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Park Watch – Should I Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

HomePrivate Parking FinesParking TicketsPark Watch – Should I Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

Did you get a Park Watch fine, and wonder if it’s legally enforceable? You could have received the parking fine by post, or maybe it was left on your car. Either way, fines issued by private operators are invoices and not fines!

I look at when you could appeal a Park Watch fine and when you may have to bite the bullet and pay it. Read on to find out more.

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 Park Watch?

Park Watch is a firm that manages private car parks for landowners. They are members of the International Parking Community (IPC). Therefore, the operator should follow the IPC’s guidelines when issuing parking fines.

The operator can access vehicle keeper details from the DVLA, which allows them to send the parking fine to you by post.

Is a Park Watch parking charge notice enforceable?

No. Unless the operator takes you to court, and a judge rules in their favour. In which case, you’ll have no choice but to pay the parking charge.

My advice? You should either challenge the fine by filing an appeal with the operator. This prevents them from taking the matter further. Or you can pay the fine within 14 days, which means you pay a reduced amount.

Can I ignore a Park Watch fine?

No. Don’t ignore a Park Watch fine because if you do, the operator will hound you for payment. They’ll send you reminders, and if you don’t respond, they could give your details to a debt collector and then take you to court.

The court orders you to pay if they win their case against you. Then you’ll have no choice but to pay the amount and probably more when you add in the time you spend arguing your case.

Will I have to pay a Park Watch fine?

No. Not necessarily. As mentioned, it’s a fine on private land. It’s really an invoice you get for a minor parking infringement. You can challenge the fine when a parking charge is not issued correctly.

In short, you have the right to appeal a parking charge notice when you believe it’s unfair, incorrectly issued, or because the operator failed to follow IPC guidelines.

How do I appeal a Park Watch fine?

You can appeal a Park Watch fine online within 28 days of receiving the parking charge notice. But this may be different, so you must check the details on the reverse side of the notice you’re sent.

Alternatively, you can opt to appeal the parking fine by sending it by post to the Appeals Department, Park Watch, PO Box 624, Exeter, EX1 9JG.

You must provide the following information whether you appeal the fine online or by post:

  • Reasons why you’re appealing the fineYour name and contact details
  • Vehicle registration details
  • Parking charge notice reference number

My advice? File an appeal before you pay the Park Watch fine. Like this, the operator cannot send your details to a debt collector. Nor can they start legal proceedings until a decision is made regarding your appeal. 

In short, appealing a Park Watch fine gains you a little time. It also means you get to verify the parking fine is correct. Park Watch should decide on your appeal within 14 days of receiving it. They should contact you when they do.

What happens if my Park Watch appeal is rejected?

Park Watch must send you a letter of rejection which should include information on how to take the matter to an independent appeals service. In this instance, it’d be with Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA).

Will Park Watch send my details to a debt collection agency?

Yes. Park Watch may send your details to a debt collection agency if the fine remains unpaid or unchallenged.

My advice? Stay in touch with the operator. Challenge the fine by lodging an appeal within 14 days. Or pay the fine quickly, so you get to pay the lower amount!

Can Park Watch take me to court over an unpaid fine?

Yes. Park Watch could start legal proceedings to recover an unpaid debt. You should appeal the fine rather than ignore it when you don’t want to pay.

The operator will send you payment reminders, to begin with. But if the fine remains unpaid, they could take you to court. In this case, you’ll have to attend a court hearing.

The chances are a court would rule in the operator’s favour. So you’ll have no choice but to pay the fine, which is capped. In short, the operator must respect the law on how much they can charge you even when the case goes to court.

Will I get a CCJ for a Park Watch fine?

Not for the fine itself. But if you ignore the fine and a court rules against you, you could get a County Court Judgement recorded on your credit history.

My advice? Don’t let things go this far. It’s much easier and less stressful to file an appeal against the fine. Or pay it early so you benefit from the lower amount.

Note: A CCJ remains on your credit history for 6 years. It’ll impact your ability to borrow money during this time.

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

Lastly, Park Watch fine, pay or appeal?

Don’t automatically pay a Park Watch fine. Instead, you should appeal the parking charge notice or pay it early to pay less. Never ignore a fine you get on private land because you could end up in court.

Plus, you’ll miss out on paying the lower amount if you don’t appeal or pay the fine within 14 days of receiving it.

Thanks for reading this post on Park Watch fines. I hope the info helps you decide whether it’s worth appealing the fine or biting the bullet and paying it!

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