Be warned: Pay your Hsinchu Parking Bills On Time

Parking on the street in Hsinchu like many cities costs money. It’s quite cheap though at a cost of about 20NT$ per hour. The system relies not on parking meters but on “attendents” assigned to a particular territory who go around on their scooters printing out bills. Since the bills are printed by a small hand held computer they are assigned a upc symbol which allows your local 7-11 to enter the bill into their system using a hand held scanner. Yes, you pay your parking and just about every other bill at your local convenience store. They are ubiquitous here. The system works well and is convenient.
It’s convenient except when you forget to pay the bill. It’s not a “pay as you go” but a “we bill you” system. As you’ll see this charming system really works well for the local government.
These little bills of 20-80NT$ tend to get lost in the expanse of my car. Because they are of such low value you might not immediately take the effort to pay or perhaps it’s just me who has poor personal financial management skills. Either way these bills have a time limit of one week from the time they are issued. When that time passes you are issued another bill via snail mail at which time you must pay 600NT$ per bill. If for some reason you neglect to pay that within a week you must pay double – 1200NT$ per bill. Until you pay that bill you cannot have any major repairs done to your car, pay car insurance, or update the car registration. If for some reason they don’t have your proper address, tough.
Due to my negligence and the built in traps inherent in the system I now owe 22,000NT$ (~800CAN$) in unpaid parking bills.
This is one of the reasons that when you buy a used car in Taiwan you need to do a thorough check on the cars history before you transfer ownership. Many people sell there cars with huge unpaid parking bills and you as the new owner are responsible for them.