Fines dodgers pay up after cars clamped

Nov 24, 2016

A total of 54 fines dodgers across Scotland have paid up more than £12,500 after having their vehicles clamped since August in a crackdown on people who repeatedly refuse to pay.

In one Sheriffdom alone, covering Tayside, Central and Fife, 29 drivers found their cars immobilised and had to settle their fines and also the clamping costs before they could get their vehicles back.

A driver convicted at Paisley JP Court of failing to comply with a traffic signal and having no insurance got a nasty shock when his Ford Focus was clamped and then impounded for 21 days until he paid. In the end he had not only to pay his backlog of £330 in fines but also settle clamping and seizure expenses before his car was released.

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.  Fines enforcement teams then issued seizure orders and the vehicles were clamped.

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. They face having their vehicles clamped and taken into storage with additional fees mounting each day and ultimately scrapped or sold off if they do not settle their 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 taking money directly from earnings or benefits and even arresting non-payers as they travel through ports or airports on holiday or business trips.

A new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 85% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2016 has either been fully paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.

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 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.


 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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