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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?

Terpsichore Fri 08-Mar-13 09:32:27

I was really shock to get a parking enforcement notice at my station car park and was astounded to discover the MSE boards and find out what a total scam this is. I got the letters exactly as predicted, including the ones from the fake solicitor. Just ignored, and they gave up.

Not sure whether the new law alters anything, though - any legal types about to advise?

I could be wrong but I thought all it changed is that now they are allowed to pursue the keeper of the vehicle - they have a pact with the Devil the DVLA to be given this info - whereas in the past, the keeper could legitimately claim they weren't driving, and therefore weren't liable.

But as far as I can see, the courts aren't going to be any more impressed with these scabby firms' tactics. After all, what do the firms 'lose' if, for example, you pay the correct fee and park in a bay they've decided is not operational but haven't signposted or blocked off, which was my supposed 'crime'? They just make up excuses for fake penalties to try and screw even more money out of people. I despise them.

ravenAK Thu 07-Mar-13 21:26:47

These threads quite often attract posters who actually work for the companies that issue these dodgy invoices. They aren't always entirely frank about it, either.

wanders off, whistling quietly

Jengnr Thu 07-Mar-13 21:00:48


ClutchingPearls Thu 07-Mar-13 19:51:20

I agree completely ignore. I had one and was disappointed they only bothered to send 1 letter, obviously I'm on the too poor to bother pursuing pile.

threebats how did you see these cases "fight to the dog"? Surely once DVLA have given over the details they have no more to do with the case. Or do they report back to you?

willesden Thu 07-Mar-13 14:49:20

Please totally ignore what threebats said. The DVLA has nothing to do with these scams. I got a ticket for parking outside the front of a railway station in the 20 minute bays. I worked for the company at the time, so my parking permit was clearly displayed. I marched into their portakabin 7 months PG, waving the ticket and generally making a fuss, and he just tore it up in front of me. When I asked if he was going to record the ticket cancellation, he told me that they don't pursue the 'debt', they just take a chance that the majority of those fined will be scared enough to pay up. And people do. Don't pay it and don't shop at Farmfoods.

BobbiFleckmann Thu 07-Mar-13 14:37:56

DH is currently ignoring 3x parking tickets issued for the station car park for which he holds an annual pass which costs more than £1k a year (the tw*ts). So far we've had 2x letters from the parking firm per ticket, then one from a solicitor, one from a "bailiff" attached to the solicitor and the parking firm and have ignored the lot on the basis of the very clear advice on Money supermarket etc in relation to these specific companies.
HOWEVER - in the course of investigating all this, it transpires that the law was changed in October last year which means that some private parking tickets are now enforceable - I can't recall the details as it didn't apply to ours but it's worth you having a google on the new law.

meddie Thu 07-Mar-13 14:35:20

Ignore. I would not appeal or pay up and hope to claim it back. They wont be interested once they have extorted money out of you for their nonsensical invoice.
They wont send the bailiffs around either. Do you work for a parking company threebats by any chance.

INeedThatForkOff Thu 07-Mar-13 14:29:20

Really wish I'd asked this back in 2010 when we were fined £60 for being 8 minutes late out of the maternity unit, having spent the time faffing to adjust a complicated carseat so that the straps were small enough for our newborn. Not what you want to deal with fresh from labour, bastards.

Ah well, we've had our own back threefold by now, having moved fairly close to the hospital. We invite all friends and family to use out driveway rather than pay to park at the hospital :-D

Sallyingforth Thu 07-Mar-13 13:25:06

I understand what you are saying Cabrinha. But there is a big difference between parking in an official space in the street, and staying in one of these carparks controlled by ripoff merchants whose only purpose is to squeeze huge and unrealistic 'fines' out of people. Those deserve to be ignored.

Cabrinha Thu 07-Mar-13 12:32:00

My husband had one a few years back, and on my advice ignored it, he got 2 threatening letters then nothing.

These discussions do irritate me though.

I'm totally on the side of if you can get away with not paying, then don't. I'm not going to suggest you pay for any moral reason!

But... People always give their excuses, and I just think "well, you knew the rules - and it's not your car park". For once, it'd be nice if someone said "I over stayed cos I didn't check the time / thought I'd get away with it / could give a monkeys for their letters". Enough with the excuses! The student who took 30 mins to collect a certificate in a 20 mins waiting spot? Tough luck! Ignore the letter by all means, but you really can't complain about it.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 07-Mar-13 10:56:33

We had one once and we followed the advise which is to just totally ignore everything they send. Just don't acknowledge them at all. Eventually they go away. If you reply it encourages them as they think a) you exist and b) you may be gullible to cough up.

mrsminiverscharlady Thu 07-Mar-13 10:49:20

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.

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.

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

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

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.

RatherBeACyborg Thu 07-Mar-13 10:13:31

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

LaurieFairyCake Thu 07-Mar-13 10:11:41

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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


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.

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!!

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

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?

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