AM Online

New local authority powers of seizure of cars without court order even if legally parked

A new ‘recipe for disaster’ is incorporated with law going through parliament at the moment.

In an effort to stop people flouting the congestion charge payments local authorities are seeking to have the power to seize any vehicle for unpaid road penalties.

If the bill becomes law there will be a problem for second hand vehicles since there is no ‘register’ of unpaid fines to which dealers have access. The new purchaser may simply go out one morning and find the car has been impounded. The owner then has the duty of proving the penalties were imposed before they purchased the car. It is far from clear whether this will give the customer a claim back to the selling dealer.

At the moment local authorities can only seize vehicles if parked illegally but the new legislation allows seizure anywhere.

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