To not pay my parking fine

(36 Posts)
EggsMichelle Thu 07-Mar-13 08:04:30

I am receiving conflicting opinions all over about this and inclined to just pay it so I don't have to think about it an more, but here goes...

I parked in a Farmfoods car park monitored by Parking Eye and stayed 18mins over the 1hr allowance. Not an excuse, but my 10wk old had had me up most of the night, was screaming blue murder and I parked in the first place I could find and found a wetherspoons to feed him and have a coffee to calm myself down.

So now I have received a £75 fine (£45 if I pay early) but there is something about these private parking firms acting illegally and the threats should just be ignored. Has anyone else had experience of these fines?

PrincessLayer Thu 07-Mar-13 08:08:16

Some advice on MSE
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/private-parking-tickets

OohShiny Thu 07-Mar-13 08:08:26

No experience but from reading on here if its not a council or police FPN then you can ignore.

Hope someone will come along with a more sure answer for you.

If it's not issued by the council or the police you don't have to pay.

There is a very tiny chance (really, really tiny) they would take you to court wherupon the judge would instruct them to charge a reasonable fee which may be 18pence or nothing.

I would never pay these 'invoices' - they are not fines.

BigGiantCowWithAKnockKnockTail Thu 07-Mar-13 08:09:34

I've read lots of similar threads to this that say you don't have to pay the private firm fines.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 07-Mar-13 08:11:04

Just ignore it. They will send letters threatening to take you to court, but they never do (take you to court, that is). It's an invoice, and as such they have to prove you lost them £75 worth of income. As it's a free car park I doubt they can do that.

IIRC the only parking tickets you have to pay are those issued by the police or council.

DesiderataHollow Thu 07-Mar-13 08:15:41

Don't pay. YANBU

Dawndonna Thu 07-Mar-13 08:40:00
redwallday Thu 07-Mar-13 08:45:42

Don't pay it. Don't respond to anything they send and they will give up.

ENormaSnob Thu 07-Mar-13 08:49:15

Not the same but my local hospital trust has started taking people to court over parking.

EggsMichelle Thu 07-Mar-13 08:56:48

Thank you, especially for the links. I will stand my ground on this, I don't have £75 to give to bullies so fx I only get threat letters.

threebats Thu 07-Mar-13 09:35:06

Do not ignore this.
Regardless of how private parking firms are considered shite by all concerned (apart from themselves) and they are shite make no mistake about it - if they are employed by the shopping place that you went to, they CAN enforce payment. AND add fines on top of payment for non payment/late payment/letters sent to you - they have links into the DVLA so they can find out where your car is registered and who the keeper is.

I got a ticket for overstaying in Tesco once - I contacted the branch manager, and informed him that I have an autistic son who is impossible to get around the store to their hour's parking enforcement and I would go to court to prove my case if I had to. He cancelled the parking fine. I suggest you go to the shop you were in, ask for the manager, try the same tactic.

It does not always work - at my children's college, the parking is controlled by the same private firm - A student got a ticket for parking in the 20 min waiting space as he was going in to pick up certificates - he stayed 30 mins, got a ticket. The college washed their hands of all responsibility for it and advised him to pay it or he would be taken to court. It is the same company as the one the Tesco's store employed... Seems Tesco has sway the college does not, probably because Tesco (on occasion) want good PR and the college could not give a fig...

I think the advice given on these sorts of tickets is to pay it then fight it - to avoid more fines and so forth. Honestly, I would pay it then fight it in your shoes. I know its a lot of money and it will make you angry but you will be even more out of pocket and angry if you are fined on top of the fine?

I had a Parking Spy one from Poole (did pay for ticket, but DH entered reg no wrong!) ... after initial panic and then reading up/deciding not to pay I was quite looking forward to getting the full set of letters (including fake bailiff/solicitors ones). I only got two :-( Probably looked at the picture of our shitty car and decided we weren't worth the effort grin

Shutupanddrive Thu 07-Mar-13 09:40:47

I had one for £95 for parking in Matalan (went in and bought quite a few things) but then left my car there while I walked across the road to next so got a ticket. I ignored it and haven't heard anything since, and this was last August. Ignore!!

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 09:41:20

DO NOT PAY.

Just ignore, you will get a few ever more threatening letters then they give up.

They could, in theory, take it to court in the end, but it is a civil dispute, they have no losses from you staying too long in a free car park, they hope you will be scared enough to pay.

I had one once, ignored it, had a few letters in the shredder, then nothing.

It is effectively an invoice, not a fine. The links will explain it all better for you.

threebats Thu 07-Mar-13 09:50:14

Sorry, my cat walked over keyboard so sent my post before I was done.
I worked in the DVLA for a long time and saw many of these cases fight to the dog... The others are correct in the fact that a company seldom goes to court - the 'fine' is an invoice and they have to prove you have lost them money in order to enforce the fine. But - some companies will enforce. It depends on the company, check out the company, go online see who uses them as well as the shopping place? I would hate to think of you sat there having letters then God forbid, bailiffs around, it does happen. Air on the side of caution and go check things out before you make a decision to pay or not pay?

MajorI Thu 07-Mar-13 09:50:23

Please ignore what bats has said above.

These car park fines are based on the theory that by parking in the carpark you have agreed to a contract with the company and that you agree to not stay longer than they state. There is no legal precident that would enforce this as you cannot agree to a contract that you have not seen and is simply implied by the small sign telling you about it.

You have 3 options:

1. Simply ignore them. They will send threatening letters which should also be ignored and they will give up. If you get bored of the letters simply offer to compensate them for their loss of income at a reasonable rate of 10p per 6 minutes overstay - i.e. 30p. This would be considered a fair offer and their case would be thrown out if they try to take action.

2. Offer the 30p upfront and send them a cheque "In full and final settlement" for the 30p. Chances are they will not cash it anyway.

3. Pay up and become another victim of this parking rip off.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 10:06:46

They won't send bailiffs FFS

Bailiffs would only be involved if a court decided you should pay, and you didn't.

Which wouldn't happen. Bin it, do not appeal, do not contact them.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 10:08:31

Bats - if you used to work for the DVLA - how are these 'companies' allowed to buy the right to access our names and addresses through our car reg?

Is this not a breach of Data Protection? I haven't given the DVLA permission to give these scammers my address.

Anyone (private individual or company) can now get your name and address from the DVLA Merry.

I had one. I totally ignored it, ignored all letters and they went away eventually. Don't even engage with them.

Sallyingforth Thu 07-Mar-13 10:14:11

I had one of these and ignored it. Received two more letters, one in red. Then nothing else.
Ignore advice from anyone who has been taken in by this scam. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 10:15:25

Really Laurie ? Bloody hell, that's really shit. Can we tell the DVLA not to?

MTSgroupie Thu 07-Mar-13 10:21:58

There is a small quadrant of shops where I Iive and despite the 1hour only sign, cars often stay much longer. It's not worth it for whoever to patrol such a small car park so people park with impunity.

As a result I often need to park a distance just to pop in to post a package for example.

Yes you had an excuse for staying over the limit but doesn't everybody? Pay or don't pay - I don't have an opinion - but it's a bit silly to go on about the parking people ripping you off. It's not as if they jumped out of the bushes 1min past the hour.

Previously it was correct that these fines were unenforceable (basically you could deny that you were driving and they couldn't force you to say who was driving). The Tories changed the law last October though and specifically give private parking firms the legal means to pursue people for unpaid fines. Whether they will do so remains to be seen, but just be aware that the advice to 'just ignore because nothing will happen' is probably based on experience before the law was changed.

We got one from Parking Eye for overstaying at an Aldi car park in January. We complained to Aldi, they asked for receipts or a bank statement showing that we regularly shop with them, and they cancelled it straight away.

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