/ Motoring

Parking fines: your questions answered

Have you ever had a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) that you felt was unfair? Do you know how to challenge or appeal it? We’ve rounded up and answered your questions.

Every month, thousands turn to Google to find answers on how to challenge or appeal a Parking Charge Notice (issued by a private company) or a Penalty Charge Notice (issued by a local authority).

But regardless of which type of fine they get, many come to Which? Conversation to air their frustrations or to seek advice.

And what’s more, we know the majority of council-issued PCN appeals are actually successful.

Which? Consumer Rights: Parking tickets

More than 8.6 million PCNs were issued in England (excluding London) and Wales for parking, bus lane contraventions and the Dartford Crossing charge in 2016/2017, according to the most recent stats from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

And while a miniscule 0.43% were appealed, 57% of those were successful.

That means you may want to challenge any PCN you get which you think was wrongly issued or is unfair.

Your PCN queries answered

More than three years ago we published Barry Beavis’s account of why he decided to fight a £85 PCN in court.

Mr Beavis’s gripe was with a charge issued for parking on private land at a retail park. He argued the £85 fine was not a genuine reflection on the company’s loss by his overstaying.

He may have lost in the County Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, but the post attracted more than 1100 comments from people applauding Mr Beavis’s efforts and seeking advice for their own PCN woes.

Here are some of the common complaints and reasons why you might appeal.

If you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, the rules are a little different so you’ll need to look up your local rules for appealing.

‘I paid for parking but accidentally put in the wrong registration number’

This is unfortunate and a very frustrating situation, but could have good grounds for an appeal if you can prove you paid (with your bank card statement) and a picture of your car’s actual registration.

When you pay for parking on private land, the contract is with you and the private parking company or landowner. So if you can prove you have not breached the contract on your end, your appeal may well be successful.

You can use our parking appeals tool to write a bespoke letter for free to help get you started.

But remember, challenging the ticket doesn’t extend the 14 day limit for paying a reduced charge – unless the operator agrees to extend the period, which they’re not required to do.

‘The car is mine, but I wasn’t driving it’

In cases where you receive a Parking Charge Notice from a landowner or private parking company, you can appeal the notice on the grounds that you weren’t responsible for the car when it was parked.

You can contact the company which has issued the fine and give them the full name and address of the person who was responsible for the car at the time.

Be sure to keep any emails, letters or make notes of the conversation if you opt to call. The company must cancel the parking ticket against you and send it to the other person. This is known as ‘transfer of liability’.

But if the person was a friend, family member or loved one you can opt to pay the fine instead of appealing and follow it up with them yourself.

You can also appeal a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice if the car was stolen at the time the PCN was issued.

‘I bought a car and got sent a PCN for the previous owner’

In this scenario, you’re not responsible for the parking ticket and can appeal on the basis that at the time the PCN was issued, you were not the owner of the car.

Make sure you include any details you have about the previous owner, a copy of the registration certificate and evidence of when you bought the car.

‘I got a Parking Eye fine – can I challenge it?’

As with any parking ticket, you can challenge it – but whether you’re successful will depend on whether it was justified and fair (ie you actually broke the terms and conditions of the carpark).

We understand most of the successful appeals against Parking Eye are because you were a legitimate user of the land.

Before appealing, contact the business you were using and show them evidence you were a customer.

Often they will then write to Parking Eye themselves or give you a letter you can use to appeal your ticket.

For example, if you were a genuine shopper and only overstayed a short time, you may want to provide evidence of purchases (such as receipts and bank statements) and the letter from the business you were using.

Or if you were at a hotel for a conference which over-ran, you could provide evidence of your invitation and confirmation from the host that the event ran on longer than expected.

Another avenue is inadequate signage – go back to the carpark and look for signs about time limits. Are they clear? Are they visible?

Make sure you always follow the appeals procedure set out by the private company or the council. You can find this on their website or in the correspondence they’ve sent you.

Have you had any successful PCN appeals you can share? How did you do it? Or what about any unsuccessful ones? Why did you lose? Tell us below.

Comments

Just received a parking charge from Horizon after dropping my wife off at 3:55am at her job, going home then returning 6 hours later to collect her. They say my car overstayed by 2 hours and I was literally in the car park for a total of 7 minutes through both visits. I’ve got MileIQ to record my GPS and mileage for tax returns along with my wifes shift record. I sent an appeal with all of this but has anyone else got experience with this? and what happened? I feel it’s absolutely ludicrous that their systems didn’t see me leave or come back in 6 hours later.

Apologies, thought the first one didn’t go!! Just got a parking charge from Horizon and spent over an hour appealing and sending them proof I wasn’t in their car park as they claimed. They own a car park at my wifes work and I dropped her off at 3:55am then went home and returned to collect her at the end of her shift at 10:30am. I’ve sent them MileIQ and GPS records that show me and my car were not there during the time they stated on the charge but has anyone else experienced this and what happened? Furloughed with my wife the only worker and hit with an 85 quid fine because their system didn’t pick me up leaving or coming back in 6 hours later – ludicrous!!

As you have proof of your whereabouts I suggest you tell them if they continue to pursue you, you will claim harassment and are prepared to go to court if necessary. Unless they claim you parked for longer than just dropping off and collecting your wife I doubt any court would find in their favour.

However, just an amateur view. If they do not drop their claim I suggest you ask Which?Legal for help and a professional opinion.

Hi Paul – I recall reading other examples similar to what you have described. I hope that appeals are decided on an ‘innocent until proved guilty basis’. Well done having the technology to outsmart them.

Perhaps there should be a fee payable by parking companies when a motorist is falsely accused of contravening parking regulations. £85 comes to mind. 😉

Natalie Rossell says:
23 February 2021

Can anyone help me ? I have just received parking fine letters from dcbl for parking fines from 2017 and one from 2018 ? this is the first I have heard of these parking fines, is this allowed after all this time ? will I have to pay these?

Funny I have just received the same thing claiming I now owe £140 I had no idea about it until now

@awade
Hi Amelia,
Can Which? give some advice here please?

DCBL appear to be certified bailiffs. They may be genuine, but from a quick search could be trying their luck with out-of-date fines or even scamming without authorisation.

I have received two letters now in the past few weeks from dcbl for a parking charge from 2016, does anyone know if this has to be paid, personally i feel they can take me to court, 5 years down the line is shocking and I have never been to the place they say I’ve parked,
I have tried calling them but was number 42 in the que and i wasn’t waiting that long, and they have no email contact.

If bailiffs are pursuing a case it would normally be because the court has issued a warrant for recovery. For this to come about a parking charge notice must have gone through all its stages and created a civil debt that has been registered at the county court. If the vehicle keeper has no knowledge of the event that allegedly generated the PCN, or was not in the location stated on it, it must be resisted otherwise the bailiffs will – if this is genuine – be able to seize goods [starting with the car in most cases] to cover the charge and their costs.

I share Alfa’s suspicions and it would be worth doing some research to check whether the firm are indeed currently accredited bailiffs and the date of their certification, when they were authorised by the court to act in these cases, and on which parking company’s behalf they are acting [and then checking with them the source of the enforcement action]. Any warrant would have been obtained from the county court by the parking enforcement company and issued to their appointed bailiffs, but DCBL’s preliminary action might just be a frightener and they might not even have a warrant and have no intention of proceeding to actual recovery.

I agree that it would very useful to have a legal opinion on this from a representative of Which? Legal and perhaps it might be possible for Dave, Nnj and Natalie to engage Which? Legal Service on a joint and shared basis to assist them in the matter.

A company undertaking legal enforcement action must give its registered address or other contact address on any formal notification it issues. Where it is difficult or impossible to contact the firm by telephone or e-mail then a letter should be posted to that address using a signed-for delivery service.

Nurse says:
30 May 2021

I have also received a letter from this company for a parking notice dated 2016.
On investigation it seems the original company have 6 years to persue the payment. I’m guessing this is why they’ve suddenly started contacting people.

As it is now almost June, I’m questioning whether I should sit it out and see if they are just threatening court/bailiff to obtain payment.

Any advice please?

Hi there, I wonder if you can help. I am trying to challenge 3 parking tickets that my car got while being at the vehicle repair garage. I wrote this appeal – see below. This is all true and I have the evidence. Will this work? Shall I redo the letter? What do you think? Thank you so much in advance!
________

I have left a vehicle in the care of Mr Usman Umer, the owner of HEAVERS MOTOR GARAGE SERVICES AND REPAIRS on the 6th of January 2021until the 2nd of February 2021 to repair my ongoing problems with the brake system. The repair was lengthly due to the difficult to diagnose the electrical fault. During this time (6.01.2021-02.02.2021) the car was in the care of Mr Usman Umer, I had no access to the vehicle. Please note that the PCNs issued are very near Mr Usman garage. As evidence I have attached the following:

– bank transfers for the repairs, note transfers to Mr Usman Umer, some payment were made by cash
– receipt I received from Mr Umer for the repairs
– google maps tracking screenshots showing my movements on the day I dropped the car, I drove there and ran back
– google maps tracking screenshots showing my movements on the day I picked the car up, I took an Uber there and drove back via the shop (LIDL) in London Road- online feedback from Yell.com showing that Mr Usman Umer works / ownes HEAVERS MOTOR GARAGE SERVICES AND REPAIRS

Marek – The garage has no right to leave your car in a restricted place exposed to parking enforcement without your knowledge or consent. However, the registered keeper of a vehicle is ultimately responsible for any parking tickets. I think you should pay the penalty charges and then invoice your repair garage for the amount. If that is refused you might have to make a court claim [County Court small claims] for reimbursement plus your costs.

I parked in a hospital car park, as a staff member with a permit, that I pay monthly, and as usual there are not enough spaces left especially after 09:00. So I parked on a bit of the carpark- an end where there were no yellow or red lines, but plenty of space so as not to block anyone, I have done this on several occasions. I did not notice the sign near my car, facing another direction (I read it later and the writing is fairly small so you cannot see unless you walk up to it – it says amongst other things that ‘you must park in a designated space’. This is the reason for the fine. I appealed and lost.
Following this I checked car parking, in said car park on another day after 4pm, ( I was fined by 2pm) and found at least 8 cars not parked in designated spaces similar to me ( I took photos but careful not to expose number plates). Not one had a ticket on it! This seems very unfair!
Do I have a case to appeal again, next stage, as I feel that I have been picked on. The company seems to be inconsistent, if they do not ticket everyone who is not parked in a designated space. I need an answer fairly swiftly as I either pay half the price (£35 ) by Monday 1st March 21 or appeal through POPLA and possibly have to pay full fine plus costs. Advise please!

Jemima – To complain about enforcement on the grounds that others got away with wrongdoing and no action was taken is not usually a good case for an appeal. It is impossible to predict the outcome of a further appeal but if I were in your shoes I would pay £35 now and get on with the rest of my life.

You could separately complain to the hospital that their parking enforcement contractor is not operating fairly and diligently and request that better signage be installed to inform drivers of the restrictions [including yellow lines which most drivers understand without having to read notices with small lettering].

Thank you John. You’re right, I will pay the £35 and do a separate complaint as you suggest. I’ve better things to do with my life and in future I’ll park in the multi-storey car park , if no space, and put the £12+ on expenses!

Got a parking ticket the other day for being parked illegally. Not sure why, the sign said ‘FINE FOR PARKING’ 🙂

Very good. Did you hear the one about the motorist who was fined for stopping for five minutes. That’s no joke.

A glitch in time saves nine?

Oops! I think a trip to The Lobby is required here!

I received a parking fine for parking in a retail park during COVID 19 lockdown. The car park is free to use , but the driver must not leave the site to be fair the signs are prominent . As the shops were shut, and therefore no loss could have been incurred by the owners , I presumed that the normal parking restrictions did not apply.
I appealed to UKCPS who had issued the Parking Charge Notice, but my appeal was rejected as my vehicle “was parked in breach of the terms and conditions of parking”.
Do I have valid grounds for a formal appeal ?

[Moderator: we have amended this person’s username as it contained personally identifiable information. Please don’t post your personal contact details on Which? Conversation, as this is to protect everyone’s privacy. For more information, see the Community guidelines]

No. You can try but, unless you elicit goodwill, you have knowingly contravened their displayed conditions.

I doubt it. I would expect the adjudicator to consider your appeal strictly according to the facts – you parked and left the site. The enforcing company had taken no steps to cancel the restrictions so they remained in force. Your presumption was logical but you took a risk. Even driving to a retail park could have been interpreted as a breach of the emergency regulations so there might be little sympathy for you.

It is best not to use your e-mail address as your username for this website as you might attract unwelcome messages.

Thanks Malcolm, I thought that this would be the case, But to quote Which ? guidance “the charge should be proportionate to the normal advertised costs of parking or to the losses caused to the company by you overstaying in the parking space.” Parking is free for people shopping at the park , the shops were closed and the car park was not more than 25% full, there was arguably no loss of income , and any proportion of zero is zero ?

Thanks John, your I will follow your (and others advice). I realised the email bit after posting ,so have changed my name to suit what I feel like ! Have not been able to change my name on my original post though….Any advice ?

I have reported you comment for attention.

Councils and companies rightly impose penalties on people who contravene parking regulations. For example, they may deprive other people of somewhere to park and the income that supports parking provision.

My gripe is that the penalties are excessive, even extortionate, in relation to the offence. It should be enough to act as a deterrent but not so high as to be outrageous. Which? may say what you quote in their guidance, but I would suggest penalties are very far from “proportionate”. They seem to have no interest, however, in addressing this.

Beardedtit – You can argue that point to the retail park management company but the parking adjudicator will not take it into account in dealing with your appeal.

Which?’s guidance is somewhat idealistic because the parking charge cannot be calculated individually on a case-by-case basis. But the crucial detail is that, in your own words – “Parking is free for people shopping at the park“. You were not shopping at the park, so you weren’t allowed to park there, and at that particular time there was no such thing as free parking against which any proportionate loss could be measured.

Thank you, it has been altered

Many people when driving into a car park tend to be oblivious to the fact that they are about to enter and leave their precious vehicle in/on another’s property, whether you are paying for the privilege or not.

As long as you adhere to the terms and conditions, which should be clearly displayed for all to see, you should have nothing to worry about, unless you receive an unwelcome demand through the post a week or two later for a contravention of these terms and conditions that you either know nothing about, or you acted in a way that you thought you might be excused from doing so.

I do firmly believe every driver is entitled to receive evidence to prove he/she is innocent of the charges made against them. Exceeding the expiry time on your ticket is one of the most common infringements; I have done this many times, but fortunately managed to drive off before the parking official appeared and made his/her decision to allow a ten minute discretionary concession period, based upon whether he/she is having a good or bad day.

The huge number of people who continue to post comments on this topic is a testament to the injustice inflicted on drivers by land owners who often prey upon and target innocent victims, demanding cash payments without a shred of evidence to justify their claims.

I do think, when answering consumers postings on this topic, any advice should contain a comprehensive assessment of each individuals complaint, to enable them to make their own decisions whether or not to take their complaint
further to a higher level.

Many people who post here do admit they have contravened regulations – overstayed, ticket not displayed, put wrong reg number in, left a restricted car park…… and seem to be looking for ways to avoid a penalty. Many probably because of the amount they are being told to pay, I suspect. When Convo members offer advice it is to be helpful rather than comprehensive; Which? provide that online, as do other resources.

The way to avoid parking penalties in the main is to observe the parking conditions.

The way to avoid getting so upset about the ££ is to find some consumer group who might campaign to get them reduced to a more acceptable level.

I agree the amounts people are asked to pay are unreasonable and the stress that ensues and endures if you challenge or refuse to pay can be more harmful than if you just pay up and shut up. That is why I consider evidence is crucial to bring the matter to a fair and equitable conclusion.

The advice offered by Convo members is very helpful, but by “comprehensive assessment” I was referring to an overview of all the pros and cons of each individual situation, offering advice based on the amount of information given, but allowing people to decide for themselves whether they feel they should take the matter further or abandoning their claim completely.

Who should provide that comprehensive tailored advice, Beryl? It requires the sort of service Which?Legal offer, doesn’t it? And often requires much more information than is posted here.
I think in most cases sufficient advice is given to allow complainants to think about what to do.

Joining Which? Legal will cost £29 and for £9 per month they will provide advice on many problems including parking fines: https://legalservice.which.co.uk/cars-motoring/parking-fines/ Many cases are complex, as Malcolm has said.

As previously stated, Convo members can only offer advice based on the amount of information provided. I would hesitate to advise anyone to proceed with any action without they first seek professional advice, as Wavechange makes the point.

The fact that some cases are complex is even more reason to make it clear to the person requesting advice the onus is on them to decide whether to take further action or accept the fine imposed on them.

Patrick Taylor says:
1 March 2021

Brendan, legalbeagles.info [note carefully the web address] is free and has 39,000 postings on parking matters alone so your chanced of having an answer are reasonable.

Thank you Patrick, I will look at legalbeagles.info. However I will just pay the fine….life is too short, and although I do not think that this charge is fair, I also think that I should not have parked where I did to access the post office in town……

In trying to assist people who have received a parking ticket I think we can only give our opinion on what would be their best course of action, and I think that is what we generally endeavour to do so far as our knowledge and experience permits.

Parking issues are surprisingly complex for such a simple thing and the situation has become more difficult to interpret since private land parking enforcement was legislated for and routine wheel-clamping was abolished. That was good news for drivers but it has opened up a whole new industry that has not always acted like local authorities and been fair and even-handed with parking infringements. A further twist is the almost universal conversion to the enforcement of car parks by CCTV. This really has been a licence to print money and the private sector industry itself has had to step in to protect its reputation and lay down some basic enforcement principles to stop the rampant extortion that was occurring. The automation of enforcement has removed the chance of avoiding a ticket if the foot patrol was engaged elsewhere and taken away all on-site and real-time discretion and transferred it to a desk operation after a driver has contested a ticket. Revenues have shot up as the number of tickets generated automatically and paid without challenge has risen enormously.

In my experience it takes quite a bit of time to deal with parking enquiries and I think those of us who tend to respond to them do give very full consideration to each case. As Beryl admits, we cannot make a comprehensive assessment of each case if the information provided is insufficient or the additional details asked for are not forthcoming. Malcolm has made the point that we rarely get all the information we need so basic assumptions have to be made. Sometimes our opinion or advice is unwelcome. The motorist is not always right and many excuses are just that, not a justification for cancellation of a parking charge notice. And the charges for trivial infringements are disproportionate which adds to the sense of injustice.

Most of the people who raise a parking issue never return to this site so we do not know what happens next – therefore we cannot build up much knowledge on how cases are ultimately being dealt with. There are very few court cases to provide guidance and there is no independent inspection of car park operations to ensure that the signs and notices are correct and properly positioned. Google Maps Streetview does not take us into car parks so there is nothing to look at to see the real-life on-the-ground situation – in any case, when dealing with on-street parking, Streetview is not always up-to-date and, over time, signs and lines get changed or deteriorate or get replaced.

I would say that the answer to almost every parking question has been given previously in Which? Conversation, but they have never been indexed or organised and finding them is impossible. There are also several other websites that provide answers to parking questions and nothing else, and they could be more reliable than this place. Some correspondents are getting advice from a number of sources; perhaps they come to Which? in the hope of getting a definitive answer, or at least a more supportive answer; unfortunately we cannot always oblige.

Beryl said she firmly believes “every driver is entitled to receive evidence to prove he/she is innocent of the charges made against them”. I think that is impossible. The evidence is as recorded on the parking charge notice [private sector] or penalty charge notice [local authority]: VRM, vehicle make, time, date, location plus certain other discriminating details. We cannot penetrate that. Getting parking tickets through the post some days after the event does not help and certainly adds to the bad feelings since nothing can be checked in situ.

Something I try to take into account is not necessarily the absolute right- or wrong-fulness of the situation but how it affects the individual and what it would mean to get it behind them. Unless there is a cast iron case against the parking company, is it worth all the hassle of continuing to challenge or contest something you don’t have a clear case of winning? Every further notice, every extra bit of correspondence, each turn of the ratchet that raises the cost as time moves on, just stokes up the anger yet still the uncertainty remains. I often think an orderly and dignified exit is in people’s best interests and that of those close to them.

A final point: we cannot tell people what to do, and I don’t think we ever do. We might leave them with a strong recommendation, but at the end of the day whether they lodge an appeal when we think it is futile or refuse to take a case further when we think they are in a strong position is a matter for them. Our advice is only ever worth what people have paid for it. Taking professional advice is always an option and could sometimes justify the expense, especially if it leads to the cancellation of a PCN that has gone through all stages to bailiff action. Which? Legal is possibly the most economical source of legal assistance, but only if it leads to cancellation; if the charge or penalty still has to be paid at the higher rate after escalation due to process, the legal bill could add insult to injury.

Neil says:
2 March 2021

I was given a parking fine/ invoice From NPE which stated I was not a patron of the co-op post office or using the cash machine, I parked next to my aunt and my aunt suggested that only one person enters the store due to covid, I have a receipt for my item and yet my appeal was declined. NPE have declined to give the landowners details. I Purchased a stamp and my aunt also sent DVLV form. Two separate items on the receipt. I know I have TNC contacting me and Increasing fees. Any suggestions?

Richard Gray says:
8 March 2021

Question. If a traffic warden knowingly and deliberately tickets a car in the full knowledge that the vehicle is legally parked on a public road, has any offence been committed in law.

Richard, if a vehicle has been parked without breaching any laws, then there should be no valid grounds for the issue of a parking ticket.

It follows that, if a ticket were then issued, there would be valid grounds for an appeal.

A local authority penalty charge notice should state the reason for its issue – i.e. it will identify the specific contravention. You can check this and challenge it before lodging a formal appeal. The parking ticket should explain how you can do this and the timescale within which a challenge can be made.

Neil. Unless you have CCTV evidence that you parked in a Co-op post office car park and that you parked next to your aunt, unless your aunt was either working or residing there, I doubt whether NPR or any other adjudicator would accept your version of things. Did you check for CCTV cameras in the PO car park? If there was, you need to contact the PO and request evidence of your aunt entering and leaving their premises and handing you your stamp and receipt.

Richard, again without CCTV evidence, it would be your word against the traffic wardens whether you were legally parked or if you had overstayed your welcome by exceeding your allocated parking time.

CCTV coverage has a dual purpose. It can work for you or against you depending on the circumstances.

Wayne says:
9 March 2021

Hi all,

I like others have received a fine. This is a Parking Charge Notice from MET parking. 27th February 2021 20:57. I drove to a BP petrol station, Talgarth Rd, Hammersmith, London to purchase petrol and mainly use the car wash as they have a double wash and it’s usually to a good standard. There was a queue of at least a dozen cars so I purchased a ticket and lined up in the queue with the other cars. The wait took much longer than expected as only one of the car washes was working, but I thought I may as well wait it out instead of coming back. So I ended up leaving the car park after 10:30 pm 102 minutes total and 50 minutes over the maximum permitted stay time. (As described on the notice)

I wasn’t aware of the time limit. I admit it didn’t even cross my mind at the time. Are there signs around the petrol station, probably! did I see them, at night nope! Feels completely unfair and an unreasonable charge. I want to appeal on mitigating circumstances. But would like to gauge my chances of success. or whether I should just pony up and be done!

Regards

Wayne

Hi Wayne – It’s would be worth visiting the garage and looking to see if there are signs clearly displayed, taking photos if this could help your appeal. Maybe the garage needs one fewer customer. Best of luck.

I suggest buying a pressure washer and then you can wash whenever you want, without waiting.

Steve says:
10 March 2021

Wayne

The exact same thing at the exact same location happened to me, albeit different times
have you appealed ? how did you get on ??
the staff at BP advised me that they will write to MET

Wayne says:
10 March 2021

Hi Steve,

No not yet, just drafting up an appeal on their website. I will let you know the results. I have taken pictures of the petrol station and the signs dotted around it.

Wayne, All BP Petrol Stations use MET Parking Services, a private company.

A MET spokesperson says “The 30 minute maximum is clearly signposted throughout the site. We would encourage any motorist who believes they were issued with a charge notice incorrectly to appeal using our BPA audited appeal process. Motorists have the right to appeal to the independent appeals service, Popla, which is a free and easy to use service,”

Their Parking Notice clearly states:

BP CUSTOMERS ONLY
MAXIMUM STAY 30 Minutes
(No Return Within 4 Hours)

You can find the complete notice, (and quite a lot more) by logging onto: theguardian.com – Driver Fined £100 at BP For Taking Too Long.

I would not have expected being in a queue for the car wash to be a ‘parking’ contravention. I assume that Wayne remained in his vehicle. I think his case certainly justifies an appeal. The fuel station must have benefited from the wash charge – it seems wrong to punish a customer incommoded by one of the car wash plants being out of service. Other car wash users in the queue were presumably stung as well. Signs that need to be read in the dark should be illuminated.

Hello,
I challenged a PCN given by a local council on the 5th December 2020 and have only just received a reply (93 days later). I was under the impression London Councils had 56 days to respond to my representation.
Now I have to wait 28 days before I will receive a Notice to Owner to appeal on the basis that they took too long to respond. Do I have a chance or should I pay the fine (50% reduced) and appeal anyway?

Mani – If you pay the penalty charge you will lose the opportunity to appeal as the penalty will be discharged.

Presumably your initial challenge was not successful so if your only remaining objection is over the timing of the council’s response to your informal challenge I would suggest you settle at the reduced rate. The current coronavirus emergency situation has possibly given the council a justification for its processing delay [which is unlikely to have cost you anything or inconvenienced you at all].

A local shopping park has announced its intention to add a second entrance in order to “ease congestion”. In common with other shopping parks I’ve had the misfortune to visit, the only congestion I have seen is at the exit, where long queues develop at busy times. There is no plan for a second exit. Allowing more vehicles in is likely to add to congestion among motorists searching for a space – meaning it will take longer to find one and may increase the waiting time to get out. Overall, time spent between entrance and exit is likely to increase significantly at busy times.
The park has also reduced the time allowed from three hours to two. Time starts when you pass the camera at the entrance and ends when you (finally) manage to leave. There are several large stores on the site – it’s not difficult to use up your two hours just doing your shopping.
So let’s see – ten minutes to find a space, then after shopping twenty to thirty minutes to reach the exit. Assuming things have returned to a semblance of normal by then, next Christmas should be bonanza time for the company running the car park. A cynic might suggest that is their intention. What does it take to get consumer and motoring organisations, let alone politicians, interested in putting an end to this money-generating racket?

One of the retail parks near us now has more vacant stores than trading ones following the collapse of the Arcadia Group and some other chains. There are also plenty of empty units now in the city centre where there remains a reasonable footfall and good public transport access. I foresee the retail parks being redeveloped for housing over time and the shopping will move back to where it belongs.

I look forward to that. In the meantime, parking companies will milk motorists for everything they can.

Does anyone know the legal position regarding parking tickets that were issued to the previous owner of a car that I purchased and which have gone to the bailiffs to recover? Can the bailiffs impound my car? they say they can. Any help welcome!

16sport – If you were not the registered keeper of the car on the date of the parking contravention then I do not see how you can be held liable for the parking charge [private land] or penalty charge [public highway or municipal car park]. Inform the enforcing authority in writing. They could still persist with their action but any application for a warrant of execution [to empower bailiffs to seize your car] should be thrown out by the court.

Mohammad says:
27 April 2021

hi ..can anyone advise me please…..Just received a notice from MET Parking Service that on certain date and time, I parked my car in a disabled bay in a Macdonald area in London (without displaying the blue badge).

In fact the car was really stayed there for approx 15 min, but not parked (UN ATTENDED) at any time as I stayed in car all the time. My daughter went inside to get the take away only. We have a blue badge but I agree it was not displayed at the time. My Q is whether only “waiting” inside the car for 15 minutes is sufficient for this fine.

Can anyone suggest should I challenge on ground like we stayed in car all the time, we have a blue badge but not displayed.

You could ask MET for evidence that you were not displaying the blue badge, Mohammad. I don’t believe that it is relevant that you did not leave the car when you parked.

I presume this was a parking on private land contravention and compliance will depend on the regulations for the site which should be displayed if the company rely on them for enforcement.

With parking on the public highway where there are waiting restrictions it is immaterial whether or not the vehicle is occupied. As Wavechange has said, I would expect the same to apply in this case. On entering a disabled parking bay you must make sure the Blue Badge is displayed in order to claim the exemption, even if you are only there fore a minute; with camera enforcement it is an almost instant process.

Were there no other car parking spaces available? If your daughter was not disabled (?) then there seems no need to park in a disabled space if the disabled person stayed in the car. You could be seen as potentially depriving a genuine user of a disabled space. I wonder how you were unaware that it was noted you were not displaying a blue badge while sitting in the car.

The blue badge is a privilege to help people who, for example, need to park close to where they need to go. Displaying it ensures others know you are there legitimately.

I do not think you have any case to challenge the penalty.

John – I presume that cameras monitor the arrival and departure of vehicles but the blue badge would not be displayed until the vehicle was parked. Unless there is camera surveillance of the disabled bays I cannot see how the process could be automated and it seems likely that Mohammad’s car was spotted without a blue badge by an attendant.

Malcolm – I strongly agree about not parking in a disabled space in these circumstances but I am not aware that it is forbidden

It’s impossible to comment on the situation at the particular McDonalds site. To stand up an enforcement action there would either have to be a parking attendant’s report based on live observation, or a camera image showing the front of the vehicle. The first is unlikely because Mohammad would have seen the attendant while sitting in the car and there would probably have been a conversation between them,

Since Mohammad has admitted on a public website that there was no disabled badge on display while he was waiting for 15 minutes I consider the specific arrangements are not the issue. I agree with Malcolm and don’t think there is a case to challenge the parking charge, but by all means explore what evidence was being relied on to issue a PCN.

The guidance issued in England includes:

“You should not use the badge to allow non-disabled people to take advantage of the benefits while you sit in the car.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england

Hoping for assistance!

I used a pub car park to which there was signs.

I entered the pub, told staff and was told as a customer I would be okay.

Several days later get a ticket.

I provided the enforcement company with proof of visit to pub (bank statement for meal). They wrote back saying as I didn’t comply with having my details recorded by staff I am liable.

This is now listed for for court after mediation failed… they wanted £150!

Is there any guidance that assists me?

I told staff, not my fault staff didn’t do as they are meant to.

We did go back after the charge but was told to provide proof of visit… they would do no more.

We did as this was ignored.

Out visit as paying customers is not disputed, they state the ‘breach’ was due to us not ensuring our visit was properly recorded by staff.

Thanks in advance.

Hi KC, thanks for sharing. With regards to the situation as it has gone to court, you would need to get more specific guidance than we’d be able to provide over Which? Conversation. Which? Legal, our independent legal service could help in this matter- https://legalservice.which.co.uk/ (NB there’s a fee separate to one’s Which? Membership to joining). You may also have some legal cover with your home or car insurance that might be able to talk you through your options here or possibly Citizens Advice can offer some help, but this may be a bit of a longer process. Hope this helps.

I would hope a court would accept that you legitimately parked, having clearly dined at the pub, accept your word that you informed the pub, and maybe take the view that the pub should ensure all visiting customers are asked if they have parked and be responsible for recording that on the system. Good luck with your case. You might try to get Which? to campaign for sensible, not extortionate, penalties. Good luck with that as well.

Paid for my ticket came back within my time could not find the exit and came out the no exit sign what will happen really worried

Marie – Your exit from the parking place might have been captured on CCTV and recorded so no parking charge notice is issued.

Wait and see whether you get a parking ticket and then either challenge it immediately in accordance with the instructions printed on it or refer back to Which? Conversation for further guidance.

In the meantime, it might be worth going back to the parking place and checking the signage and taking pictures of any relevant aspects that would support your case for driving out by the wrong route.

This is the link to your comment here today. Make a note of it so you will able to find it again if necessary – https://conversation.which.co.uk/motoring/parking-fine-penalty-charge-notice-questions/#comment-1627862