McDonald’s Parking Fine – Pay or Appeal?
Table of Contents
- Can you park for free at McDonald’s? Jump
- Do You Have to Pay McDonald’s Parking Fines? Jump
- Can you get a parking fine at McDonald’s? Jump
- How long can you park in McDonald’s UK? Jump
- McDonald’s parking fine explained Jump
- Are McDonald’s parking fines enforceable? Jump
- Should you pay a McDonald’s parking ticket? Jump
- How do you appeal a McDonald’s parking fine? Jump
- Importance of keeping receipts Jump
- Common grounds for appeal Jump
- What if the PCN appeal is rejected? Jump
- Tips for avoiding McDonald’s parking fines Jump
- So, should you pay or appeal? Jump
- Got another private parking question? Jump
Have you received a McDonald’s parking fine and are wondering whether to pay or appeal? You’ve come to the right place.
Every month, over 130,000 people visit our website seeking advice on fines and parking tickets. Rest assured, you’re not the only one facing this issue.
In this article, we will provide clear and easy-to-understand information on:
- The rules of parking at McDonald’s.
- Whether you have to pay McDonald’s parking fines.
- How to appeal a McDonald’s parking fine.
- Useful tips to avoid getting a McDonald’s parking fine.
We know that getting a private parking fine can be very upsetting. But there’s no need to worry. We’re here to provide helpful advice and real-life examples to make this process easier for you.
Can you park for free at McDonald’s?
McDonald’s offers free parking at their restaurants.
However, some locations have time limits which are part of McDonald’s car park rules.
They state that they have to impose time limits to prevent people from using the car parks for free and then going elsewhere.
Moreover, they do this to stop taxi drivers from using their car parks as a place to wait in between journeys.
Do You Have to Pay McDonald’s Parking Fines?
In many circumstances, you could appeal your McDonald’s parking fine.
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 called JustAnswer.
Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.
Can you get a parking fine at McDonald’s?
Yes, you can be sent a parking fine for parking at McDonald’s even though their car parks are free to use.
McDonald’s parking policy is found on their website,
You can be sent a parking ticket if you overstay the time limit or don’t use the restaurant.
Just as this customer experienced:
“I’m in need of assistance as I went to my local MCD for many years many times and had never noticed the signage of 90 minutes stay only. We went there with our twins and to be honest we stayed there to have a chat and we overstayed for 90 minutes. Apparently, according to their Notice to Registered Keeper, we overstayed by 12 minutes. […]”
- Tatty123 (Money Saving Expert Forum)
The official name of these McDonald’s parking tickets is Parking Charge Notices which I’ll explain further in my post.
You might not have to pay
In many circumstances, parking tickets are not enforceable.
The last time I had a parking ticket, I paid £5 for a trial with an Online Solicitor called JustAnswer.
They advised me on the appeals process and helped me to create a successful airtight defence. It’s a bit of a no-brainer!
Try it below
How long can you park in McDonald’s UK?
The UK McDonald’s parking duration restrictions depend on location.
Some restaurants allow customers to park for free for up to one hour, some 90 minutes and others as long as two hours.
There have been some instances of the fast-food chain imposing ten-minute time limits in some UK locations.
It caused one man who attended the same chain four times to receive four £100 fines. The full story can be found here.
As I see it, you should check the time limit in the McDonald’s car park you visit.
McDonald’s parking fine explained
McDonald’s doesn’t issue parking fines themselves.
They outsource the management of their car parks to car park management companies.
Plus, they don’t use one specific company and may use multiple companies at different UK locations.
These companies add specialist CCTV cameras called Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to the McDonald’s car park, which can detect and track vehicle movements based on their number plates.
If the vehicle is parked too long at McDonald’s, the company issues a parking ticket called a Parking Charge Notice.
However, new laws will prevent car park operators from issuing such severe penalties.
At some point in 2023, the most they can fine the driver is up to £50 in most cases. And they still have to offer a discount of at least 40% if the driver pays within two weeks.
Are McDonald’s parking fines enforceable?
The short answer is yes. McDonald’s can take you to court and get a judge to tell you to pay.
They will cite you breached the Terms and Conditions of using the car park.
But things aren’t that straightforward.
Parking Charge Notices are not classified as genuine fines. They’re an invoice from the car park operator for a service provided.
For example, parking for free but not eating at McDonald’s.
The legal implications of parking fines on private land are that they fall under ‘contractual law‘.
Should you pay a McDonald’s parking ticket?
You should pay a McDonald’s parking fine if you want to avoid potential court action and if you know you’re guilty of the infringement.
If you decide to pay a McDonald’s parking penalty, you should do so within 14 days so you only pay the discounted rate.
Alternatively, you might want to challenge the McDonald’s parking fine and hopefully be off the hook.
That said, check out what happened to one motorist who got a Macdonald’s parking ticket.
How do you appeal a McDonald’s parking fine?
You can only appeal a McDonald’s parking fine within 28 days and by appealing to the car park management company – not McDonald’s!
The appeal must be in writing, which may require you to write a letter, or it could be lodged in writing via the company’s website.
- Your fine reference number
- Car registration number
You must state your reason for appealing and support your statement with evidence when possible.
Even the best excuses could be rejected if you don’t have sufficient evidence.
For example, the company might state that you didn’t use McDonald’s. But you know you did and could send them a copy of your receipt or your bank statement to show the time and date of the purchase.
Interestingly, you can’t be fined if you only overstayed by 10 minutes.
Private companies must grant drivers a 10-minute grace period to leave the car park.
Note: Make sure you follow the right parking fine dispute process when you appeal the ticket.
Importance of keeping receipts
I suggest you hold on to any McDonald’s receipts if you receive a parking ticket in the post.
Like this, you have proof that you ate at the fast food restaurant if you’re accused of not doing so.
Proof of purchase at McDonald’s could help make your case against the parking ticket.
Common grounds for appeal
I’ve listed some common grounds for appealing a McDonald’s parking ticket here:
- You parked correctly, and you were within the free parking time limit
- A medical emergency meant you had to leave your car parked at Mcdonald’s
- The ticket says you didn’t use McDonald’s, but you have proof you did
- Your car broke down, and you were waiting for a tow truck
Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee
If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.
Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.
For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.
Try it below
What if the PCN appeal is rejected?
If the operator rejects your appeal, you may or may not be given time to pay the discounted rate.
Alternatively, you can escalate the appeal to an independent appeals service.
The service you use will depend on what Accredited Trade Association the company is a member of.
Tips for avoiding McDonald’s parking fines
As I see it, you should always check how long you can park for free at McDonald’s because the time limit varies from site to site.
You should also:
- Keep an eye on the time
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Consider using a mobile app to remind you the free parking time is nearly up
I also suggest you familiarise yourself with McDonald’s car park best practices and abide by the McDonald’s parking guidelines.
Note: These can be found on an operator’s and McDonald’s website.
So, should you pay or appeal?
Only appeal if you have a genuine reason and appropriate evidence.
Otherwise, you could miss out on the discounted rate and end up paying more.
As I see it, the decision to appeal or pay can only be based on your specific circumstances.
Got another private parking question?
Further private parking ticket questions have been answered on our Parking Charge Notice guide. Give it a read for free. It could help you fight back against McDonald’s parking fines.