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To not pay my parking fine of £100 for overstaying at a services for 10 minutes?

(76 Posts)
NomadsLand Thu 24-Jan-13 20:30:32

Met a friend at a Services station for coffee and overstayed by 10 minutes over the apparent 2 hour limit. It is posted on a couple of signs but I must have missed them.
Received a parking ticket with time-stamped photos of me driving in and out (it is my car).
So annoyed! No ticket on my car - just these bloody photos and a £100 fine.
Seems unreasonable to me.
Anybody else dodged this bullet?

Coconutty Thu 24-Jan-13 20:32:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Notfootball Thu 24-Jan-13 20:33:00

I'm in the process of dodging it now, 3 letters so far for overstaying in a free carpark. Not a chance!

BunnyLebowski Thu 24-Jan-13 20:33:25

Is the letter from the council or a private car park company?

Afaik you legally only have to pay council-issued parking fines. The ones from chancers private companies are unenforceable.

I'm sure someone with more info will be along soon.

fourfingerkitkat Thu 24-Jan-13 20:34:01

Not in a services station but I did once get a ticket for parking slightly outwith the lines in a P&C space. I had the two kids with me and had deliberately parked this way to allow space for my double buggy at the side of the car. (With DS1 we had an incident where 4x4 nearly reversed into the pram with him in it when the pram was at the boot of my car). I wasn't obstructing any other vehicles so basically told them to ram it....I took pictures on my own phone with the pram etc. They chased me for about 6 months but I didn't pay a penny....

Coconutty Thu 24-Jan-13 20:34:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ravenAK Thu 24-Jan-13 20:34:58

Lots of good advice on MSE forums, but basically, ignore. It's a try on.

SarahZ Thu 24-Jan-13 20:35:19

I dodged it by sending receipts and letters. Would have complained to shops I used also had they not waived the fee.

Parking company is likely
separate from the service station.

NomadsLand Thu 24-Jan-13 20:35:42

Private car park company. Well dodgy! Hate the photos of my car - it just feels so intrusive and their letter was so threatening. Bastards.

Will take your advice. Thank you!

fourfingerkitkat Thu 24-Jan-13 20:35:53

Bunny - think you are correct here. I recall OH used to have a friend who worked with a collections company and he said that they didn't have any legal rights to enforce the "fines" from the private companies.

Pizzaexpress2 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:42:58

No. Don't pay it.
As previously they are chancers. No legal right to enforce the fine. It is the council/ local authority ones which you are obliged to pay. It was private property so stick to your guns and ignore the letters and demands which will come your way.
Loads of info on the Internet, especially from Martin Lewis site.
Don't let them intimidate you.
I have successfully ignored 2 such tickets, wrongly issued but the companies had no recourse to pursue.

mylovelymonster Thu 24-Jan-13 20:46:18

I had one of these in a supermarket car park that was being patrolled by a private firm. It looked like a 'parking fine' document - like a traffic warden would leave, and was £25 if paid in the next 10 days, or then would escalate. I found out by a bit of googling that it is not a fine in the traditional sense, as it was private land and a private concern, but actually an invoice and as such without legal basis. It presumes that you have agreed with the terms and conditions when parking your car on the land. Because it look official, and the cost escalates/you feel bad about doing something wrong/people in this country are far too polite, many people pay up.

I worried a bit, but ignored and waited to hear of any further action, of which there was none. no letter or anything. I have parked in the same car park since in the same car.

Find out about who has issued you with the invoice and satisfy yourself that it is not from the police or the council. Do a bit of googling and satisfy yourself that it's not something you should waste any more of your time on.

Ponders Thu 24-Jan-13 20:49:23

Watchdog page on council vs private parking tickets

when there's no charge for parking there is no financial loss if you overstay so they can whistle grin

mylovelymonster Thu 24-Jan-13 20:49:52

btw, YASVNBU. They would have to take you to court to chase payment, but they would need to justify a £100 cost/fee for parking for 10mins extra. They would not have a leg to stand on.

Ponders Thu 24-Jan-13 20:51:02

'In issuing a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make a claim for damages. The amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question.
'According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this charge should be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although excessive charges are common. This isn't a criminal matter despite any impression given to the contrary by the operator.'

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 21:44:43

I got one of their 'charge' letters all done up to look like it was from the Rozzers. I posted on here and the advice was to ignore, do not enter into their games. Do not phone or write. IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. Their business model works on the principle that a certain percentage of people are scared enough to pay up.

Somewhere online there is a list of the letters they send you. Parking Eye send a couple themselves, then they send one from a debt recovery agency Roxburghe saying they'll send round the baliffs (they can't without a court order) or you'll get a CCJ (they can't) and it will affect your credit rating (they can't and it won't)

Then they send one from 'Graham White solicitors' threatening all kinds of legal action. Graham White isn't a real solicitors and shares its office with Roxburghe. A retired solicitor Michael Sobbell lends them his name so they can call themselves soliciitors and they will invent all kinds of absurd sums of money it could cost you.

They will stop after 7 letters when they realise you aren't going to pay.

girlynut Thu 24-Jan-13 21:59:13

Ignore! The court will only fine you if you've broken the law but there's no law covering parking on private land, only public highways. The owner of the land could sue you for breach of contract but could only claim back any loss they'd suffered and clearly they've not suffered any loss as a result of your parking.

AKissIsNotAContract Thu 24-Jan-13 22:02:39

Does this mean that you can park in a supermarket carpark and not shop there without being fined?

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:45

They can issue one of their speculative invoices, but they will find it very hard to collect anything for it.

lemonandlimes Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:50

Ignore it.
Don't bin anything, just file them away until thhey stop coming.
Have a look on Pepipoo, there is some good advice on there. MSE seem to have lost the plot recently, and seem more concerned with purely scoring points against these companies.

mercibucket Thu 24-Jan-13 22:20:38


or appeal to popla then ignore

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 22:24:30

Right. Firstly, it isn't a parking ticket but a suit for breach of contract. By offering the parking space, they invite you to enter into a contract with them. By parking, you accept the contract. By overstaying, you breach the contract. So they sue you for breach of contract. It isn't unenforceable, or illegal and yes they can issue a CCJ against you and in fact they have done a couple of hundred times last year alone. Whether you ignore them or not makes no odds - as far as they're concerned you have breached the contract by overstaying and you entered into the contract when you parked, not when you reply to their letters.

However, mostly they don't do anything beyond sending threatening letters. It's up to you if you ignore them; most people are fine - they certainly don't take everyone to court. You basically have to decide if you're ok with that (small but conceivable) risk. But all the people on here saying that it's illegal and unenforceable are talking out of their arseholes.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 22:26:10

Oh yes and if they do take it as far as court, not only will you get a CCJ but of course it will also affect your credit rating. It isn't an 'invoice'.

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 22:29:00

Remind me Wallison which Car Parking Company do you work for again?

So they sue you for breach of contract. It isn't unenforceable, or illegal and yes they can issue a CCJ against you and in fact they have done a couple of hundred times last year alone

They can't issue a CCJ against you. Only the court can (the clue is on the name County Court Judgement) and that is only if you refuse to pay what has been ordered in court.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 22:32:18

Heh. I don't work for them - I just get a bit riled when people start chucking around words like 'invoice' and 'unenforceable' from having read a bit too much but at the same time not enough around the subject, and thus giving people like the OP shit advice.

And yes of course only a court can issue a CCJ, but there were a couple of hundred CCJs issued to people in regard to these tickets just last year. Of course, that's compared to thousands that are issued, so you might think it's a negligible risk. But it is still a risk, and saying "Ooh there's no contract if you don't reply to their letters" is a crock of shit.

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