/ 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

I have been issued two penalties for parking at the Royal Free Hospital in London. I was at the hospital on 11/1/20 and 20/1/20. and on these occasions, I did pay for my parking and 20mins is meant to be free. I was devastated to receive 2 parking penalties. I appealed the two and it was unsuccessful. It is rather sad and unfortunate that we are charged to park in hospitals. My question now is, why should I be penalised and charged a ridiculous amount of money on 2 consecutive days in a hospital? I have been told that I have underpaid, yet I am requested to pay the full amount. This is mentally draining for me. Do I have grounds to appeal? This is inhuman!

It will depend on what the rules are for parking at the hospital.

When you paid for parking, did you get a fixed period of time, and did you leave before that period expired?

How is the ‘free’ period accounted for? Is it only free if you leave before it expires? If your car stays there for longer than twenty minutes is there still a free period?

You received two parking penalties because there were two separate parking events on two different days.

Depending on how long it is since you received the notifications telling you that your initial appeals had been unsuccessful you could still have an opportunity to appeal to an adjudicator but, if you lose, it might cost you much more because there would no longer be an early payment discount. If you were successful at appeal the parking charge notices would be cancelled and there would be nothing to pay.

Instructions on how to pursue a further appeal should be with the documentation you have already received.

I find car parking ticket machines too complicated. As a result of one machine not confirming payment I’ve landed with a £60 fine. Despite appealing I’m reluctantly paying the fine. With fewer machines accepting cash, and not issuing display tickets the machines don’t always confirm payment or produce a receipt. I am by no means a techno fobic but all the machines are getting harder to understand. In my case I presented my debit card for ‘contactless’ payment and wrongly assumed payment had been accepted. I would like to know if anyone else has had a similar problem with car parking .

Dawn says:
8 March 2020

Is it classed as parking if I didn’t get out my car I dropped some one off and awaited his return ?

Possibly. It depends on the situation and the regulations of the parking place. If you’ve been caught doing this it’s worth challenging a parking charge but be prepared for disappointment. If you’re just wondering whether or not to do it, call the parking operator and see what they say.

noelyn says:
11 March 2020

What is the time limit of not having your phone on you to make a payment for visiting your local country park

It is difficult to comment without further information on the situation and what has happened.

There should be no necessity to have a phone on you when visiting a country park; alternative payment methods should be available.

If you have been penalised in some way I suggest you contact the country park to see what the regulations say and how people are informed of them.

I have been looking for information about parking at local country parks and nature reserves. Several allow payment by phone but cash is also accepted. I do hope that noelyn has the alternative of paying with cash. As John says, we need more information.

I usually walk to my local nature reserve. If, however, I did need to take my car, I would enjoy free parking once there.

Collette Lyn h says:
11 March 2020

My elderly dad parked outside the parking bay, effectively parked slightly in two bays because
of his 4×4 vehicle,not intentional, plenty of parking bays available so no loss of revenue.
Does he have a case, his appeal was rejected now threatening bailiffs etc

If your father has already challenged the issue of a parking charge notice [stage one] and also appealed against a refusal to cancel the notice [stage two] then there is no further right of appeal. But if he has not pursued stage two it could be worthwhile doing so – if there is still time to do so. Instructions for this should be on any communication giving the result of stage one.

This is a minor technical contravention and your father’s circumstances and explanation should have been taken into account in mitigation, but in the world of parking enforcement no quarter is given I am afraid. Unfortunately, if there is no further opportunity to appeal against the parking charge, I recommend paying it as soon as possible to stop it escalating.

In circumstances such as this it is unfair to levy a heavy fine; as you have said, there was no loss of revenue. Whether the operator would actually go to the extent of getting a county court order and using bailiffs is a moot point as they frequently don’t, but it’s probably not worth taking a chance as the consequences could be much worse than paying the charge.

the police moved my car and i got a parking ticket, this cannot be right, the council say its my car so i am liable the police said they were at fault but council are chasing me for the fine

I suggest you pay the penalty charge and then claim reimbursement [plus an amount for administration and inconvenience] from the police.

Chris says:
13 March 2020

I parked in a car park which I wasn’t clear whether it was private or not for about 10 mins then drove off. I received a letter showing a picture of my car and saying I was observed leaving site fine £60 if paid in 2 weeks or £100. I appealed and advised my mother who is disabled and with me was in the car and had a disabled badge. I now have received a Debt Recover Plus ticket stating fine is £160 I called them up and said I had appealed due to Disabled passenger they advise its on private land and disabled parking conditions don’t apply unless in disabled bay. I said well why am a charged they say its a private car park and you were observed leaving the car park and not entering any of the premises next to the car park you have to pay. I said would think about it and get advice. How do I stand ??

You were probably in breach of the terms and conditions applying to that car park. Unfortunately your appeals have cut no ice. I consider the escalation of the charge to be iniquitous. There is the possibility that the operator will not pursue you all the way to court although they will no doubt keep sending threatening letters and implying that bailiffs will be employed to recover the ‘debt’.

You have a choice whether to bluff them out [which is far from guaranteed] or pay up and put this unfortunate episode behind you.

This Conversation is called “Parking fines: your questions answered”, but there are very few instances of Which? actually answering the questions that correspondents raise. The answers are being given time and time again by regular contributors, usually covering ground that has been tilled before, but there has been no attempt by Which? to composite the answers, or to categorise them, to assist those who have a parking problem. It is ridiculous to expect people to plough through 15 pages of comments and replies to see if there is a similar situation, or to see what the general processes and rules are on the enforcement of parking charges and penalties. The same applies to the other long-running parking Conversation that arose out of the Barry Beavis case. It’s time for Which? to do what it says on its tin [or change the label].

Anyone who wants legal advice about parking fines can join Which? Legal for £29 plus £9 per month: https://legalservice.which.co.uk There is no need to be a Which? member. There is also useful advice freely available on the website.

In the Consumer Rights Conversation, staff from Which? Legal have been dropping in to respond to questions and mention the Which? Legal service. Perhaps the same could be done to promote this service in the Convos on parking.

After years of discussion about products supplied with the wrong plug we eventually learned that marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are not legally responsible for ensuring that their traders are selling safe electrical and other goods. I do hope that Which? will devote its energies into pushing the government to tackle the problems that have arisen as a result of the increasing popularity of online sales.

The title of the Conversation is misleading. At the conclusion of the intro it says – “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.” It would be more appropriate, therefore, to rename this “Tell us how you fought your parking case”.

I must admit I seldom look at any other parts of the Which? website and perhaps that is not unusual. The answers to the questions are probably there if you know that and how to find them.

There are, of course, specialist websites that cover all aspects of parking enforcement. This Conversation makes no reference to such guidance.

This page on the website looks very helpful: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/appeal-a-parking-ticket

I do look at the website regularly but often launch into posting in Convos without looking at what is in the introduction further up the page. It would be better if I simply referred to that.

Which? devotes a great deal of resources into keeping their website up to date. I hope that those responsible for updating the information about parking fines do look at the relevant Convos.

I was doing a delivery and parked in a permit holder only bay for less than one minute and I was given a ticket. The guy was waiting for someone to park there and the ticket was issued at the same minute as the vehicle was first seen. The driver nearly ran me over after accidentally too.

Karl Masters says:
20 March 2020

my Wife parked outside her friend’s flat using her friend’s visitor parking permit. She parked in the space allocated to her friend by the flats ( her friend’s car was out with her friend’s boyfiend that day.)
My wife then received a demand for £60, since risen to £100, and soon to rise to £160, stating that she should have parked in a visitor’s parking bay.
However, firstly her friend was unaware of this rule having lived there for 7 years, secondly the main car park sign states rather vaguely, ‘ vehicles displaying bay or area allocated permits must park in the corresponding bay or area’, but there are NO signs relating to any of the bays and nothing visible marked on the ground so how would anybody know what was or wasn’t a visitor bay?
Thirdly, my wife was trying to follow the rules by parking outside her friend’s flat in her friend’s allocated space as per her friend’s instructions and had no reason to be confused or need to call CPM for guidance which their sign recommends if you are unsure.
Finally, there were loads of empty spaces in the car park area and my wife was nor preventing anybody else parking.
We have discovered since that even the landlord was unaware of these rules and he appealed ( having sold the car park to CPM in 2018 ) on our behalf, but was also refused. We appealed but were turned down of course. Do we have a case based on the lack of any signage indicating which bays were which, plus the fact that we parked in what seemed the obvious place having been told to by the person who lives there?

Joy Cox says:
25 March 2020

My partner has received two final demands for £160 for a single parking charge penalty, but we never received the original notice so had no opportunity to appeal or even to pay the lowest fine which is offered if paid within 14 days. We did not even know where or when it was for until receiving the debt collectors letter and logging on to their site to look at the photos and letter. The photos do not show anything except him driving one way and then the other way an hour apart, the letter on the debt collection website is dated three weeks after the charge was apparently incurred. The parking charge should have been £1.50 and now they demand £160. We have appealed and tried to call the parking company several times but no one gets back to us.
Is it right that we should pay £160 of the final demand when we had no other notification about it? Also according to the information in the government guidance POFA2012, the notice should have been sent within two weeks of the infraction, when it was actually three according to the date on the letter on the debt collectors site.

Looks like you have answered your own question – even if there was an infraction (which seems questionable), they appear to be out of time under the terms of POFA. And you don’t mention any court action against you – in which case why are they instructing debt collectors? – what debt is there to collect? Could it be that they are just chancers, hoping to intimidate you into paying up?
This is an unregulated “industry” which desperately needs to go the same was as payday lenders. Of course government has more serious matters to deal with right now – but perhaps it could suspend the provisions of POFA (where they relate to private car parks) until the crisis is over – after all, it’s not doing anything constructive at present. Then they can look at repealing a poorly drafted and ill-considered piece of legislation.

Gemma says:
3 April 2020

I parked in a private carpark at the beginning of Jan. I parked in one designated parking space, input my registration number and paid for 2 hours parking.
When I returned to my car I checked the printed ticket to make sure I was back in time- which I was! It was at this time I noticed the last 3 letters of my registration number was missing on the ticket.
Anyway…. parking eye has pictured my car both entering and leaving the carpark, thus I have received a PCN. I have appealed to the company to no gain just a ‘good will gesture’ or reduced fine, which I declined. I was referred to POPLA to make an appeal, which I did and again I was unsuccessful they found that I had breached my contract and therefore I am liable. I feel really reluctant to pay the fine because: 1. I don’t know if I have actually made the mistake- I certainly have no gain to intentionally miss 3 digits from my registration, I have admitted it was me driving and provided a copy of the ticket as proof of payment.
2. How do I know the machine wasn’t faulty?
This particular day I was visiting my mother who was on an ICU ward and I couldn’t get parked in the hospital carpark. I have been driving for over 15years- never had any kind of ticket or driving offence. This year has been particularly hard for me in fact everyone at the moment and I really do feel aggrieved this company is exploiting either a genuine mistake or a machine malfunction. What I would like to know is:
1. Should I now pay it- although I don’t want to admit I have done something wrong?
2. Will the fine double , triple etc.. if I don’t pay it?
3. Is it likely the company will take me to a civil court?
4. What are my chances at civil court for something like this?

Claire says:
7 April 2020

In the same boat. It’s so unfair and extortionate!

Hmm, another entered number with missing digits. This seems to be happening far too often to be genuine mistakes. Are the parking vultures getting desperate?

Claire says:
7 April 2020

Hi,

Please can anyone advise if I have any options in a parking charge notice please?

We parked in a private carpark back in January and a few weeks later got a fine through the post as my partner had only put part of our reg number in. Apart from that we paid. The charge was £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days!

I appealed to the company (Britannia Parking) and they provided proof that I had paid, and said they would reduce it to £20 for the costs incurred going to the DVLA.

I appealed to POPLA and today that came back unsuccessful. The charge has now gone back up to £100! The person at POPLA seemed very biased towards the parking company.

Do I have anymore options available? I have emailed the company to ask if we can still pay the £20 (although I really don’t want to). We really can’t afford the £100 and I am worried what is going to happen next.😭

Thanks

It is still daylight robbery when they have confirmed you paid.

You could try contacting the DVLA and ask who has requested information attached to your number plate and WHEN.

I believe these parking companies already have huge databases of numberplate information so it could be unlikely they just incurred costs.

It has also been suggested a few times that although you think you enter the whole of your registration number, the machine only registers part of it. Could this have happened to you?

Please come back and let us know how you get on.

Which? has some advice above.

This site might also be useful.
https://www.parkingcowboys.co.uk/

Claire says:
7 April 2020

The parking company sent us a copy of the reg number put in off the parking meter. It just seems that after your appeal there are no options left except pay or go to court!

If you have played a straight bat, ie paid and made a genuine small slip in the reg number, there isn’t a court on this planet that would uphold such a claim. The third option is to sit tight – and it will almost certainly time out. Your robust defence of having paid – and they know you paid – would be the far most likely outcome.

Having appealed (and lost sadly) you need nerves of steel to play this game. Debt collectors can, and should, be ignored with their escalating fees and increasing imperative in language – this could go on for 6 months to a year. The one you need to look out for if you play this game is a communication entitled Letter Before Claim or Letter Before Action, or of course a court summons. If you get one of those that’s the time to strike back with a robust defence.

Kiel hattle says:
14 April 2020

this has happened to me I have sent a picture of the ticket, it has the last 3 digits of my reg on it. it has the right date and right time( the same as the records) they are now threatening me with court if I don’t pay 100pound for a 60p parking fee that I paid for. they have rejected all my appeals. I would hope if it goes to court any judge would be sensible enough to side with me but that is not guaranteed. if you find any advice please share!!!

Kiel – I really hope someone will let this kind of enforcement travesty go all the way to court to put a stop to excessive penalties for trivial infringements – especially when there is also evidence of payment. I suspect that your case will not proceed after the threatening behaviour has run its course.

Stand your ground . . . and please let us know how things turn out.

sophie says:
7 April 2020

I have appealed a parking fine, had it declined. Now trying to go through IAS but it’s coming up with a notice “Your PCN or Registration Number has not been recognised. Please try again.

Please Note: If you have had your appeal rejected and you have been told to enter your appeal on this site but keep receiving this message; please contact the operator that issued the charge for assistance.”

I can’t seem to find a way of contacting the VCS, no answer on the phone or contact us options on any websites.

How do i take this forward?

Hello. If it such that private parking firms have no power to issue fines or enforce private parking tickets, meaning that the “PCN” sent in the post is technically nothing more than an invoice for an alleged breach of contract, then does it make any difference if you do not “appeal” within the timeframe given to you by the company? Surely if this is just an invoice, then you can can “appeal” in any way you want, i.e. it does not have to be via their own portal, but could be via an email past the date of the car parking firm’s own timeline?

Raphael – An interesting question and I hope someone can give us an answer.

I assumed the private parking companies were only permitted to issue parking charge notices if they complied with standard enforcement procedures including appeal processes. If a first challenge to the issuer is upheld then the Notice must be cancelled immediately. If the first challenge is rejected and the driver appeals to the appeal body which then overturns the first decision and allows the appeal then, again, the Notice must be cancelled and no further action taken to pursue the parking charge. This is a clear and conclusive position that would not arise if the PCN were treated as an open invoice.

If the PCN was left as an open invoice with no deadlines for the driver to either pay up or challenge the Notice then it could lead to the less scrupulous operators pursuing drivers aggressively or prematurely. There is probably some benefit in having a standard laid-down procedure that applies to all parking operators and the various appeal bodies, matching, so far as practicable, the system in use for local authority parking enforcement.

I don’t know the evidence for it, but it has been said on this site many times, that very few parking operators pursue PCN’s all the way to the Court in order to register a debt thus enabling debt collection and bailiff action. This is (a) because of the cost and complications of taking full legal action, and (b) because of the uncertainty of the outcome, especially with some of the cases involving minor infractions and borderline issues. Without a court order the operators cannot legally enforce recovery of the parking charge which is why they pile on the pressure with threats to start debt collection proceedings and to send in the bailiffs. So people pay up in fear of the consequences if they don’t – and calling the company’s bluff does not guarantee success and could escalate the cost.

Hi,
I have entered a private road and picked up my wife and then did a u-turn. Picked up took 3 seconds and the whole manoeuvre took 1 minutes. I received a PCN for parking. I challenged as keeper based on the ground that no parking took place, they rejected saying sign on road surface was saying no pick up.

Pcn has wrong time of parking, they said I parked 11.01, but their photos taken and shows 11.00 I left the private road. Also council cctv shows my vehicle somewhere else at 11.01.

Do I have a point saying their PCN is not valid because at the time of alleged parking I was not there?

Jas – I have responded to your comment in the other parking Conversation where you posted it. See –
https://conversation.which.co.uk/motoring/parking-charge-notice-parkingeye-barry-beavis-penalty/#comment-1592231

Hi. I received a Parking notice charge in February. I worked at a University and admittedly, parked on a hatched area under a staircase ( which incidentally used to be a parking space). I was late for my lesson as I had to drop my child to school and rush to work. Once I parked and went teaching, I actually left my classroom twice to go and check the parking to see if a place had become available. My students were very understanding but a albeit a bit annoyed ( more at uni than me). Anyway, when I we back to my car, I had received a ticked. I looked around and noticed that 2 car that were parked in a disabled bay did not receive a ticket, even though they were there when I parked my car. I decided to contact my university for help with the appeal. Since it is a private car park where only staff can park, but they stated there was nothing they could do. I contacted First Parking LLP, and sent picture of the other cars but receive no reply until today. I got a letter from a debt collector company claiming that I had to pay £140 for failing to pay my fine. However, I never received an answer from my appeal. I am not sure what to do now but I am very angry at my employers, who is gaining money from this partnership with the parking company. I feel like instead of supporting their staff their are hiding behind the excuse of ‘we are not dealing with the claims’. With everything else going on in the world, I could do with not having to deal with this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Cynthia – I can understand your sense of grievance but you have not explained why you think the university should intercede to cancel the parking ticket in your case. It is clear from your comment that you were aware you had parked in a prohibited place. It is unfortunate that the penalty has now escalated. Did you actually submit a formal appeal to the parking enforcement company? If they did not deal with it correctly then that could give grounds for reversion of the fine to the lower level for early payment.

Hi. The university has shut 2 nearby car parks and the number of staff has double since The university has shut one of its campus and had to welcome the staff from the former campus into our current location. Teachers have had to come before 8 am if they want to find a parking place even if they start at 10am. I can’t as I have family commitments. I know that I parked in a hatched place but I believe that since I took the decision to favour my students over being late and parked legally, the university could have been a little lenient. The fact is that only university members can access the car park ( we need a pass to access it) and to have people patrolling and giving fines to the staff knowing how difficult it is for us to park, I find it outraging. In my opinion, there is a conflict of interests since the university is gaining financially from the parking charge. I fully understand that some might think that I deserved the charge but I am now thinking that, I will have to be late to my lessons rather than risking a fine. Sorry for the long message I hope it makes sense.

Thank you, Cynthia. Your message makes perfect sense but the university has obviously taken a policy decision not to provide enough parking space for all who drive to work. It also will not intervene in what it has contracted a private company to undertake on its behalf. There is a clear disagreement between you and the university but I cannot see it yielding to your view.

Many thanks for your reply.

hi Guys I need Help. After my heavy and busy shift at the NHS hospital as a front line staff, I went to the local Savers shop to get some toiletries after my work. I went through and parked at the back car park. I did not see the signs,there was no cars and there is no pay machine’s . I received penalty notice from Smart parking Ltd based in Birmingham for £60.00 . It had only my car reg in / out. Total time my car was parked is 16 minutes. It states the private parking is only for Energie gym members. But the gym and all shops around are closed due to covid 19. Surely if these smart parking are so engrossed why could they not put barrier and close the car park. I am a loyal hard working NHS staff, and if I there was a pay meter I would more than hspot paid . Considering I was in the savers shop for my toiletries for 16minute how could it justify £60.00 , Can you please,please advise and direct me how to draft my challenge/ appeal letter.
Can someone please help me. I’m going through this and I’m working hard in covid wards and this is the last thing I needed. I look forward to any help.
Can which please advice. I have weekly money magazine, can I ask the which legal team to advice?

Smart Parking should have given you a POPLA reference number on their letter, visit their website and follow the steps for appeal. You’d think in the current climate the private parking firms would give some leniency but seems they don’t care one bit. Hope you get the outcome you deserve.

I received a pcn from a private car park due to no trace of payment. I had used a parking app but it failed to process my payment, I have proof that I tried to purchase a ticket on the app. I have passed the appeal deadline as this was in January but it there anything else I can do? I’m now getting letters from a debt collection agency asking for £100 + £60 for their fees. I was not the driver but a relative was if this makes a difference.

My mother in law received a £100 pcn from a private parking firm after visiting her GP surgery in January. They have a tablet in the surgery to enter your vehicle details when parked but had forgotten to do this, hence the charge.
She made the appeal to the parking firm which was refused on 3rd March, even though she provided them with evidence of her appointment.
She is considered high risk within the current covid-19 crisis and the parking charge had been forgotten about. She therefore failed to appeal with POPLA within the 28 day period of their rejection and has now received a £170 request from a debt recovery firm.
Is there anything I can do?

Howard – Did the medical practice fail to provide the tablet for patients to enter their vehicle details, or did your mother-in-law forget to enter the details of her car? In the first case I feel that the practice should accept responsibility, but if your mother-in-law didn’t enter the details and then overlooked the parking charge than I am afraid all you can hope for is compassionate treatment.

Parking operators use debt recovery firms to put pressure on drivers but cannot legally enforce the debt without a warrant or order from the court. The chances are that it will keep sending increasingly threatening letters but will not necessarily take the case to court because of the cost of doing so. But you cannot rely on this escape route because, on the face of it, your mother-in-law did contravene the regulations in place at the surgery and did fail to make an appeal. She could therefore lose in court and have additional costs to pay. I would suggest that she pay the amount now claimed and put an end to the uncertainty. It’s a heavy penalty for an unfortunate lapse and I am sorry I cannot offer much consolation other than that, once paid, this episode will be behind her.

Thanks John, appreciate the advice.