Car clinic: As a council employee, am I personally responsible for any parking fines?

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Q. I am a council employee and would like to know if I am personally responsible for parking fines while out and about driving a council vehicle.
KW, Exeter

A. If the vehicle you are driving is owned by your employer (ie the council is the registered keeper of the vehicle) and you receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) such as a parking fine, the council is responsible for paying it. But if the registered keeper is you, it’s your responsibility.

However, even if you are not the registered keeper, you may still have to pay the charge if your employment contract with the council stipulates that this is the case. So check all the details of your contract to establish what’s what. Having said that, it may be diplomatic just to pay the fine yourself.

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Nick Freeman is a solicitor who runs a legal practice in Manchester specialising in road traffic law – read more from Nick here.

Email your question to or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 3 Thomas More Square, London E98 1ST, with a daytime phone number,
your address and as much detail about your car as possible. We can’t reply in person, so don’t send original documents or SAEs. Advice is given without legal responsibility.

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