Clampers put the squeeze on fines dodgers

Nov 30, 2017

Fines dodgers in Scotland’s cities have paid up thousands of pounds after having their vehicles clamped in a crackdown on people who repeatedly refuse to pay.

Nine drivers in the Glasgow area settled outstanding fines totalling almost £2000 after finding their vehicles clamped. A Porsche owner who had failed to settle a £150 fiscal fine for having no insurance finally paid up after finding his Cayman luxury sports car immobilised when a seizure order was issued by Dumbarton JP Court.

In Edinburgh, a Musselburgh man who dodged fines totalling £910 for 6 offences including assault and road traffic infringements dating back to 2014, settled the sum within hours when his Ford was clamped after an order was issued at Edinburgh JP Court. Another city driver who owed £320 in fiscal fines for having an unlicensed vehicle paid up within 24 hours after his Citroen was immobilised.

In Aberdeen five drivers owing sums ranging from £100 to almost £800 found their vehicles immobilised. A Mercedes driver convicted of traffic offences and fined £150 paid up within hours of finding his luxury car immobilised while a Renault van driver who had failed to settle his £100 fine for a road traffic offence found his business affected when the van was clamped. He quickly paid up to get back to work.

Drivers face having their vehicles taken into storage if they do not settle their fines quickly and an Aberdeen Hyundai driver who owed £780 after being fined for failing to turn up for a trial had his car removed. Owners have to pay additional clamping costs and mounting daily fees when a car is taken into storage and vehicles are ultimately scrapped or sold off if they do not settle their fines.

A new electronic interface between the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the DVLA vehicle database has enhanced the ability to track down drivers with unpaid fines.

Clamping vehicles is one of a number of measures available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for recovering unpaid fines. Other measures include freezing bank accounts, arresting wages, taking money directly from benefits and even arresting non-payers when they are travelling through ports and airports for business or holiday trips.

In all cases, the offenders had opportunities to make payment of their fines at a reasonable and affordable instalment rate – but did not pay up. 

A new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 84% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments. Of Sheriff Court fines imposed from 1 April to 30 June 2017, 86% by value has been paid or is on track to be paid by instalments.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines – ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise. Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including arrestment of wages, bank accounts, your car being clamped or inconvenience and embarrassment by being arrested when travelling abroad.”

All defaulters are issued warnings before action is taken. Those in genuine financial difficulty can engage with enforcement officers to discuss payment terms.

Most fines can be paid round the clock on our secure website at  or using our automated telephone payment system by phoning 0300 790 0003. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving record cannot be paid electronically at the moment.

For those penalties that cannot be paid using the online or telephone payment systems, customers can post payments to Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Central Processing Unit, PO Box 23, Glasgow, G59 9DA or take it in person to any Scottish court fines office.

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