an NIP that I don't know about.
    Legally the s172 is considered correcly served if it's delivered to your last known address - which would be the address provided by the lease company.

    You would then have a defence to not replying if you could show that it was not "reasonably practical" for you to reply. But how does that apply here - if you didn't actually get it it's automatically not "reasonably practical" to reply? If so, anyone could avoid speeding tickets just by giving an incorrect address to the lease company, or even by throwing all their mail into the bin unopened - so it must be a bit more complicated than that.

    The case law which comes closest to this situation is probably Whiteside v DPP. Mr Whiteside was frequently out of the country and was sent a s172 requirement - which he didn't actually receive on account of having been of the country at the time. The magistrates convicted him on the basis that while he was away he should have made more effort to ensure that important mail was brought to his attention, for example by asking a friend or relative to check his mail for him. He appealed and the High Court upheld his conviction. They noted that that his failure to receive the s172 requirement might provide a defence if he could show that he'd made all reasonable efforts to ensure that he knew about it, but it was for the magistrates to decide what was a reasonable effort in any particular situation.

    So those are the general principles, but there's no definitive answer to how they apply to any specific case. But FWIW on the basis of what you've posted here, you're obviously aware of the possibility that there may be a s172 requirement floating around with your old address on it, so if I were a magistrate I'd conclude that reasonable steps would include phoning the lease company again and/or the ticket office for the police force involved, and asking if there's been a NIP issued for you.
  • I know the morally correct thing to do would be to ask the lease company if they had received a request for driver information after the alleged offence took place, but I obviously want to avoid getting the 3 points and a £100 if at all possible. As far as the police and lease company know, I was oblivious to the alleged offence taking place and assumed that the lease company had acknowledged my e-mail notifying them of the change of driver details.

    My defence, if it went to court, is that I notified the lease company of my change of address before the s172 was sent (assuming one was sent), and I have records of this. So the lease company have been negligent here in failing to acknowledge and therefore acting upon the change of driver details notification until I reminded them 2 weeks later. However, by then the NIP would have already been sent on to my old address by the lease company.

    Should I do nothing or be proactive and take the points and fine?
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    I think you are clutching at straws if you think thats a defence. IANAL but reckon best you'd get is no penalties for late payment and still have to pay the fine and take the points.
    Phone up the police and ask if one has been issued/
  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    scott284 wrote: »
    I know the morally correct thing to do would be to ask the lease company if they had received a request for driver information after the alleged offence took place, but I obviously want to avoid getting the 3 points and a £100 if at all possible.

    Should I do nothing or be proactive and take the points and fine?

    Do nothing, and you won't get 3 points and a fine.

    You'll get 6 points and a much larger fine for failing to respond to the s172 request. And much higher insurance premiums for the next five years.
  • AnotherJoe wrote: »
    I think you are clutching at straws if you think thats a defence. IANAL but reckon best you'd get is no penalties for late payment and still have to pay the fine and take the points.
    Phone up the police and ask if one has been issued/

    The bottom line is I don't have to do everybody's job for them.

    I am not the registered keeper of the vehicle. Therefore there is no evidential presumption that the notice has been served on me, therefore the prosecution have to prove that it was served on me. They have to prove this beyond reasonable doubt.

    I can put forward the argument that I updated my address with the lease car company on the day when I think the alleged offence occurred, i.e. before the police would have been requiring my address from the lease car company.
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    Did you inform your company's HR of your change of address? If yes, when?

    Did you inform your company's Fleet manager/department of your change of address? If yes, when?

    I'm a company car driver ... I don't have to communicate directly with the lease company for anything - it can all be done via the Fleet department.
  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    scott284 wrote: »
    The bottom line is I don't have to do everybody's job for them.

    I am not the registered keeper of the vehicle. Therefore there is no evidential presumption that the notice has been served on me, therefore the prosecution have to prove that it was served on me. They have to prove this beyond reasonable doubt.

    I can put forward the argument that I updated my address with the lease car company on the day when I think the alleged offence occurred, i.e. before the police would have been requiring my address from the lease car company.

    Even if you are right, the fact is that if the NIP is sent to your old address, and you do not respond, you will eventually be summonsed for the s172 offfence and you will not be in court to make these arguments. You will therefore be found guilty in your absence.

    You may well be able to have that cancelled and retried, or even dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to the speeding charge. However, you will have lost any chance of a course or fixed penalty: any fine will be income related, and you will also face costs and a victim surcharge.
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