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Park Direct UK – Pay or Appeal? 2022

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

Are you wondering whether to pay or appeal a Park Direct UK fine? Do you think it was wrongly issued? You have the right to file an appeal, but you must prove the operator was in the wrong when you do. A lot of people complain about Parking Charge Notices they get. And mistakes do happen.

Maybe an over-zealous parking attendant forgot to give you a little more mandatory time. Or perhaps, there’s a valid reason why you got back late. Read on to find out whether you should challenge a fine issued by the operator or if you should pay it!

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 is Park Direct UK?

Park Direct is a member of the British Parking Association (BPA) and accredited by the International Parking Community (IPC) as an approved operator. The company provides parking solutions for the retail and private sectors.

Landowners authorise the Park Direct UK to issue Parking Charge Notices for infringements committed on their private land. However, because Park Direct UK are BPA members, they must abide by the Code of Practice.

Many operators issue fines for minor parking violations, and sometimes mistakes are made. When a private operator gets it wrong, you have the right to appeal. It’s free, but you must appeal within 28 days of receiving what you think it’s unfair.

Can a parking charge notice be enforced?

You’d get a Parking Charge Notice when you park on private land and commit a parking violation. However, these fines are not Penalty Charge Notices that the police and local authorities issue for parking infringements in public places.

A Parking Charge Notice is actually an invoice raised by the operator because you are deemed to have disregarded their Terms and Conditions. Therefore, the operator cannot ‘demand’ payment from you legally.

However, if you ignore the fine or refuse to pay it, Park Direct UK could take you to court. If they win the case, a judge will issue a court order for you to pay the fine.

I recommend you either appeal the fine within 28 days or pay it. Never ignore one because there is the risk of being taken to court. Something to avoid as it could lead to you getting a CCJ on your credit history.

It will remain on your credit record for 6 years!

How do you argue a parking ticket?

Contact Park Direct UK as soon as possible. You have 28 days to appeal a Parking Charge Notice. You must have a good reason to dispute the fine, although the operator may have mistakenly issued one.

If you believe any of the following applies to your case, I suggest you challenge the fine:

  • You have a valid reason for not returning to the car park before your ticket ran out. Maybe you had a young child with you, or you are disabled. You may be pregnant. The law in the UK does not allow for discrimination
  • A fine was sent in the post over 14 days after you parked in the car park
  • You did not break any rules, and your vehicle was not incorrectly parked
  • You could not pay because a machine was out of order
  • The operator charged you over £50
  • There were no clear signs, or they were not visible in the car park
  • You had broken down and had to wait for a recovery vehicle
  • You were only five or ten minutes late back to your car
  • No signs indicating surveillance cameras were in operation, yet you got the Parking Charge Notice in the post

Although not necessary, proof to support an appeal will strengthen your case.

If possible, try to provide the following:

  • Receipts and documentation relating to the incident. This could be the invoice from a vehicle recovery service and correspondence you had with the operator. All of which would strengthen an appeal with the Independent Appeals Service, which in this instance would be POPLA
  • Photos of everything relating to the incident. This could be the lack of signs, road markings, Parking Charge Notice, broken payment machine and where you were parked
  • Witness statements if anyone can corroborate your story

You can appeal online, but you must provide the Parking Charge Notice number and your vehicle registration.

Does Park Direct UK have to give me a 10-minute grace period?

Yes, the operator must allow you a mandatory 10-minute grace period on returning to your car. If an operator gives you a ticket before the 10 minutes is up, the fine should be cancelled.

How do I appeal a Parking Charge Notice?

First, contact the operator and make an informal appeal which costs you nothing. Then if Park Direct doesn’t accept your appeal, you have the right to contact POPLA. Park Direct UK should provide you with information when they send their rejection letter.

Should I pay a Park Direct UK fine?

When the fine is issued correctly and the operator follows the Code of Practice, you may have to pay the fine. However, don’t automatically think you have to pay.

First, check if the fine was correctly issued and that the operator followed the BPA code of practice. 

If you find the ticket was correctly issued, I suggest you pay it within 14 days of getting it. The amount is significantly reduced if you pay early. After 14 days, you’ll have to pay the total amount!

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.

Park Direct UK – Should You Pay or Appeal?

You have two options when you get a fine on private land. You either pay the fine or appeal it. The one thing not to do is ignore that you were given a ticket. Things can quickly get much harder to settle when you do.

Plus, you could have a debt collector contact you when you ignore a Parking Charge Notice. The operator could start legal proceedings, and if they win, you could end up with a CCJ

I hope the information in this post helps you decide whether you should appeal the fine or pay it and move on.

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