Drivers warned over unpaid fines

Aug 25, 2016

Drivers with unpaid fines have been warned they risk having their vehicles clamped, taken into storage and ultimately scrapped or sold off if they do not settle their fines.

The warning comes after a Fife man had to pay up more than £1600 to settle five outstanding fines when his car was clamped outside his home. The man had fines for five road traffic and vehicle licensing offences imposed at courts in Dunfermline and Edinburgh between January 2015 and July 2016 which had not been paid.

After joint enforcement action was taken by officers in the Lothian and Borders and Tayside, Fife and Central Sheriffdoms, a seizure of vehicle order was issued and the man’s Audi car was clamped. He settled the fines totalling £1633 in full before having the car released.

In Edinburgh and Midlothian, 5 vehicles were seized in one day, as Lothian and Borders Fines Enforcement Officers (FEOs) took tough action against wilful non-payers.  Offences ranged from drink driving and driving without insurance to not displaying a road tax disc.

A vehicle that was clamped in Dalkeith in May was removed to storage after the offender failed to pay their fines. It is due to be sold to recoup fines totalling £330 imposed for keeping an unlicensed vehicle and driving with no insurance.

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 taking money directly from earnings or benefits and even arresting non-payers as they travel through ports or airports on holiday or business trips.

new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 87% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2015 has either been fully paid or is on track to be paid through instalments. This is on par with the value of fines paid as at 11 April 2016.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “The fines enforcement team 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 your vehicle being clamped and possibly sold or scrapped, arrestment of wages, bank accounts, 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.

Court-imposed fines as well as most penalties issued by the Crown and Procurator Fiscal Service can be paid by phoning 0300 790 0003.  Police-issued penalties or those requiring endorsement of a driving record cannot be paid using the new system.

Most fines can also be paid on our secure website at  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.


Notes to Editors

•          Fine defaulters are not named for data protection reasons.

•            A copy of the most recent SCTS Quarterly Fines Report is available at:

•            Many fines are paid by instalments over the course of two or more years which will affect collection rate figures.

•            Most of the money collected through fines payment is sent to the UK Treasury under devolution arrangements set up within the Scotland Act 1998. 


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