PCN Handling

5 Common Mistakes When Fine Handling

October 25, 2023
5 Common Mistakes When Fine Handling

Fine handling is an important requirement when operating a fleet. Not responding to a ticket will generally result in a financial penalty for the business. In the worst case situation, the business could be charged with failing to provide the details of a driver to the Police with the associated cost and disruption that this might bring.

There are a number of things that a fleet can do to protect itself. We have put together a list of 5 common fine handling mistakes.

1) Where are your fines going?

Ensure that you are receiving all of your fines. It sounds obvious but do all of your suppliers, finance houses, leasing firms and rental company suppliers have your current address? When did you last check? Your supply agreements and Master Lease agreements could be years old. Are your latest address details on there?

2) Processing Responsibility

We would suggest that personal responsibility for fines is always as narrow as possible. This will help avoid any opportunity for a fine to ‘fall between the cracks’. If you must have multiple people responsible for fine handling, then ensure there is a very simple and clear workflow for handling incoming fines such as splitting responsibility by fine type or vehicle type.

3) To pay or reassign?

A big question is often around the idea of reassigning or paying fines. Sometimes there will be internal issues to consider (such as recovering the fine cost) but sometimes the decision is driven by the offence type. A simple example would be for speeding fines, which will need to be reassigned every time. Most leasing or rental companies that work with Fleetworks reassign everything they can. Our advice it to learn the rules and set a payment/reassignment policy in place and then stick to the policy. This ensures fast actions and no delays minimising fines go up in value.

4) Do you charge for your admin time?

PCN management is a time-consuming task. If you source vehicles from a third-party leasing company then it is likely that you will incur a fee when a fine is incurred. Some businesses will charge a minimal fee in line with their cost and disruption, while others will view charging fees as a profit centre. Whatever plan you settle on, your drivers should be aware of the process and fee’s in advance so get your terms and conditions in order whether that is via a contract of employment, lease or rental agreement. Not doing so risks chargebacks, customer service queries or HR issues to resolve.

5) Driver support

PCNs may cause stress and anxiety with drivers. Having one person or business unit in control of processing them will inevitably mean you end up with an in-house 'expert'. Drivers will want advice and support. It is possible the financial element may be a concern for the driver or, they might be concerned that an offence may jeopardise their employment. Having someone available in your business to help guide a driver will be useful.

Fine handling is a serious part of fleet management. Once these issues have been discussed and a policy decided in advance, then the people processing the fines can move along with processing much more quickly.

A case study about PCN management in a rental fleet environment then click here.

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