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Parking Fines on Private Land – What you need to know 2022

Parking fines private land

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

Everything you need to know about parking fines on private land is discussed in this concise guide. We answer the most common questions posed by UK motorists about parking fines on private land. Read on to uncover why these fines are not real fines – and what you can do about them. 

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.

Is it illegal to park on private land?

You are not allowed to park on somebody else’s private land which is not a car park. This is called unauthorised parking rather than illegal parking. 

But you may be able to park on private land owned by a supermarket, hospital, business or just a regular private car park. You usually need to pay for parking while you are parked on private land. 

What is a Parking Charge Notice?

A Parking Charge Notice is a “fine” issued by a private landowner or private car park operator for parking on their land and not paying the required parking fee. This may be because you didn’t pay at all, or because you overstayed the time you paid for. However, a Parking Charge Notice is not a real fine. These “fines” are more like invoices.

New rules state that a private parking ticket can only fine the motorist a maximum of £50, which is around a 50% reduction of the previous fine cap. 

Do not confuse a Parking Charge Notice with a Penalty Charge Notice. Whereas the former is issued by private car park operators, the latter is issued by local councils for illegal parking in public areas, such as the high street. A Penalty Charge Notice is a “real fine”. 

Can I ignore a parking ticket from a private company?

You could ignore a parking ticket from a private company and get away without having to pay. But this is risky and the car park operator could take further action against you, which eventually forces you to pay. Ignoring the parking ticket could also increase how much you have to pay in the end. 

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket?

If you don’t pay a private land parking ticket, the company will either stop chasing you for payments, or add further late fees and may even take court action. They could ask a small claims court to give you a court order to pay. And if you don’t pay they could ask to use enforcement action, including the use of bailiffs. 

Not paying a Penalty Charge Notice is more serious. If you do not pay these council parking fines within 28 days, they will send you a charge certificate. This automatically increases the fine by 50% and gives you a further 14 days to pay before taking court action. 

Are parking fines on private land enforceable?

Private parking companies cannot force you to pay their fine. However, the fine may be enforced if a small claims court judges that you must pay. Thus, a parking fine on private land is not initially enforceable but it can become enforceable if the car park operator takes legal action against you. 

Can you appeal private land parking charges?

You are allowed to appeal against private land parking charges if you believe the ticket is unjustified. You’ll probably need to make your appeal within so many days of receiving the Parking Charge Notice, as stipulated on the ticket. 

How do you appeal against private parking tickets?

You appeal against a private land parking charge by making a representation, which is a formal appeal detailing why you believe the parking ticket should be cancelled. You should provide evidence of your claims, which may be photos or statements from witnesses. 

The specific appeals process should be made clear by the company that issued your private parking ticket. If your appeal is rejected, you also have the opportunity to take your appeal to an independent tribunal. The tribunal you use will be based on which trade body the car park company is a member of. 

Private land parking tickets time limit

In most cases, the private land care park has 14 days to issue you with a Parking Charge Notice. But this timeframe can be extended in some circumstances. 

Some private car park operators will place the Parking Charge Notice on your vehicle. But other car parks don’t use parking wardens and instead rely on cameras to spot motorists who don’t pay. In these cases, they need to get your address from the DVLA and send the private land parking fine in the post (using your vehicle registration).

They must serve you with the private parking ticket within 14 days, but they can get much longer if the DVLA is slow to provide your information. 

Private fines on private land (quick summary)

Private fines for parking on private land are not real fines at all. They are not legally enforceable and more like invoices, unless the car park company takes you to the small claims court and wins. 

You can also appeal against any private land parking ticket you think is not fair. You’ll need to provide good reason and evidence. 

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.

Free parking ticket guides at MoneyNerd

Further support and information to help you deal with parking tickets are available for free at MoneyNerd. We hope you found what you needed in this guide, but don’t forget to check out our other parking fine guides soon.

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