/ Parking Fine - France

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Greenbanks - on 17 Sep 2013
Hire car, south of Verdon (Bergamon), May 20 this year.
Just received notice of a parking fine - 35 euros if within 75 days, 70 if beyond that.
Details seem authentic, and all in French. Asking me to give over credit card details so that they can take the money.

Should I pay & accept it, or be suspicious about handing over cc details?
Flashy - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: Got a speeding fine on a hire car once, can't remember if it was France or Italy. The hire car company just charged my account nearly a year after the trip(!) without telling me, so I cancelled the card and called my bank's fraud hotline. Job done, no fine and that was the end of it bizarrely, even after all parties concerned had worked out what had happened.

Sorry, I know that's not massively helpful. Is it from police or hire company that you've received the details? This reminds me of a parking ticket I got once in Italy. I thought "when in Rome", left it in the gutter and heard no more. Sorry, again not helpful...
james1978 - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: Ignore it. What are they going to do if you don't? Just throw the letter away and pretend that you haven't received it.
(what I would do anyway.)
Dave Williams - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

I would first contact the hire car company as I presume they must have provided the parking authority with your name and address to see if they can shed any light on the matter, specifically to check your concern re. authenticity.

In my experience, ignore it at your peril. I omitted to pay a single congestion charge whilst travelling through Oslo in a hire car a couple of years ago. They traced me via the hire car company and started bombarding me with letters in Swedish/Norwegian, all of which I ignored. Eventually, I received a letter from a UK debt collection agency who'd been sold the debt by the Swedish company who operates Oslo's congestion charge. A payment of 300 was required within 15 days otherwise they'd take me to court etc. This amount was the original penalty, plus penalty charges for ignoring all letters/ time limits for payment plus the debt collection agency's 'fee'.

The original amount owing was the equivalent of 10.13!

Clearly we no longer live on an insular little island where Johnny Foreigner can simply be ignored. IMHO, the possible consequences of not paying just aren't worth it.

Food for thought if nothing else ...

Dave
smithaldo - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: Isnt there some new cross europe collaboration on parking/driving fines etc? basically I think the old chamonix ignore trick might not work (especially with hire cars)
Kimono - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
i thought it hadnt come in yet? may well be wrong though
Greenbanks - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:
Cheers for replies. 35 euro seems a bit soft to get landed with a load of hassle...might just slip cash in the sealed envelope & leave it at that
Tony the Blade on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

If you were in the wrong, why not just pay up and put it down to experience safe in the knowledge that you're probably still in credit.

If you weren't at fault then contest it as you would in the UK.

I'd never advocate ignorance as I have a similar tale to the one above.

Just my 2p worth
pneame on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Williams:
I once didn't pay a parking fine in Switzerland (I'd spent a week shuffling from one parking place during the day to another at night and was getting a bit annoyed....) Next time I was in the country, 10 years later, I wondered whether I'd be nabbed at the airport. Thank goodness they weren't that efficient!
Greenbanks - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:

TBH, its that long ago I cannot remember - I am not aware that I'd parked illegally. Heard stories of hire cars being targeted by scammers etc. No problem paying if I did it; a lot of problem with just sending my cc details
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Blue Straggler - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Williams:

> A payment of 300 was required within 15 days otherwise they'd take me to court etc. This amount was the original penalty, plus penalty charges for ignoring all letters/ time limits for payment plus the debt collection agency's 'fee'.
>
> The original amount owing was the equivalent of 10.13!


What was the outcome? Did you pay the 300?

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