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British Parking Association Code of Practice – 2022

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british parking association code of practice

When hit with a parking charge notice, one of the first things you will be wondering is whether you have to pay. After all, no one wants to pay for something they don’t need to be! Fortunately, the British Parking Association Code of Practice clarifies what parking operators can and can’t do when issuing parking fines. Here, we will delve deeper into the code of practice so that you know your rights

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.

Who is the British Parking Association?

So who are these guys who have laid out this code of practice, and what do they do?

A private car park operator must be a member of an accredited trade association to get your information from the DVLA.

The British Parking Association is the only professional association in the UK that covers the whole parking sector across the entire country. Members range from government bodies, healthcare trusts, technology businesses, car park providers, local councils, railway operators, and amusement parks.

If you have a parking charge notice from a member of the BPA, you can appeal to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals). POPLA has an independent board, which ensures the organization’s complete and total autonomy. However, at the end of 2023, this will change as one appeals service will cover all parking associations.

So, in a nutshell, the British Parking Association helps to ensure there are no rogue car park operators, the rules are all fair and it works with an independent agency to ensure parking appeals are handled fairly.

How does the 2022 British Parking Association Code of Practice help me as a motorist?

This new law includes several features: reduced parking penalties, allowing grace periods, and a centralised appeals facility.

The code gets rid of any murky parking restrictions and heavy-handed requests for payment. It also allows harmless errors, such as accidentally inputting a car’s registration, to serve as grounds for appeal. The code intends to clean up the sector and make things fairer for everyone.

It is important to remember that these new guidelines apply to parking charge notices handed out by private parking companies, no penalty charge notices issued by local authorities.

Some of the new guidelines in the British Parking Association Code of Practice 2022 include:

A new maximum fine: Before the introduction of the code, the maximum fine was £100, or £60 if paid within 14 days. Now, if you get hit with a fine, the most they can charge you is £70 or £60, depending on the breach. Great news! However, if you park in a disabled spot without a blue badge or you trespass on private land, they can still fine you up to £100, so check where you are parking very carefully!

No additional fees: It is bad enough to get a PCN in the first place, but when parking debt collectors start adding on their fees, it can get very out of hand very quickly. Not anymore! The new code of practice stops them from putting on extra charges. Phew!

Grace period: It has happened to the best of us. The baby needed a nappy change, the toddler had a meltdown and wouldn’t move, the queues were a bit longer than you expected, you watch is a few minutes out from the parking ticket… you race back to the car just a few minutes late to find they have hit you with a ticket. Not fair! The new code of practice grants a ten-minute grace period before they can give you a fine.

Five-minute cooling-off period: Again, a fairly common situation. We have driven into a car park and then changed our minds before actually parking. Perhaps it is busier than you thought, more expensive or there are no suitable spaces for you. Why should you have to pay if you haven’t parked, are just checking it out, or have changed your mind? Parking companies now have to give you five minutes to cast your eye over the signs and decide whether you want to park or not.

A crackdown on the language used: Many parking firms try to bamboozle or intimidate motorists into paying up without question by using aggressive or pseudo-legal language. Not anymore! The new code means they can get into trouble for doing this.

Clearer signs: The new code means that parking companies have to make sure that the terms and conditions, plus any charges, appeal procedure, and contact details are clearly displayed.

Mitigating circumstances: This one is more of a grey area because every situation is different, but there are more grounds for fines to be cancelled, such as mitigating circumstances or innocent errors like a simple mistype of a registration number.

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

How do I appeal a parking charge notice?

If you have received a parking charge notice that you don’t agree with, you should appeal directly to the business that issued the notice until the new single appeals facility is open and operational. Do not pay the fee since they may interpret this as an admission of culpability on your part if you do so. It is a good idea to back up your appeal with documentation, such as a photograph of a parking sign that is unclear or a statement from the hospital stating that your visit ran over the expected time.

If they deny your request to cancel your fine, you should contact the appeals service employed by the organisation to which the operator belongs. In the case of the BPA, this is Parking on Private Land Appeals). You have 28 days from the rejection to appeal with POPLA.

So, there you have it – a brief overview of the British Parking Association Code of Practice 2022, which helps to remove much of the grey area and unfairness of parking charge notices. You can find more information on the British Parking Association’s official website.

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