Drive Offs - New Policy. - Dai Watchalowski

As a result of the thread on here about drive offs. I had a chat with my Solicitor today. What we have decided, where the Police can't or won't prosecute for drive offs, we will. I will pay LVLO for the plate details and then chase the buggers through the civil courts. Burden of proof is much lower and easier to enforce (plus I'll know where they live), to save costs I will represent myself in Court, did some Advocate's work in the Military.
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - crazed idiot
this assumes you are trading as a sole trader ?
ltd companies are not allowed to represent themselves in court, they must employ solicitor/barister

This is often why for small amounts a small claims summons is powerful coming from the ordinary punter because he only needs to turn up himself, where the company defending has to pay for qualified legal representation (which is often more expensive than paying out for small sums)

This was correct the last time I checked...
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - crazed idiot
also registered keeper is not necessarily the person who drove off, how are you gonna prove that ? he could just say "I left the keys down the pub for any of my mates to borrow the car"
It'll be hard to prove otherwise...
And for the lower orders of society (like me) in rented accom, who move often and quickly for work, none of the enforcement procedures are worth much, unless you can find out a bank they use (which has money in the account)
Cos to baliffs "Sorry everything in the house belongs to my brother"
Its hard very hard...

(I'm a good guy honest, I'm just trying to help)

However it was a useful procedure to follow against a nameless police force which extorted money from me as a "towing fee" when THEY decided to tow my car away for fingerprinting (after it was found after being nicked), and then wouldnt let me have the car back without paying a towing fee... Which is another reason the public really get cheesed off with them... Anyway they paid up like babys after a summons (after assuring me verbally there was no chance I'd get the money back!)
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - RichardM
You'd probably find most are uninsured/stolen, so untraceable.
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Mark (Brazil)
The uninsured doesn't really matter since you'll be nailing them, not their insurance company. I wouldn't have thought the fact that it was stolen was too relevant since I would assume that those are the ones the police would pursue.

However, I wonder how many of them have the car actually registered in their name ? I would tend to agree that this might happen a lot, preventing your best efforts.

In Argentina (I know, I know, who cares, its a long way away) they obviously have this problem. One approach which I have seen often is that the pump has to be activated from wherever the cashier is seated. He/She has a microphone and speakers to the pumps.

Where they recognise the person (regulars) they will release the pump. But for most people its neccessary to give the cashier cash or your credit card before they will release the pump.

Sounds complex, but its not really. And they only do it at night. Depends how much of an issue drive-offs are for you, I guess

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Mark
Hi Mark

The policy you mentioned as operating in Argentina also operates in some parts of the UK, I can think of 3 local filling stations that do exactly the same and one of them does it during the day as well.

Maybe its time to move abroad.

as ever

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - crazed idiot
yea and in US most places you stick your credit card in hole in pump, or walk up and give cashier cash, before the pump starts... its the only way really... most people just stick in the credit card and it cuts down on man time as well...

in new zealand, its like UK in the 60's and THEY fill your tank up and either wash your windscreen or give you a voucher for a car wash with each full tank... in most places throughout the north island anyway... and i guess the fact the attendant has the key to open the cap helps prevent u drive away...

i think you are onto a looser myself, carnt be enough money in it to make it worthwhile...
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Mark (Brazil)
> yea and in US most places you stick your credit card in hole
> in pump............

But in the US everybody, even kids, has credit cards and uses them for everything. Is it that way in the UK these days ?
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - John Kenyon
crazed idiot wrote:

> in new zealand, its like UK in the 60's and THEY fill your
> tank up and either wash your windscreen or give you a voucher
> for a car wash with each full tank... in most places
> throughout the north island anyway... and i guess the fact
> the attendant has the key to open the cap helps prevent u
> drive away...

In New Jersey, you aren't even allowed to fill up your own tank.
Full serve everywhere - and its still cheaper than self serve in PA.

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Martin
As an ex petrol retailer I have to say that most of the folk who filled up and then drove off without paying ( usually giving my cashier a cheery 2 fingered wave) were never seen again . The car numbers we got were either stolen cars or plates.

One lad was actually caught with 20+ sets of stolen plates in his car. His (brand new) car was granny's Motabilty car which he had set aside for his own use ( Granny did not drive ). No insurance natch.

When my losses hit £1000 a month six years ago I decided it best to retire.

I now do a bit of voluntary advice work and have to bite my tonque when the local youths come in for help with the Summons regarding no tax/insurance etc. They regard being fined as cheaper than actually paying for tax/insurance/petrol etc. ( and they are right)

sorry rant over

just touched a nerve

Hello Nurse.

Time for my medication ??

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Alvin Booth
Your best bet would be a Clint Eastwood dirty Harry lookalike with a big handgun standing around your pumps muttering " you feel lucky today punk".
OK perhaps you can't afford that but wouldn't it be cheaper and less trouble to employ some local shaven headed thug as the handyman with instructions to stand near the pumps when riff raff are filling up.
Having worked most of my life with the scum of society I just don't think you are likely to get any help from the courts in dealing with these people.
Remember they all get legal aid paid for by ourselves so you will be opposing a Solicitor and the old adage of never sue anyone who hasn't got any money.
A young man near me had over 80 convictions including burglaries and never got more that a good telling off by the local Inspector.
Unfortunately he made the mistake early one Saturday morning (in daylight) of starting to break into my son in laws Transit builders van.
My lad saw him through his bedroom window, on with his jeans, through his front door and battered his face.
An hour later the Police were at the door giving my lad a verbal warning, the criminal had only gone down the station to complain.
Undeterred by this after the Police had gone he went to the criminals house and gave him another smacking and told him he would have another each time he went to the police. That lad never gave any more trouble in that vicinity of the town.
It shows that all he needed was some kindly advice and a firm hand.

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - crazed idiot
the way to describe this incident to the police/court is a minimum force citizen arrest, and they escaped, you can quite legally detain someone for arrestable crimes, and if they put up a fight its just minimum force

Never admit you kicked ten bells out of them for the heck of it...


You dont get legal aid for civil actions in cases such as these, but they can easily empty their bank accounts and claim to have given all their property to their brother... So no joy I'm afraid...

As a youngster in some little town I was with a bunch of off duty reg soldiers who use minimum force "your honour" to prevent the local skinheads causing trouble (its a long story) and later the local bobbies came over and thanked us for doing something they were unable to do...
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Mark
Am I correct in thinking that some UK garages rent clapped out plod cars to put on their forecourts to deter drive offs.

Seem to recall reading about this somewhere possibly in the Midlands. Garages were claiming drive offs had dropped considerably and plod were keen on the rental fee.

As your chances of getting a real plod for your forecourt are slim this might be an option although not one that seems equitable given the effort plod expends on catching those that speed.

Also I suspect it would not as satisfying as the justice meeted out by Alvins lad or possibly that which could be given by a burly mechanic as suggested elsewhere.

as ever

Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - crazed idiot
yea some enterpising bobby stuck a car at the end of its police service on a forecourt to start this trend (it was only going to be stuck in the cop shop car park for a few weeks waiting for someone to pick it up and take it away)...

athough plod cars dont scare most young thugs i know, the coppers are too unfit and powerless...
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Tom Shaw
The local scum will soon twig as to why the same police car is always on the garage forecourt. The answer to most of the crime we suffer today is more prisons, and fill em up.
Re: Drive Offs - New Policy. - Dai Watchalowski
Some fruit for thought there, in fairness it has dropped off here from an all time
high about three years ago. What I find scarey now is that the ones that try and pull a fast one are your (reluctant to use next remark) middle classes. They
fill up then claim no cash or Bank Card and bounce a cheque on you, or claim to have no cah an dleave a deposit. I've got a set of good quality tools here left last year. They have been given the once over by local plod and seem kosher...what do I do with the bloody things though?

Crazed reminded me of my Army days......when squaddies went on the rampage and I had to go and bail them out the next day, either with the civil Police or heaven forbid the Redcaps -- bloody hell used to laugh like a drain. Thats were my respect for the Civil Police started, they were far more pragmatic than the Redcaps and far easier to sweet talk. "Leave it to you to sort them out" as they unlcoked the cell doors.......Redcaps do not trust anyone, that includes themselves.....!
Re: Getting a police car on theforecourt - Stuart B
Would promise of endless tea and doughnuts/bacon butties be cheaper than the rental on an old car? At least the car would change, sorry boys in blue, but lets face it we all have our fvourite tea spots ;-)

Re: Getting a police car on theforecourt - Brian
Yes, can't think of the last time I used cash.

Value my car