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Parking Eye Fine – What you need to know in 2022

parking-eye-fine

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

After receiving a Parking Eye fine, it’s normal to be confused and even a little angry. Why should you have to pay your hard-earned money to these people? We explain why Parking Eye fines are sent to drivers and what you can do about them.

Don’t reach for your bank cards just yet, as we explain the alternatives to paying the Parking Charge Notice. 

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 Parking Eye?

Parking Eye, also known as ParkingEye or Parkingeye, is a car park management company. They provide free services to private landowners and businesses to help run a legal car park while deterring unauthorised parking. Parking Eye will provide signage and a wide range of car park technologies to ensure the smooth operation of your private car park. 

So, why is it free? Parking Eye provides its services to the private landowner and businesses for free, but they issue Parking Charge Notices to motorists who are guilty of unauthorised parking. Thus, Parking Eye makes a profit by sending parking fines to people who use the car parks. 

Is ParkingEye a private company?

Parking Eye is a private company. Parkingeye Limited is registered as a company in England (reg number 05134454). Their head office is based in Chorley, Lancashire. But all letters must be directed to their Blythe address. 

Is ParkingEye legit?

Parking Eye is a legitimate business and car park management company. Their business model follows the same model used by scores of other parking management companies working to help private businesses and landowners.

Parking Eye’s clients usually find their services beneficial, especially as they are provided for free and can help create a legal and safe car park. However, motorists don’t usually have nice things to say about Parking Eye after receiving a Parking Eye fine. 

Take a look at some of these confusing and frustrated forum posts from people who received a Parking Eye fine:

“I received a parkingeye PCN for £100 in November 2020 for entering their car park then leaving 6 minutes later without buying a ticket – I decided not to park as it felt unsafe.”

Hayes73  (Money Saving Expert Forum)

“My car entered a ParkingEye car park on 30/07/21 and left after 2hrs 33 mins. We paid £4.50 for 3hrs Parking. This weekend I received a Parking Charge Notice from ParkingEye saying I need to pay £100.”

JoseGaffer (Money Saving Expert Forum)

What is a Parking Eye fine?

A Parking Eye fine is really called a Parking Charge Notice, which is a request for payment from a motorist deemed to have parked without authorisation. These are not real fines or financial penalties, such as those received from the police or a council. You can think of a Parking Eye fine more like a bill you received from the car parking company. 

Sometimes a car park warden will leave the Parking Eye fine on your windshield. But more often than not, the fine is sent in the post. 

Parking Eye uses its cameras to identify vehicles that haven’t paid for the correct amount of parking and then asks the DVLA to share the vehicle owner’s address. They then have to serve the fine within 14 days unless there is a delay from the DVLA providing the address. 

How much is a Parking Eye fine?

Parking Eye typically charges the maximum amount they can by law, which has now been reduced to £80 in London or £50 anywhere else in England or Wales. But they must also offer a 40% reduction on the fine if you agree to pay within two weeks. So the money owed can be between £30 and £48 when paying the discounted rate. 

You’ll notice from the forum posts republished above that these motorists were being charged £100. This was the maximum amount Parking Eye and other private companies could charge before the cap was reduced in early 2022

Do you have to pay Parking Eye fines?

There is some confusion around whether you have to pay Parking Eye fines or whether you can simply ignore them. Although these aren’t “real fines”, you might end up being forced to pay if Parking Eye takes you to court.  

A judge could side with the parking firm and request you to pay the fine, making it your legal responsibility to pay. They will only rule in favour of Parking Eye if the company has followed the correct processes and the car park follows legislation surrounding signage etc. 

Learn more as we discuss what can happen when you ignore a Parking Eye fine further below. 

Do you have to pay parking eye fines in Scotland?

Parking Eye fines are the same in England and Wales as they are in Scotland. You might end up being instructed to pay by a court. But until then there is no legal obligation for you to pay. If it gets to court, however, you might have to pay more and cover court costs. 

Can you pay Parking Eye online?

You can pay your Parking Charge Notice online using the Parking Eye website, more specifically the driver’s portal found here. When paying online you can pay with a debit card, credit card or PayPal. 

Alternatively, you can pay over the phone or by sending a cheque in the post. Whichever way you choose to pay, you’ll need to provide your vehicle registration number and your Parking Charge Notice reference. This is found on your parking ticket. If you’ve lost your ticket get in touch with Parking Eye to recover the reference number. 

But before you pay, you need to know your other options! 

What happens if you don’t pay ParkingEye?

If you don’t pay a Parking Eye fine within the 28 days you’re given to pay, the company will send reminders and even threaten you with legal action. They could send you a Letter Before Action (LBA), which is a letter saying to pay not or expect to be taken to court

After receiving one of these letters you could be really taken to court. But sometimes these letters are merely a technique used to encourage you to pay. The legal threats are often enough for people to take action and make a payment. 

Parking Eye might not send the LBA themselves. They often use a debt collection agency to chase the payment for them. This agency may then get a cut from your eventual payment (if you pay). A vast number of online forum users have stated that they received a letter from Debt Recovery Plus working on behalf of Parking Eye:

“It has reached the point of receiving a letter almost a year later from Debt Recovery Plus seeking to obtain £135 on behalf of Parking Eye.”

-Wanted76 (Money Saving Expert Forum) 

So if you get a letter from Debt Recover Plus, this is really just the company chasing your payment for Parking Eye.  

A word on debt collection agencies

Debt collection agencies often get confused with bailiffs. But they are far from the same. A debt collection company is a business that chases debts on behalf of other companies or buys the debt from the other company for a much smaller amount than its worth. So if they manage to recover the debt they make money or make a profit. 

A bailiff is someone who works to enforce a court order asking you to pay a debt. They can use various measures to make you pay, including the repossession of your assets and valuables. These are then sold to clear your debts. 

A debt collection agency has none of the legal powers that bailiffs or high court enforcement officers possess. So if Debt Recovery Plus suggest they can come to your home, sometimes called a “field visit”, you can report them to the Financial Ombudsman. You never have to let them on your property or have to speak to them. 

But the debt collection company could send an LBA and eventually take you to court, which could then make the debt enforceable and need to be paid. It will also make the debt somewhat more expensive to clear. This could make you want to pay and avoid potential legal proceedings.  

Can Parking Eye give you a CCJ?

A County Court Judgement is also known as a default judgment, which is when a judge rules in favour of a claimant because the defendant didn’t respond to the case. If you receive notice that you’re being taken to court by Parking Eye, possibly via Debt Recovery Plus, and you don’t do anything, you could end up with a CCJ against you. 

Another reason you might end up with a default judgment against you is that the notices were sent to a previous address. This might be used to have the CCJ set aside and restart the process. 

Can you appeal a Parking Eye fine?

The good news is that you can fight a Parking Eye fine before it gets to court. You’re allowed to appeal the fine within the first 28 days of being served. Once you have submitted the appeal, you’ll not be asked to make a payment until a decision has been made. This could take over 50 days and you should receive a response in writing, possibly via email or in the post. 

Parking Eye fine appeal process

The appeal process first requires you to make an appeal directly to Parking Eye in writing. You should inform them of your reasons for wanting the parking ticket cancelled and provide evidence when needed. 

For example, if you broke down in the car park you might need to send Parking Eye an invoice for the mechanic’s work on the day you broke down. But keep in mind they also have cameras in the car park and will be able to spot any lies. 

If Parking Eye rejects your appeal but you still believe the decision is unfair, you can escalate it to an independent tribunal. Parking Eye is a member of the British Parking Association (BPA), which means escalated appeal must be sent to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA). 

POPLA will look at your statement and evidence to make a final decision on the matter. Appealing to POPLA is free of charge but by this time you’ll have missed out on the initial 40% discount for paying within 14 days. 

The best excuses to appeal a parking eye fine

Some of the best excuses to appeal a Parking Charge Notice from Parking Eye are:

  1. The signage wasn’t clear
  2. You broke down
  3. The ticket machine was out of order
  4. They served the parking fine too late (+14 days)
  5. You did actually shop at the supermarket (for car parks attached to supermarkets when accused of not using the supermarket)
  6. Medical emergency or another emergency that stopped you from getting back to your vehicle
  7. Your hospital appointment was delayed (for private car parks attached to hospitals)

Parking Eye grace period

Parking Eye and other private car park operators are supposed to give you a grace period of ten minutes to return to your vehicle and exit the car park before issuing a fine. If you were only just out of time on your parking (-10 minutes) but were still served a Parking Charge Notice, you could contest it for this reason. 

Many drivers aren’t aware of the grace period and pay without challenging their fine for this reason. You shouldn’t need any more excuses other than this to get the fine cancelled. The same applied to council parking fines. 

Should you pay or appeal a Parking Eye fine?

Appealing to Parking Eye and POPLA might be free, but it might not make the decision any easier. You should consider the strength of your appeal, including the excuses you have given and the evidence you have before making a decision. 

If you expect the appeal to be rejected, you might prefer to pay the fine within 14 days to get the 40% (minimum!) discount. It’s a personal decision based on individual circumstances. 

Parking Eye contact number

Parking Eye makes it extremely difficult for you to speak with them, which is a sign that they would rather not have to speak with you. The only Parking Eye phone number listed is the one to make a payment, which is 0330 555 4444. But it will not allow you to ask questions to Parking Eye staff. 

There is no Parking Eye email address listed on the site as well. But there is an address where you can write to and direct a written appeal. This address is:

Parkingeye Limited

PO Box 117

Blythe

NE24 9EJ

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.

Got another Parking Charge Notice question?

Did you have a Parking Charge Notice question that wasn’t answered above? Why not check out the MoneyNerd Parking Charge guide that covers some things not discussed here. It’s all relevant to Parking Eye fines and could help you fight back some more.

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