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Parking Ticket Lawyer – Do You Need One? 2022

parking ticket lawyer

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

Do you need a parking ticket lawyer to fight a private parking fine? We take a look at the Parking Charge Notice appeals process and discuss whether a parking ticket lawyer is necessary. Let’s motor on! 

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.

Parking Charge Notice recap

Parking Charge Notices are private parking fines that are issued by landowners and private car park operators. These car parks are often connected to supermarkets, hospitals and other businesses. 

The Parking Charge Notice might be left on your car windshield by a car park warden. But it’s now more likely that you’ll receive the Parking Charge in the post. The car park operator will use your car registration plate (as seen on camera) to contact the DVLA and request the registered vehicle owner’s home address. 

These parking tickets are not the same as council parking fines, which are issued for parking contraventions on council land, such as a high street. Council parking fines are called Penalty Charge Notices. 

Parking ticket law UK

Private landowners are legally allowed to serve Parking Charge Notices to motorists who fail to pay for parking. Although they aren’t considered real fines, these cases can go to court where the Parking Charge Notice can be made enforceable by a judge.

However, for the parking company to win in court, they must have:

  1. Adhered to all rules of operating the car park, such as displaying signs adequately
  2. Offered a reduced fine if you pay within 14 days
  3. Given you a ten-minute grace period AFTER your time runs out
  4. Not fined you above the amount they are allowed to as stated by law, which has now been reduced to £50 or £70 depending on location

Who is responsible for a parking ticket – driver or owner?

The car park operator must request the parking fine is paid by the person who was driving the vehicle. However, this can be difficult for the car park operator to know. 

They might only know the vehicle registration number, which only helps them find out the vehicle owner’s address. There may be cases when the person driving wasn’t the registered vehicle owner. 

If the car park operator only knows the registered vehicle owner, they are allowed to send the Parking Charge Notice to the vehicle owner due to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. This is called Keeper Liability. 

But there’s something else you need to know!

Only car park operators that are members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) can request the vehicle owner’s address. So if the car park company isn’t a member they can only get your address if you tell them, which they might encourage if they left a notice on your vehicle. 

Can you appeal a parking ticket?

You have the right to appeal a private parking ticket within 28 days – the same amount of time you get to make the payment. 

Your appeal, which can also be known as a representation, must be made in writing. Some car park operators will ask you to send a letter, while others may accept written appeals via their website. 

The representation should state why you believe the Parking Charge Notice should be cancelled and accompanied by supporting evidence. We discuss some of the best reasons shortly.

But first, will you need a parking ticket lawyer to lodge your appeal?

Do you need a parking ticket lawyer?

You don’t have to get a parking ticket lawyer to make a parking ticket appeal. The vast majority of people appeal their parking tickets themselves. However, you might want to get parking ticket legal advice before deciding whether or not to appeal.

A parking ticket lawyer could tell you how likely it is that your appeal will be successful. They might explain why your appeal would be rejected, which would then allow you to pay the reduced fine within the first 14 days instead. 

Ultimately, it’s a personal decision but the cost of parking ticket legal advice could easily exceed the cost of the parking ticket.

What is the best excuse to appeal a parking ticket?

Some of the most effective excuses to appeal a private parking ticket include:

  1. You broke down
  2. You were within the new grace period
  3. The only payment machine wasn’t working
  4. You were involved in a (medical) emergency

Excuses should be supported by appropriate evidence. 

How long does a parking company have to respond to an appeal?

The parking company must respond to your appeal within 56 days of receiving your representation. If they fail to make a decision on the appeal by this deadline, they will have to accept your appeal and cancel the parking fine. 

Is there an ombudsman for parking fines?

You can escalate a rejected appeal by a parking company to an independent service, which could be considered a parking fine ombudsman. However, there isn’t just one independent service for escalated appeals. 

The independent service you must use will depend on which Accredited Trade Association the car park operator is a member of. 

If they are a member of the British Parking Association, you must escalate the appeal to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA). But if they are a member of the International Parking Community (IPC), the appeal must be escalated to the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). 

Do you need a parking ticket lawyer? (Quick recap!)

You don’t need a parking ticket lawyer to lodge an initial appeal or escalate the appeal. All appeals can be made on your own by following the instructions. 

You might want to seek parking ticket legal advice to determine the strength of a possible appeal, but the cost of legal advice could exceed the cost of the parking fine.

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.

Want to know more about private parking tickets?

More information on private parking tickets and the appeals process can be found in our feature parking ticket guide. If you want to know more and have further questions, this is the place to go!

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