Pay parking ticket for leased car that I'm turning in?
December 16, 2016 11:09 PM   Subscribe

I got a not-super-large-but-still-annoying parking ticket, but it's for a leased car that I'm turning in in about a week. Can I get away with ignoring this..?

So I was parked in a row of 5 people and thought I'd be fine and didn't check thoroughly for signs...and we all got ticketed. $47 (in Seattle). I would just grumble and pay it but 1. The policeman put down the make of my car as Subaru when it's a Toyota, 2. It isn't even registered in Washington, it's registered in NY, and 3. It's a leased car and I'm turning it in in a week!
Can I just not pay this? What are the potential consequences? I know I have to turn in the license plates to the insurance agency when I turn the car in and I don't want to get charged then...I also don't want the address where the car is registered (parent's house!) to get notified/harassed about this. Do parking tickets follow you/your license? Or just the car? Or just the plates?
posted by leafmealone to Law & Government (13 answers total)
For $47 do you really want to deal with all of the possible hassles of this? Just not worth it. And, besides, truth be told, you had a parking violation, do the right thing and pay it.
posted by HuronBob at 11:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [25 favorites]

I can tell you from personal experience that they take parking tickets seriously in Seattle. If you think you might ever want to register a car here again, just pay it. C'mon, you're not going to pull one over on the city because the cop put the wrong make on the ticket or because it was registered in another state.
posted by lunasol at 11:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

The place where you leased the car will forward the ticket to you and the fine will have most likely gone up by then.
posted by brujita at 11:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]

do it.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:00 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, cars are inherently traceable. They have plates, VIN numbers, redundancy in ownership and registration papers, multiple points of contact through the dealer and license offices, banks, credit agencies, etc. There are several people who could get notified of this ticket, who would all immediately tell you to pay up, whether that's your parents, the dealer, you, future you who tries to buy/register another car. I'd pay $47 just to know that it wasn't going to suddenly reappear via my credit report when I attempted to rent my next apartment.
posted by aimedwander at 5:52 AM on December 17, 2016

Pay the ticket. If you let it go, Seattle will up the charges when it goes to the leasing company. The leasing company will pay the ticket but forward the amount owed to you with an administrative charge. By the time all the charges get added up, this $47 ticket could end up costing you $100 or more. In other cities, not sure about Seattle, there is usually a discount for paying a ticket within 7 days.
posted by BostonCannuck at 6:30 AM on December 17, 2016

Yeah, the leasing company will forward to ticket cost to you, it will probably have late fees by then, and they'll most likely tack on an additional administrative fee. I tried to just not pay a ticket I got on a rented car once, and it took six months but the ticket eventually found its way back to me. Parking tickets have a really unerring homing instinct.
posted by aka burlap at 7:12 AM on December 17, 2016

It is not merely a pragmatic dilemma. You broke the parking rule, you incurred the ticket, you admit doing so, and there was therefore nothing stupid or irrational or unfair about the ticket except you not reading a sign. It was nobody else's fault. It's as much your obligation as your electric bill or your grocery bill to pay it, as a matter of morality and not just legality.
posted by spitbull at 7:56 AM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]

Did they write down the license plate correctly? If so, then it will follow whoever is listed on the registration for that license plate. If that's the leasing company, they will definitely pass it on to you, probably with extra fees.
posted by danceswithlight at 8:50 AM on December 17, 2016

I suspect Seattle uses a scanner to record the VIN and/or plate and does not rely on writing down the license plate number correctly as a standard of proof. It's been years since one could evade a big city parking ticket, and when they find you it just ends up costing you the ticket plus the cost of collection and interest and fees that will make it many times worse.

But again, why would you not pay a ticket for which you are legally responsible entirely? That's no different than any other form of tax evasion.
posted by spitbull at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

More than a decade ago I had a Massachusetts tagged rental car that was ticketed in Chicago for parking illegally. I was at the time a California resident. I ignored the ticket. It hasn't caught up to me yet.
posted by u2604ab at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2016

They don't have to chase you. Once they figure out it was you, they could just issue a bench warrant for failure to appear. Next time you get run in the system for whatever reason - speeding ticket, renew your license, etc. - you'll find out you owe a thousand dollars in late fees and penalties, or go to jail.

Which is a really inconvenient way to (temporarily) save $47.
posted by ctmf at 1:33 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, this has the potential to happen at the worst time. When a manager considering hiring you or a landlord considering renting to you runs a background check, it'll just say "warrant for your arrest" not "parking ticket". And once in a while Sheriff's departments have a slow day and go visiting. Having a uniformed officer show up at your workplace with a "warrant for your arrest" is a little embarrassing (even though they don't actually take you away, just tell you to pay your damn ticket.)
posted by ctmf at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2016

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