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Initial Parking Fine – Should You Pay or Appeal? 2022

initial parking fine

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

Should you pay or appeal an Initial Parking fine? We discuss the important details about private parking tickets and how to deal with one from Initial Parking. Read on if you want to 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 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.

What is Initial Parking?

Initial Parking is a car park management company offering to manage car parks for private landowners and businesses. The company is a legitimate business with a head office in Birmingham, and it’s a member of the British Parking Association. 

They often manage car parks that are connected to supermarkets, large retail parks, shopping centres and restaurants. They provide a range of services to manage the car park, such as CCTV, payment solutions and much more. 

What is an Initial Parking fine?

As part of its car park management services, Initial Parking can issue parking fines to motorists who don’t pay for their parking. 

They use special CCTV cameras to identify vehicles that haven’t paid or haven’t paid the correct amount for parking. These are known as private parking tickets or Parking Charge Notices.

The Initial Parking fine could be left on your windshield if the car park uses manned patrol. But because Initial Parking is a member of the BPA, they can instead use the offending motorist’s registration plate to ask the DVLA for the vehicle owner’s address. Thus, they often send the Parking Charge Notice in the post. 

How much is a parking ticket in the UK?

Private parking tickets are capped at £100. But new rules are coming into force which reduces the cap to £50 in most situations outside of London. The same parking tickets are capped a little higher in London.

But Initial Parking and any other private car park operator must offer a discounted fine for early bird payers. So you could end up paying below the cap if you admit guilt and pay early. 

Do you have to pay an Initial Parking fine?

There isn’t a straight yes or no answer to this question. On the one hand, private parking companies have a legal right to issue parking tickets if the motorist doesn’t adhere to an unwritten contractual agreement by using their car park. 

But on the other hand, Parking Charge Notices aren’t considered to be real fines. They’re seen as invoices from the company instead. These invoices can become enforceable if the company takes you to court and a judge orders you to pay. 

What happens if you don’t pay private parking ticket UK?

If you don’t pay a private parking ticket in the UK, the parking company might threaten legal action to make the debt enforceable. There are new rules coming into force to prevent car park operators from adding unfair fees when you don’t pay. 

The car park operator may also outsource the collection process to a debt collection business, which will also threaten legal action. These companies aren’t bailiffs and have no further legal powers that the car park operator. 

If legal action doesn’t materialise, you’ll never be forced to pay the parking fine. However, if they take you to court and win, you’ll be ordered to pay by a judge. Ignoring these orders can result in the use of bailiffs or even money taken from your wages. 

Can you appeal an Initial Parking fine instead?

You can appeal a Parking Charge Notice from Initial Parking. This must be done within 28 days and it can only be done in writing. You can either send a letter, or you can use their online appeals process via their website, which can be found here

You’ll need to provide your vehicle registration number and the Parking Charge number to make the appeal. It should include your reasons why you think the fine is unjust. And it should be backed up with evidence when needed. 

Initial Parking then has up to 56 days to respond to the appeal, during which time you shouldn’t be asked to pay. They will write or email you to confirm the appeal is accepted and you don’t have to pay. Or they could email to decline the appeal and let you know the further steps you can take, which we discuss shortly. 

What is the best excuse to appeal a parking ticket?

The best excuse to appeal a parking ticket is that they have made a mistake because you paid. Other good excuses include:

  1. Your vehicle broke down
  2. The payment machine wasn’t working 
  3. You were in an emergency situation
  4. You were within an obligatory 10-minute grace period

Not all of these excuses work all of the time. You might need to back them up with photo or video evidence.

Initial Parking fine – should you pay or appeal?

You should only appeal an Initial Parking fine if you have good reason to and evidence. If you don’t have a good reason, it may be better to pay the parking fine quickly so you can take advantage of the reduced fine and pay less. 

What if your parking fine appeal is rejected?

As Initial Parking is a member of the British Parking Association, you can take a rejected appeal to an independent service. The service you must use is called Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA).

POPLA will review your appeal and make a final decision. You usually have to escalate the appeal within 28 days of getting rejected by Initial Parking. 

Initial Parking contact number

Initial parking doesn’t have a customer service number because they refuse to discuss parking tickets over the phone. They do have an automated payment line. If you want to ask questions, you’ll have to use their web contact form or send an email.

Read our comprehensive parking ticket guide!

Got a question that wasn’t answered above? You’ll probably find the answer in this comprehensive private parking ticket guide. Check it out for free now!

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.

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