/ Motoring

Been punished by a parking fine? Make sure to appeal

Traffic warden writing parking ticket

The other week I had a chat with a parking attendant about how long I could stay in a privately-run supermarket car park. He politely gave me the info, watched me walk away and then put a parking fine on my windscreen!

What had I done? Crossed the road. I hadn’t seen the notice that said I could not go ‘off site’ and the parking attendant had not offered up this information to me when I checked with him.

Yes, he told me that I was allowed to park for two hours. He also told me that I had to go to the supermarket, which I did. But he didn’t bother to tell me that I couldn’t go to the other shops over the road.

Last week we reported that eight million parking fines are given out every year. Despite this huge figure, in some boroughs many motorists successfully appeal. That is exactly what I did.

I phoned up the number on the ticket straight away and was amazed to get through to a very polite lady who apologised and told me to appeal. As soon as my ticket came through, I appealed online and within a week I received a letter saying they had dropped the whole thing.

If you get caught out with a parking fine and don’t think it was fair then it’s worth appealing. Although not all private parking firms will give you the chance. And please, dear parking attendants, do your bit as well and play fair!

Zerocredit says:
7 March 2011

Sorry to hear about such blatent meaness – wonder if there are nay big notices stating that!

I recently parked on a street which I thought was free. About 30 minutes later I saw a parking attendant making out a ticket by my car, so I ran over to check. He pointed out that I was at the start of the metered parking and pointed to a sign right outside my car. Whoops!

However he said if I got a meter ticket right then he would refrain from giving me a parking ticket. He must have been in a good mood, or may be he was just a genuinely nice parking attendant. But it shows that sometimes a polite enquiry to begin with can work wonders!

Great advice to always try to appeal – will be putting this tip on our website.

[Message from moderators: Hello Zerocredit, we have removed the URL from your comment as we did not feel it was relevant. Thanks.]


There were notices but I thought that as I had asked the parking attendant then I had the full info re the rules! I will resist crossing the road in future…..Good to hear that you didn’t get a ticket.

Emma_Campaigner says:
7 March 2011

I had a parking fine issued outside my flat, while I had a parking permit displayed the Council claimed it was partly obscured. I challenged the Council straight away and by way of response they emailed me a photo taken by the parking attendant. True enough, it was obscured. By the rain. So I sent them the copy of the parking permit. They emailed back to say while they stood by the judgement of the parking attendant they agreed to let me off “this once”. Moral of the story? Never park a car outside in the rain…that and always appeal if you feel you are genuinely in the right!


Don’t park outside in the rain, don’t cross the road…. There are a few morals coming up re parking fines. Best one? If you think you’ve been wrongly fined – appeal!


Was the privately-run car park also enforced by a privately-run car park management company? If so, as the PePiPoo website advises, you can simply ignore their parking ticket and all their subsequent demands. Unless they are the council or the police, according to that website a private company has no legal right to give you a penalty. They can only charge compensation for loss of earnings to the supermarket caused by your parking while shopping elsewhere. The amount of this loss is likely to be zero, if there were other spaces empty at the time.

ANGIE says:
23 March 2011

My son had a parking fine for leaving his car in Asda when he went to college. he did not tell me about it and did not pay it. We eventually got a letter from a debt collector re this fine. I contacted a solicitor and was told that the fine was illegal. Don’t pay it. We didn’t and 3 yrs down the line have heard no more about it. We didn’t even ring the company or acknowledge the debt collectors either. they were just trying it on

Maureen says:
1 August 2013

Within the month of June I recieved 8 parking tickets at the same place from a CCTV camera, I am a disabled driver I park here for the convenience to get to the shops. My badge is always displayed on the dashboard, it’s just that I drive a 3 year old cmax and my dashboard is long and dips down I display it on my right hand side, by foot the warden has to go right up to the car but because of where CCTV camera even if they zoom in the cannot see it. Out of the 8 parking tickets one went to court and I lost, I don’t have the money to pay the ticket on that day I received another through the door!!! I am getting really stressed with this.

Thrifty says:
4 August 2013

There are always people who park with impunity and expect to get away with it, they shouldn’t. There are also the vast majority who are attempting to behave reasonably but are confounded by trade associations etc. like the BPA who’s code of conduct for their operators seen to be held as pseudo laws. For instance you have 28 days to appeal, that’s what the code allows. I appealed after being out of the country for 2 months and recieving a ticket on my absence for a 15 minute overstay in a free for 2 hour car park. The shop took forever to process the order for furniture it had taken me over an hour to choose. I was denied by BPA code the right to appeal. I would have won with the operator as their ticket said if I had a receipt to prove I was a genuine shopper the ticket would be canceled. I had a receipt for £1000 but they wouldn’t even look at it as 28 days had passed. It’s this sort of practise that gets the industry a bad name. I have no choice now but to pay £180 or respond to their claim in court and their claim is based on them having operated according to the BPA code. The shop is incensed but only a tennant the site owner is an investment syndicate and have basically just shipped responsibility for parking to a parking company who provided they operate within BPA code get to keep all the fines – it’s not in these companies interests to be fair. I now spend my entire time shopping reading small print on signage and I can’t understand my rights on most of them. They could operate reasonably and we’d all understand the necessary evil, however most of them are just outlawed champers who have switched to legalised extortion.


You do have a choice. Don’t pay the fine. Only councils or police are allowed to impose penalties. Private companies are not allowed to issue penalties (you’ll find the ticket says something like “charge” rather than “penalty”) and you are only liable to compensate them for any actual loss caused by your overstay – I assume that loss is probably nothing, or, at the most, a pro-rata parking charge at the normal rate for 15 minutes. Go to the pepipoo.com forums where there are people who can help you.