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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12173
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I had a car which I declared SORN on in October 2013 and it

Customer Question

I had a car which I declared SORN on in October 2013 and it was kept in a parking bay outside my house. The land is owned by a housing association who had recently contacted homeowners (September 2013) to let them know they were responsible for 'Amenity Areas' such as car parks, unadopted footpaths and roads, boundary walls etc. This was to let us all know that at some point we may be liable for costs of repairs to these areas. A map was not included

-In Dec 2013 the police ticketed the vehicle with a fixed penalty notice. I did not know about this, I rarely looked at the car and the weather was extremely wet and windy that month.

-In January 2014 I noticed a piece of paper on the windscreen. This was another fixed penalty notice which was barely legible (again, the weather was awful) but I contacted the Poice and it was a second fine for £100. This is when I discovered there was a previous fixed penalty.

-The DVLA also issued fines to the tune of £117 and £160

- I contacted the Housing association to confirm I was indeed legally parked and they sent me a letter which stated while the local council have some responsibility to maintain elements of this area, the land belongs to the housing association and we generally consider this area to be off street parking and separate to the public highway.

- On receiving this information, I thought there must have been a mistake with the issuing of the ticket and send a copy of the letter to the police and DVLA.

- The DVLA replied asking for confirmation from the council and the police replied to say they had been in touch with the council, and that they had been send a map from the council showing areas which have been 'adopted' by them. Of four sections of car park in the square, the only adopted section was the one I had parked on. There are no signs up and no way of knowing that this area was different to the rest.

-I queried this new information with the housing association and they then said they don't have any updated maps to clarify this issue as their systems are old and paper-based.

- I have since received an offer from the procurator fiscal offering to reduce the penalty to £100 or I will have to go to court because I "kept a motor vehicle not showing a tax disc" (although it was declared SORN) but this still leaves the fines from the DVLA.

I would like some advice on where I stand on this. Is it in my best interests to pay a few hundred in fines or would I stand a chance if I took it to court? I beleve I acted in good faith with the information I had at the time & that I received afterwards.

Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

If the area was adopted or even if it was not but didn't form part of the curtilage of your own individual property then you can't keep a SORN vehicle there. You may be able to negotiate your way out of the DVLA fines but you should accept the fiscal fine rather than go to court.

Happy to discuss further.

Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.