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Congestion charging confusion

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Thursday 26 February 2004 3.40pm

We registered for CC last year, paid the bills and went merrily on our way.

We have now received a number of letters from the Congestion Charging people regarding registering for 2004/5. The first letter informed us that we would not have to register again till May. We assumed that this also meant that we would not pay until then. We have now discovered that although we don't have to register till May, we do have to pay.

Now the tricky part.

A friend in Trinity Church Sq received the same letters regarding the May registration date then started to receive CC fines. He phoned the CC people, was told he had to pay and he duly paid for 2004/5. He has now been told that they can't credit the payment to his car registration until his registration for CC has been logged and that will be 10 days from now. Until then he must buy daily tickets.

We may be in the same boat.

CC claim that no-one else has had this problem. If anyone on the SE1Forum (or any contacts) have had any similar experiences over re-registering, I'd like to hear from them.

Niall Connolly
Thursday 26 February 2004 4.20pm
Good post Niall. Can I add another question to forum members?

My partner lives with me at my flat inside the CC but for insurance purposes registers their car at their house in the country. We are both on the electoral roll in SE1 and both pay rates (and my partner also pays rates on their place) but new guidelines insist all cars eligible for CC permits are also registered at properties inside the zone. It's obvious the GLA are trying to prevent mis-use of the system but if you are a on the electoral role inside the CC and use a car between two properites surely you must be allowed to register it at the one where insurance is cheapest.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Thursday 26 February 2004 6.25pm
TC et al

The CC regs are being changed regarding car registration. We also have a car which is registered in Somerset and now must reregister it inside the zone to qualify for discount. At present we pay Council Tax in SE1, are on the voter's role in SE1 and live 90% of our lives here.

Looking back a year or more I remember all the scams that were in operation when the CC rules were first published. One of those scams was to register for discount at an address withijn the zone and have the Royal Mail redirect the mail to your real address, outside of the zone. Obviously CCplc have figured out that car registration is a better bet because it is less open to abuse.

Regarding my original post, it may be that CCplc have varied my (and others) reregistration date (from Feb13 to May) to give time to change the keeper's details on the log book. But they haven't explained that in any of the numerous letters that we have received which led to the confusion.


Thursday 26 February 2004 6.32pm
Although I no longer run a car in London, it does cross my mind that the last motor insurance quote might have been a tad cheaper if it had not been skewed by the number of predominantly better-off drivers registering vehicles at family homes/second homes outside the metropolis, and thus bugger up the insurers' database on the ratio of claims to resident cars!

Thursday 26 February 2004 7.03pm
I should think that you would run the risk of invalidating your insurance if you have not disclosed full details of where your car is REALLY kept to your insurance company. Be careful if you have registered it in Penzance or Wells-Next-The-Sea, the moment you have to make a claim you might find yourself telling horrid lies before you realise it. It probably doesn't matter if you break a couple of bumper bars. However if you run down and kill an eminent brain surgeon and his family claim for millions of lost income, do you really want to stand up in court and swear that having the car in London was a one-off?

Lang Rabbie could at least sleep easily at nights, secure in the knowledge that he was not defrauding his insurance company.
Thursday 26 February 2004 8.37pm
I had two reasons for caution:
i) The rate of motor thefts in my former street (a neighbour's girlfriend lost her Golf GTI on the second night she slept at his place
despite central locking, wheel restraint etc... still don't know how they took it!)

ii)In a previous life, when advising on a contract requiring "data mining", I visited the data-matching centre in Belfast used by several major insurers to reduce fraudulent claims. Their testimonials (on claims abandoned due to matching of details of theft with evidence of permanent residence nearby) were pretty strong evidence of effectiveness !!!

(only just leaving office....)

Edited because previous draft made no sense

Post edited (27 Feb 04 09:59)
Friday 27 February 2004 12.51pm
I had a similar problem when they changed my annual payment to before my residents discount ran out but i rang them to find out what i was supposed to be paying and when as i was not clear. They told me if i missed either date i would have to pay untill i was re registered-it was fortunate as my partner had his renewal date moved to after his resident registration ran out and did not realise either so we just managed to avoid being fined.

They are trying to stagger the dates so there is less of an admin pile up but it would make more sense to change both renewal dates to avoid such confusion!

Friday 27 February 2004 6.07pm

It would seem that the multiple letters that CCplc send out add to the confusion. There seem to be two separate actions, a) register for CCzone discount and b) pay the discounted amount.

It would seem that whilst it would be sensible to register and pay at the same time, CCplc have separated the two events with consumer confusion as a result.

A poos advert for a successful project.

Niall Connolly
Friday 27 February 2004 6.18pm
And I thought I was the only one who couldn't figure it out. Though in our case replacing our car in the middle of our payment running out and our registration running out has only added to the confusion.

My "I may be very thick so could you explain it clearly" phone call came up with the advice that we should pay full (non-resident) charge until TfL had registered the new car. And then claim the excess back. I'm sceptical, but lets see.

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