Fleet PCN Management: Solving PCN Transfer of Liability

Jun 6, 2023

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Handling complex fleet PCN scenarios is where Fleet PCN management systems come into their own, saving time and money for the parking operator and making life easier for the fleet company and their customers. Enter Zatpark Fleet Checker!

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What is Fleet Checker?

So you’ve issued a parking charge notice (PCN). Now, you’d normally go to the DVLA to find the vehicle keeper so you can issue your Notice to Keeper letter but then the DVLA notifies you that the notice was issued to a fleet or rental company. Now things get complicated.

In this fleet or rental PCN scenario, the keeper is the ‘day-to-day user’ of the vehicle, and they are responsible for the PCN, but probably not the driver on the day. You then have to jump through hoops to try and find who the driver was, which costs you time and money.

Standard practice is for the parking operator to request the vehicle details from the DVLA, typically using the electronic KADOE (Keeper At Date Of Event) lookup service. When using the KADOE lookup service, the parking company is charged a small fee for each request. 

Zatpark Fleet Checker shortcuts the DVLA keeper lookup process by checking for fleet vehicle ownership upfront, allowing for rapid payment by the fleet operator if they’re able to pass the charge directly to the driver. Alternatively, the fleet operator can simply update the driver details directly on the Zatpark fleet PCN system, saving significant time and money and improving your payment rates.

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Fleet Checker in practice

If you are a parking operator that uses the Zatpark platform you have a fast-track way of handling parking charge notices issued to fleet vehicles.

1. You issue a parking ticket

When you issue a PCN for a parking contravention the vehicle number plate (VRM) is checked to identify who is liable for the charge. Zatpark Fleet Checker checks the number plate to see if the vehicle is owned by a fleet company. At this point, only basic vehicle information is sent to Fleet Checker for identification.

As the parking operator, this is cheaper and quicker than checking the number plate via the DVLA.

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2. Zatpark discovers it’s a fleet or hired vehicle

If Fleet Checker identifies the vehicle as owned by a fleet company Zatpark automatically notifies the fleet company that a PCN has been issued to one of their vehicles at your parking site. 

As the parking operator, this is a much simpler process of identifying a fleet vehicle and notifying the company.

3. Zatpark asks the fleet company: Your vehicle has a parking ticket. What would you like to do?

The fleet company will receive a simplified notice asking them what they want to do about the parking charge.

At this point, there are two options the fleet company can choose.

Option 1 – The PCN is paid immediately

To make their life easier, they can pay the PCN within 48 hours, and then charge the driver. We find that this happens in nearly all cases like this. The fleet company will charge the driver to recover the PCN fee and, typically, an additional amount as stated in their usage or rental agreement.

As the parking operator, you get your payment immediately with no Transfer of Liability, appeals or debt resolution to handle.

Option 2 – The hirer or driver details are provided

The fleet company says they are not going to pay the PCN but they will provide the hirer or driver details. Zatpark receives the details and automatically issues the notice for payment of the PCN. 

As the parking operator this process is automated, details are collected and notices are issued quickly without you needing to do anything.

Why do I need Fleet Checker?

Skip the DVLA lookup process

Fleet Checker can remove the need to look up the keeper details via the DVLA by checking the Zatpark fleet database first. If the vehicle keeper details are found in the Zatpark fleet database then there’s no need to send a request to the DVLA. 

Constantly updated fleet vehicle database

Zatpark checks its constantly updated database of UK lease and hire companies, providing up-to-date keeper status. 

After obtaining the keeper details Zatpark kicks off the ticket progression, automating each step of the enforcement process, including issuing all required notices.

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Avoid complex Transfer of Liability

When a parking company issues a Notice to Keeper to the fleet company that owns the ticketed vehicle, the fleet company may then issue a Notice to Hirer if they want to pass the PCN on to the person who used the car. This is called Transfer of Liability. 

First, pursuing the fleet company

The process of transferring liability can be challenging for parking operators to manage. For example, if a rented car has a parking ticket stuck to the windscreen by a patrolling ticketer the parking operations team will identify the rental company as the keeper. The parking operator issues the PCN to the company but they may choose to transfer liability for the PCN payment to the hirer. 

Second, pursuing the hirer

In this situation, they will provide the hirer’s name and address to the parking operator who will send the original PCN notice to the hirer. However, if the hirer receives the notice but wasn’t the driver on the day. The hirer may then pass the PCN on to the actual driver, transferring the liability again. 

Third, pursuing the driver

The payment of the PCN is now the responsibility of the driver. However, there is now the possibility that the driver may appeal the PCN, kicking off the appeals process that will require even more notifications to be sent. The administration time and cost of issuing postal notices become a real headache for everyone involved.

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In this scenario, recovering the payment can get very complex if the driver denies they were driving or they appeal the PCN. 

With three parties involved in the PCN enforcement tasks that include issuance, appeals, early and late payment variations, legal referral and debt recovery, it can become a lengthy process to recover the charge or resolve the debt. If the rental company choose to transfer liability to the driver they are faced with a significant amount of manual administration, communicating with the driver, the parking operator, and third-party agencies.

This convoluted process is something that most rental companies want to avoid and so many choose to pay the reduced PCN charge within 48 hours. They will then charge the driver a fee for handling the PCN as stated in their rental agreement terms and conditions. 

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Step up Zatpark Fleet Checker to save the day!

As you can see, Transfer of Liability can be complex, time-consuming and costly. 

Zatpark Fleet Checker accelerates the Transfer of Liability of PCNs to hire or fleet companies. This hugely reduces the administrative burden on the parking and fleet operations staff. The Zatpark platform enables operators to remove the need to manually process the Transfer of Liabilities and, combined with Zatpark Fleet Checker, significantly reduces the costs associated with issuing postal notices.

The Zatpark platform automates Transfer of Liability ticket progression and notices and Zatpark Fleet Checker increases the velocity of payments by potentially bypassing the DVLA for keeper lookup. Fleet Checker is faster and cheaper than using the DVLA.

Learn about Zatpark Fleet Checker

To learn more about fleet PCN tracking and reporting using Zatpark Fleet Checker contact us today for a no-obligation chat.

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