Obama now among foreign motorists who owe £50M in unpaid London congestion charges

According to The Daily Mail, the city of London has slapped President Barack Obama with a £120 fine for failing to pay congestion charges during his most recent visit to the UK capitol. The fine evens out to around $193 at current conversion rates. When the president visited London in May, city mayor Boris Johnson asked our head of state to pay £10 (around $16.30) for every vehicle in the presidential motorcade. The U.S. embassy politely refused to pay the congestion charges on the basis that the 1960 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations prohibits any tax on a diplomatic mission.

London, meanwhile, argues that the congestion charges are not a tax.

Since the charges were enacted in 2003, various U.S. citizens have collected a whopping £5 million (around $8M) across 45,005 unpaid congestion fees. That puts the U.S.A. head and shoulders above other countries with similar outstanding fees. All told, 62 countries have an outstanding balance of more than £100,000 and 14 nations face charges of more than £1 million, including Russia, Japan, Germany and Nigeria. The total combined sum of all those fees is more than £50 million ($80.9M) – and that doesn't even touch the city's parking fines.

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