Parking fines on private land (supermarkets, motorway services etc)(18 Posts)
I don't come on these boards often, but I notice that a lot of mums here have had problems with getting 'fined' at supermarkets etc by firms like Parking Eye. People who have committed the terrible crime of overstaying for a few minutes are routinely being asked to pay £100 or more to these firms.
One key word of advice: do not ignore any of the letters or demands you receive, many people are ending up being taken to court because they have failed to respond to such demands (in the past you could get away with doing this, but things have changed in the last 12 months).
First appeal to the company concerned. They will say you entered into a contract with them when you parked up. Say that you do not believe their charge is a genuine pre-estimate of loss (which is all they can get you for under contract law - and a place like Aldi hasn't lost a penny by you overstaying for a few minutes). Also ask for a POPLA code if they turn the appeal down.
POPLA (www.popla.org.uk) is the appeals body that oversees private parking tickets. When you have got an appeal code once again make the case that the figure is disproportionate to any 'loss' the landowner may have suffered. Crucially the costs of running a parking company, installing CCTV camersa etc is NOT considered a loss, only any specific loss that YOUR parking indiscretion has caused them.
If you need more help then you can find a very useful forum here for personal and free help in fighting parking tickets forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showforum=60.
Do you work for a parking company?
Hardly! They don't want the public knowing about these things. Aldi (for instance) is letting Parking Eye run riot with their customers - day after day people are complaining about unfair fines on the Aldi Facebook page.
There is no way anyone should have to pay one of these bills if they follow the advice above, so I just hope it's helpful to folks here.
I have been ignoring a Parking Eye "fine" since December 2012. The "letter before action" saying I'd be taken to court if I didn't pay within 14 days came in May. If any notification of court action comes through then I'll deal with it (by producing evidence to prove that they are complete scammers and their car park "clock" was wrong - something I'm sure they know).
There is plenty of good advice to be found about this.
Many people are being taken to court - really? How many are we talking here? How many people versus how many fines they dish out?
My advice would be to go to the Money saving expert site (sorry MN Towers, but they have a dedicated section to it) and take the INDEPENDENT advice from there.
ParkingEye are taking several hundred people to court every week (see: the Freedom of Information request here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/167749/response/411802/attach/html/3/Shippp%20FOI%2083979V2.doc.html.
Money Saving Expert is a great site, and they too can help, but the advice remains the same: do not ignore these people.
what has changed then
the companies were not meant to send out letters that could be considered threatening
I would like to know what has changed in the last 12 months
I think the law was tightened up at the end of last year and the advice is no longer just to ignore the letters. People are now being taken to court according to pepipoo and MSE.
What has changed is the Protection of Freedoms Act which came in force in October 2012. It created the POPLA appeals body. What has also changed is the tactics employed by the parking firms, who are becoming more aggressive in their approach.
They are using the legal system to send out thousands of claims to bully the average person into coughing up, most people pay up in sheer fear. If the case makes it to the small claims court the risk is that the judge - who is used to petty debts etc - does not understand the details of contract law and sides in favour of the parking company. They are also winning loads of cases by default (look here at Parking Eye parading the names of people who failed to defend their case in court and lost by default - www.parkingeye.co.uk/News)
The message is simple - do not pay, but do not ignore either.
After a few letters I complained about their treatenng letters this was the advice given around 3 years ago
Never heard from them again
They often use checkered lines or call them PCNs, mimicking the Penalty Charge Notice titles of official council tickets. Don't get caught out - they're invoices, not fines.
Don't ever think of private parking tickets as "fines". They're not. These companies have no official right to fine you, though they may try to make you think they do.
All they're doing is sending you a notice for what they deem as a breach of contract.
You could also ignore it and wait to see if you get court papers in the post demanding payment - often they don't follow through.
this is from money saving expert
You did the right thing three years ago FS. That is no longer the advice given though. I think I read that the law is different as well depending on wether you live in England and Wales, Scotland or NI.
The main change is instead of having to prove who was driving they can proceed against the registered keeper.
Nah! Talking out of your arse!
You are entering a contract by parking on "their" land. If you stay a minute too long they'll send the fine notification by paying DVLA to get the address. BUT they don't know WHO was driving the car and the contract is with the driver of the car. I'm insured for 4 cars. How would they know if it was me driving?
I had a parking ticket on 17 December 2011 in these exact circumstances. I was Christmas shopping fgs! They sent me 3 or 4 letters and I just ignored, ignored and ignored them again. They do not have a legal leg to stand on. The power is in the drivers' hands. They are very unlikely to pursue chasing the 'fines' through the courts as it isn't cost effective for them. Besides, if say 50% of people are scared into paying them then they have a result. That's what they rely on, people's ignorance.
The only proper parking fines are issued through the police, traffic wardens and councils. The parking management companies send something that looks like a fine, but is actually an invitation to pay. Not an invite I'd accept!
There's an excellent website called peppipoo that specialises in advice on parking and speeding fines. Give them a quick look.
Teeny - maybe you should have read the original post? Op is recommending pepipooo and provided a link.
The Protections of Freedom Act 2012 means that a landowner can now pursue the registered keeper of the vehicle rather than the driver. However post this legislation I've still totally ignored a fine related to an aldi car park overstay in December 2012 and all has been quiet for about 4 months now so am not really expecting to be taken to court.
Teeny - the way the 'system' works has changed in more recent times.
Older advice was always to ignore, but this has now changed to do not ignore, follow advice from pepipoo etc and you will still not have to pay its a small but significant change in initial advice given.
You could choose to ignore (as previously) but parkings co's. have changed their tactics and are now applying in bulk for cases to be heard in court.
The legislation changed on 1st oct 2012
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