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BW Legal Parking Fine – Pay or Appeal? 2022

bw legal parking fine

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Are you being chased for a BW Legal parking fine? You certainly aren’t alone as scores of motorists receive these debt letters each year. Find out what your BW Legal parking fine really is and what your options are in this quick post. 

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.

Who are BW Legal?

BW Legal is a law firm that specialises in debt recovery services. They help other businesses to recover unpaid invoices, arrears and debts. They do this by contacting “debtors” on their clients’ behalf and negotiating full payment or payment plans. They might threaten legal action like most other debt collection businesses, but this can feel even scarier coming from a registered law firm. 

Are BW Legal bailiffs?

BW Legal are not bailiffs, which are more commonly known as enforcement agents in modern times. Enforcement agents only get involved in the debt collection process after a judge orders someone to pay a debt and that person continues to not pay. BW Legal work at the other end of the debt collection process – at the very start. 

Because BW Legal are not bailiffs, they shouldn’t be coming to your home and shouldn’t be suggesting they can repossess your items. Some debt collection businesses do this as a way to scare you into paying quickly, but it’s completely illegal to pretend to have the powers that bailiffs have. 

Who do BW Legal work for?

BW Legal doesn’t work exclusively in one industry. Their website claims that they work for utility companies, creditors and commercial businesses. But they’re also a popular company among private companies that operate a private car park, which may be a standalone car park or attached to another business, such as shopping malls, hospitals, universities and supermarkets.  

BW Legal parking fine

BW Legal parking fines are when this debt collection law firm works for a private company to chase unpaid private parking tickets. These are known as Parking Charge Notices and shouldn’t be confused with council parking tickets which are called Penalty Charge Notices. They might chase unpaid parking fines for a number of different car park operators across the UK. 

Unlike council parking fines, a private parking fine is not a real fine. These should be considered more like an invoice you have received from a private business.

BW Legal parking fine fees

When BW Legal start chasing a motorist for an unpaid private parking fine, they may add additional fees to inflate the debt. However, in a case from a few years ago, a judge ruled that BW Legal were abusing the process and should stop adding on inflated costs for no genuine reason. Additional costs may be added when the claimant has been left out of pocket, which was not in these cases. 

Here is an example of someone being chased by BW Legal for a parking fine:

“I received a parking fine from Britannia Parking when I pulled into a pub car park and stopped for 16 minutes to check a warning light on my VW campervan. I unsuccessfully appealed through Britannia and POPLA and now BW Legal have upped the fine to £160 and has given me until 29th April before commencing County Court proceedings.”

  • Baz23 (Money Saving Expert forum)

Are parking fines legal on private land?

Private companies have the right to issue Parking Charge Notices when a motorist has failed to keep to the terms of the private car park, such as not paying or overstaying. However, as they aren’t real fines, they cannot be enforced unless a judge tells the motorist they have to pay. 

The courts will make you pay if there is no good reason why you shouldn’t. And as long as the car park was operated correctly, such as having clear signage for motorists. 

BW Legal parking fine letters

You may have received a letter from BW Legal about an unpaid Parking Charge Notice. This is called a Letter Before Action (LBA) because it gives you a chance to pay by a set deadline or they say they will take you to court. Giving you an opportunity to pay is a necessary step in the process of taking you to court. 

Can BW Legal take you to court for a parking fine?

BW Legal might advise their client – i.e. the private car park operator – to take legal action against you if you don’t pay the money. However, the client may be unwilling to take legal action if the fine is a small amount, which it will be due to the new lower caps on private parking tickets

The bottom line is there isn’t any way of 100% knowing for sure whether ignoring a BW Legal parking fine letter will result in legal action or not. 

Can I appeal a BW Legal parking fine?

You can appeal a Parking Charge Notice but it’s unlikely that this will still be an option if the “fine” has already been passed to a debt collection company like BW Legal. You only have so long to make an appeal, and it’s unlikely that the car park operator will have passed the matter to a collection business before this timeframe expires. 

Do I have to pay BW Legal?

You might have to pay BW Legal to prevent the matter from escalating to the courts, which could add further expense if you lose. Some people don’t pay and are never taken to court, but this is a big risk you probably don’t want to take. 

The best way of getting out of a parking fine is successfully appealing against it, which may not be possible anymore depending on how long has passed since it was served. But it’s still worth looking into. 

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.

Fighting back against debt collection companies

Use our debt help hub to access more information to push back against debt collection businesses like BW Legal. Knowing your rights can make a huge difference! 

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