Tuesday 24 April 2012

• Only 42%* of those who have been the unfair victims of fines and pot hole damage make a complaint • Saga launches new legal service helping people to complain and challenge unfair motoring fines and costs


Research by Saga Motor Insurance shows that 46% of motorists feel they have been the unfair victim of parking fines, speeding fines or their cars have suffered damage caused by potholes. However, only 42% of victims bother to complain to the authorities to challenge these fines or attempt to claim back the cost of damage done to their vehicle.

The fact is motorists are very backward about coming forward to complain.  Even though one in ten people say they have been unfairly given a speeding fine, only 5% of them have challenged this penalty.  And although 20% say they have received an unfair parking fine, only a third appealed against it.  And when it comes to potholes 16% say their car has suffered damage caused by a pothole, but only 7% complained. 

Of those who had had their car damaged by a pothole 41% didn’t know how to go about complaining.  Many people surveyed said anecdotally that their council had publicly stated they wouldn’t pay for pothole damage and others simply felt it was pointless complaining to the council.

The over 50s are the age group who say they have most often been the victim of unfair speeding fines (12%) and parking fines (22%) yet a third of them (35%) did not complain.

It seems that people are either worried about the costs involved, feel that appealing is a waste of time or do not know how to complain.  Of those that didn’t challenge a parking fine –22% didn’t know where to start but over half of those who did not challenge an unfair motoring incident said they would have been more likely to challenge if they had some help. 

The research indicates that more needs to be done to improve access to legal services for todays over 50s.  People don’t know where to turn, are unsure of the costs involved and are concerned about getting value for money.

The good news for motorists is that help is at hand. From 18th April Saga is launching a new legal service enabling people to download simple documents and templates to help them draft letters to challenge unfair fees and fines relating to a variety of motoring issues.  These include damage caused by potholes, demands for compensation from a careless driver and poor servicing from dealerships.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services, commented: “It turns out that the over 50s are far removed from the curmudgeonly image of Victor Meldrew, it’s more a case of, ‘I don’t believe it’ – and people don’t complain enough.”

“People feel it is complex to access legal services to enable them to complain, they don’t know what’s available, pricing is confusing and the terminology used can be complicated.  We see these new documents as a way of opening up the market to enable people to get simple, practical help that doesn’t cost the earth and this is the first of what will be several legal services introduced by Saga during 2012.”

The Saga Legal Services documents are available at no extra cost for customers with Saga Motor Legal Protection cover and for a small fee for those without.




Notes for editors

*Research carried out on behalf of Saga by YouGov amongst 2133 adults between 21st-23rd March 2012

How does Saga Legal Services work?

Customers choose a legal document from and complete a series of easy-to-answer questions each with helpful explanations and often, examples. Based on the customer’s responses, our system drafts and tailors the required clauses to create a document suitable for the customer’s needs. Needless to say, all of the information held by Saga is kept securely and all advice given is confidential.


What type of motor related legal documents are available?


Document Type


Motor Legal Protection customer 

Non-Motor Legal Protection customer

Notice of appeal to a parking appeal tribunal


Refuse a car dealer's denial of liability


 Agreement for the sale of a motor vehicle
Free £24.95 

 Complaint about damage to vehicle during service and repair work

Free £2.99 
 Complaint about substandard vehicle servicing
Free £2.99 
Demand a refund from a car dealer for a faulty vehicle
Free £2.99 
 Demand compensation from a careless driver
Free £2.99 
Disagreement about a motor vehicle repair/service charge
Free £2.99
Letter requesting evidence in respect of a motoring offence
Free £2.99
Letter to a car dealer requesting repair of a faulty car
Free £2.99

Plea of mitigation in response to a speeding summons

Free £2.99

Letter to challenge a parking fine

Free £2.99

Pothole damage claim letter

Free £2.99

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