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Can I expect Bailiffs for Private Parking Fines? 2022

HomeDebt InfoBailiffsCan I expect Bailiffs for Private Parking Fines? 2022
bailiffs private parking fines

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Do you have an outstanding parking fine, or maybe a few? Is the operator chasing you for payment? Can I expect bailiffs for private parking fines is a question many motorists ask, and for a good reason!

I look at what happens when you don’t pay or appeal a fine you got on private land. I explain that an operator could take you to court and send in debt collectors but can’t instruct bailiffs.

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances, parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

Parking fines on private land

A parking management company can issue you with a Parking Charge Notice. However, they cannot ‘fine’ you for an alleged parking offence. Landowners authorise them to give fines to motorists who don’t abide by the T&Cs of using a car park.

But they are not enforceable until a judge rules you have to pay!

Many privately managed car parks use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPF) technology. Your car registration is recorded each time you enter and leave a car park. The registration details are also recorded on the ticket you buy.

The registered keeper of a vehicle is sent a demand for payment by post when:

  • No ticket is purchased when using a car park
  • A car overstayed an allotted time
  • A car was parked incorrectly

Providing a private parking management company is accredited, they can access your vehicle registration details from the DVLA.

Before 2012, a private operator could also clamp your car, but it’s now illegal.

Note: Parking tickets you get in private car parks are not issued by local authorities, which fall under “Regulation 10 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)”. They are invoices raised by operators when you ‘break’ the rules.

Private Parking Charge Notices: The Law

Paragraphs 4 to 12 of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 cover the law on parking charges issued on private land. Under UK law, a parking management company is only obliged to:

  • give notice to the keeper, who should
  • Tell the driver, and then
  • Give the notice to the driver

A parking management company cannot instruct bailiffs to recover the amount owed. They can, however, send in debt collectors.

Can a private company force me to pay?

A private parking management company can force you to pay if you are the vehicle’s registered keeper and a court has ruled you must. This can happen when the actual driver’s details are not known.

You’ll receive letters from the operator demanding payment. Each letter will be more aggressive in tone than the one before. You could get lucky, and the operator decides to drop the case. But they could start court proceedings against you.

Note: You’ll be sent a Defendant’s Response Pack when the operator takes you to court.

Note: Make sure you defend it!

Don’t ignore Parking Charge Notice correspondence

Never ignore correspondence you’re sent when you have outstanding Parking Charge Notices. Things can quickly get messy and expensive. Don’t assume the fine is yours either but make sure you either contest the fine or pay it.

Note: Seek advice when you’re not sure what to do!

bailiffs private parking fines

Can private parking companies use bailiffs?

A private parking operator can’t instruct bailiffs to recover the amount owed. However, the operator can chase you for payment through the County Court. They can apply for a County Court Judgement (CCJ) to be issued against you.

I recommend you don’t let things get this far. First, it will ruin your credit history, and the CCJ will remain on your records for 6 years. Second, you may end up paying more!

Can UK car park management take you to court?

The rules on parking on private land are managed by the International Parking Community (IPC) and the British Parking Association (BPA). They’ve established the rules on how private operators should manage car parks for landowners.

You can be taken to court if a Parking Charge Notice remains unpaid. But if an operator broke the ‘rules’ when issuing it, the case may not succeed. That said, it’s a gamble you have to weigh up.

If you win, your case will be struck out. But if you lose, you’ll end up with a CCJ on your credit history.

Note: A parking management company has to pay their own solicitors fees whether they win the case or not!

Will I get a CCJ for an unpaid private parking ticket?

Many parking management companies have earned a bad reputation over recent years for various reasons. First, ANPR technology has proven unreliable. Second, operators rely on motorists failing to defend a case when taken to court.

This results in a default judgement against the motorist. Moreover, it’s much harder to have the ‘judgement’ set aside when things go down this route!

An example is ParkingEye Limited v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67.

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

GET STARTED

Lastly, Can I expect bailiffs for a private parking fine?

No, but you can expect some nasty letters from an operator if a Parking Charge Notice goes unpaid and unchallenged. You will also get letters, phone calls, and maybe a visit or two from a debt collection agency!

My advice is to never ignore fines you get on private land. But don’t treat them the same as a Penalty Charge Notice. Even though they look similar, they are not the same.

I recommend the following:

  • Check the fine is yours as soon as possible
  • Make sure it was correctly issued according to the Code of Practice
  • Reply to correspondence the operator sends you
  • Don’t ignore letters from a debt collection agency
  • Challenge the fine if you feel it’s unfair or incorrect
  • Never ignore formal letters from a court
  • Defend a claim if the operator starts legal proceedings

Thanks for reading this post on ‘can I expect bailiffs for private parking fines’. I hope I’ve managed to answer any questions you have about unpaid parking fines.

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