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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
Hi, just back from oz where myself and better half spent a couple of months travelling 4000km in a hertz rented campervan up the east coast. A month or so after arriving back to uk, had 2 separate speed tickets drop onto my door mat from the aussie boys in blue. Both for 56km/hr in a 50km/hr zones. Total cost of fines is about £250 (550$aus).

Does anyone know what happens if i don't pay. Can they use debt collectors in the uk to chase me for this? Any advice much appreciated.
Pete D
Read your hire contract. It is often the case that if you do not pay they will place the cost against the card on which you hired the vehicle and the rental company will add a handling charge to this. If you return to Aus and you have not paid up then I do not know if immigration would deny access until you have paid. Pete D

First of all make sure there have been no handling charges on your credit card, if there have been get them reversed as an unautherised transaction.

Second, do precisely nothing. The fines cannot be added to your credit card, and Oz cannot chase you for the money in the UK.

At those speeds it suggests the tickets are from New South Wales - if so you will get a further two demands for payment well spaced out and then they will give up. Do not contact them in any way, the authorities have no way of knowing if you have ever been served with the papers.

I had one of these about 18 months ago when I was around Sydney for a week. Even with the close ties between Australia and NZ the debt collecting arm of NSW did nothing, apart from send three letters.

The scare stories you may hear about people being stopped at borders is often to do with people not paying a ticket after actually being stopped, which is somewhat different.

Look closely at the paperwork, from memory it is quite interesting. I seem to recall that you can't deny the offence without an Australian address, and apart from the fact you have received a piece of paper what other "evidence" have you been sent, nothing! And does the envelope say something like "if this letter is not delivered it must be returned within ten days"? Yeah, right.

Looking at it another way, how do you know that these things aren't a Nigerian scam? Do you know the places concerned? do you know the speed limit was signed correctly? do you know who was driving?

Apart from checking credit card statement I would still suggest doing nothing.

Pete D
It depends on the wording in the car hire contract. Many declare that parking and speeding fines can be charged to the card. Pete D
So what are they waiting for, and why haven't they?
Thanks for the feedback, actually Hertz have just put a handling/admin charge on my credit card so I might have to enquire about that with them.

I think you may be right that they cannot add the cost of fines to your credit card....i've put the kiss of death on that!

My main concern was a uk debt collecting agency somehow getting their grubby paws on the info thru some information sharing deal with Aus. It will happen someday in the future!

Tickets were all in Victoria. You are right that we do not know who was driving, but is that a viable excuse as it was either me or my missus.

I will probably just sit on my hands and see if anything else turns up. Thanks again.
Hotel Oscar 87
For future reference, as I'm sure jaykay will confirm, most if not all NZ hire companies have a clause in their contracts stating that any speeding fine will be charged to your credit card without further recourse. As I found to my cost (only NZ$120 thankfully - plus a NZ$40 handling charge) a couple of months ago after an encounter with a "camera van" aka an unmarked red Nissan minibus parked on the verge facing north on the southbound carriageway of SH1 just north of Huntly - the sole occupant of which (at 9.15 at night I might add) was shooting his laser through the windscreen. A clear breach of the ACPO RPET Manual. I knew what it was immediately I clocked the guy inside. So, imagine the conversation when I got back to my sister's place when on telling her what had happened she told me that she'd been caught a few miles further south by the same van only the previous month. Thanks for telling me!
most if not all NZ hire companies have a clause in their contracts stating that any speeding fine will be charged to your credit card without further recourse.

Happened to me in NZ 3 years when I was there for the Lions Tour. I was driving a large campervan that had a 0-60 time of 3 days but somehow managed to get nabbed by a Gatso. The hire company hit us with the charge direct to our CC.
The Rookie
I got done in Switzerland, Hertz did not charge me for naming me to the local BiB and as the 'fine'* was less than £20 I figured it was easier to pay up!


*The way the paperwork is done, you dipsose of any liability by paying the money, so its not logged anywhere that you committed an 'offence'.

There has been discussion in NZ recently about tourists not paying fines, and the governmnet was proposing that the fines be charged to credit cards - I'm not aware this was actually happening.

However, it doesn't alter my recommendations, which is simply to get any such charges reversed - if you query ANY transaction with a card company they have to refund your money whilst the dispute is sorted out. Sometimes the car hire company won't do anything as they would have to spend more time trying to recover the amount slapped on - which they won't and can't get any money more! Sometimes (so I've heard) the card company itself pays out.
The very worst outcome would be having to pay the original amount, argue long enough and it is more than likely you won't have to.
There are no circumstances where you have to pay more.

So my original advice still stands, do nothing with the Australian scam paperwork and get any mysterious credit card charges reversed. Remember that until the fine is paid it is an allegation, no offence has been committed.
Hotel Oscar 87
jaykay - I tend to agree with you especially on one-off visits. However my circumstances are that I visit regularly, have used the same hire company (not one of the multinationals but an NZ company) for years and get a good deal from them everytime. I'd be loathe to p*ss them off as they have pulled the stops out more than once in the past. As I was staying for some weeks and didn't actually have a car continuously it was in my interests to agree the payment to pick up the extra hires. Besides I'd signed the contract agreeing to the term and they didn't slap me with the "handling charge" - another 40 bucks from memory. As this was effectively dealt with "in country" its probably wrong to compare it with the situation the original OP set out.
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