Trying to make a getaway

The parking authority is trying to recover about $6.5 million in unpaid fines

Robert Stainforth/Alamy/Getstock

Britain’s largest parking authority is trying to out deadbeat owners of foreign-registered luxury cars.

Westminster Council claims the owners of these vehicles routinely ignore parking restrictions because parking officials cannot access overseas drivers’ personal information to follow up on parking fines. So it is making public the models, licence-plate numbers and country of registration in an attempt to get witnesses to come forward and identify offenders—and recover nearly $6.5 million in unpaid parking fines. At the top of the most-wanted list: the owner of a Rolls-Royce Phantom who failed to pay 18 parking tickets totaling $3,000.

The council says there are 36,332 unsettled parking tickets involving foreign-registered cars in the past three years, and that vehicles registered in the Middle East pose the biggest problem. But diplomats may be the nation’s top parking ticket offenders, with embassies in London owing more than $60 million in unpaid congestion charges, parking fines and other motoring penalties from embassy-operated vehicles.

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