Are Private Car Park Fines Enforceable?
Table of Contents
- Private car parking fines enforcement Jump
- Do supermarkets offer free parking? Jump
- Parking Charge Notices Vs Council parking fines Jump
- What do the British Parking Association do? Jump
- Are private parking tickets enforceable? Jump
- Can I just ignore a private parking ticket? Jump
- Can private parking tickets be enforced? Jump
- What happens if you don't pay a parking ticket? Jump
- Can debt collectors force entry into my home? Jump
- Can you appeal a private car park fine? Jump
- How do you appeal a private car park fine? Jump
- Is there ANPR in car parks? Jump
- Does not paying private parking tickets affect credit UK? Jump
- Fight back against private car park fines! Jump
- Are private car park fines enforceable? (Quick summary) Jump
Have you received a private parking fine and are unsure if it should be paid or appealed? We’re here to help.
Each month, over 130,000 people visit our website for guidance on fines and parking tickets. You’re not alone in your confusion.
In this easy-to-understand piece, we’ll explore:
- The rules around private car park fines.
- If you have to pay these fines.
- How to appeal a private car park fine.
- The role of the British Parking Association.
- The possible effects on your credit score in the UK.
It’s normal to feel frustrated about a private parking fine. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you understand your options and feel confident about your next steps.
Let’s dive into the world of private parking fines together.
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 called JustAnswer.
Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.
Private car parking fines enforcement
A private parking ticket is called a Parking Charge Notice.
They are issued by private car parks across the UK when the motorist fails to pay to use the car park or has not paid for the correct parking fee.
For example, they overstayed an allotted time.
You can get a Parking Charge Notice for unauthorised parking in:
- Privately owned car parks
- Car parks connected to hospitals
- Supermarket car parks
- Business premises
A ticket may be left on your vehicle or sent in the post when you’re caught on camera instead of in person.
Do supermarkets offer free parking?
Yes. But only for a limited time. After this, you must pay a fee to park on one of its sites.
When you overstay the free parking, a car park management company could issue you a parking ticket on behalf of the landowner.
See what happened to one motorist who overstayed in an Aldi car park but could not get the store to intervene because it was too late.
Parking Charge Notices Vs Council parking fines
A Parking Charge Notice is not the same as a parking fine from the council, which is officially called a Penalty Charge Notice.
The two terms are similar but they are far from the same.
A Penalty Charge Notice is issued by a local authority when a motorist is deemed to have parked illegally in a public area.
In short, they did not follow UK Parking Laws 2023.
A Penalty Charge Notice can be:
- Left on your vehicle
- Handed to you in the street
- Sent in the post to your registered address with the DVLA
What do the British Parking Association do?
The British Parking Association (BPA) is one of the recognised authorities for the private parking sector.
They set out the British Parking Association Code of Practice that all its members should follow.
If an operator fails to follow the code when issuing a parking ticket on private land, you could have grounds to appeal.
Are private parking tickets enforceable?
A private parking ticket – i.e. a Parking Charge Notice – is not a real fine and is initially not legally enforceable.
You should consider a private car park fine more like an invoice sent from the private car park operator, rather than a legally enforceable fine.
However, this isn’t the whole story.
If you don’t pay a private parking ticket, you could end up in a small claims court for parking fines.
You might not have to pay
In many circumstances, parking tickets are not enforceable.
The last time I had a parking ticket, I paid £5 for a trial with an Online Solicitor called JustAnswer.
They advised me on the appeals process and helped me to create a successful airtight defence. It’s a bit of a no-brainer!
Try it below
Can I just ignore a private parking ticket?
As private car park fines are not real fines and not legally enforceable at the start, you could technically ignore them and never have to pay.
But in my experience, this can be risky because the private car park operator could take further action against you for not paying.
This further action could result in you having to pay, and you may incur further charges due to the delay.
In short, ignoring UK supermarket parking fines is risky.
Can private parking tickets be enforced?
Although private parking tickets cannot be enforced initially, the car park owner could take you to a small claims court for not paying.
They will argue in court that you broke a contractual agreement by entering and parking on their private land.
If they win the small claims court case, the private car park ticket becomes enforceable and you’ll have to pay.
Download our Parking Ticket Appeal letter template to give you a headstart writing your appeal.
What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket?
The impact of non-payment of parking fines should not be overlooked.
If you don’t pay a private car park fine, the company may do nothing and send you reminders to pay.
Or they could take the matter to a small claims court.
It’s difficult to know whether the company will stop chasing you for payment or if they will take further action.
There is also the chance they could sell the debt to a debt collection agency (not the same as bailiffs!) and they’ll chase you for payment instead.
The debt collection agency has no more rights or powers than the car park company.
Not paying a Penalty Charge Notice from a local council is a different matter.
The charge certificate increases your fine by 50% and provides a further two weeks to make the payment in full.
Ignoring a charge certificate allows the council to get a court order that forces you to pay or face bailiffs.
The local authority will employ a bailiff company to recover the debt or seize possessions for sale at auction if you ignore the court order to pay.
Can debt collectors force entry into my home?
A debt collector doesn’t have special powers when it comes to debt collecting.
They can contact you by:
They can visit you at home but they cannot force entry into it. Plus if you ask them to leave, a debt collector must respect your request.
I suggest you keep your doors locked if a debt collector tells you they plan to visit you at home.
Dealing with debt collectors for unpaid parking fines is never a pleasant experience.
Can you appeal a private car park fine?
You are allowed to appeal a private car park fine.
This can be a good middle ground if you don’t want to pay or ignore the car park ticket and believe the car park “fine” is unfair.
How do you appeal a private car park fine?
Each private car park operator will have its own appeals process.
But in general, you’ll be required to explain why you think the car park ticket is unfair and provide evidence.
For example, you might say that:
- The ticketing machine was broken, or
- The ticket was issued before the grace period had expired
I suggest you send a picture you took of the machine not working.
First, contact customer service and see if they will cancel the parking ticket for you.
If not, next contact the car park management company by filing an appeal.
If the car park operator rejects your appeal without good reason, you can take your appeal to an independent appeals service that gets the final say.
The independent appeals service used depends on the trade association the car park operator is a member of.
You’ll get to restate your argument and receive a final decision.
Is there ANPR in car parks?
Yes. There is ANPR in many private car parks.
It’s a technology often seen in private car parks that operators manage on behalf of the owners.
ANPR Technology in car parks registers your number plate as you enter a car park and then again when you leave.
Each entry and exit is time-stamped.
Does not paying private parking tickets affect credit UK?
A private parking ticket will not impact your credit score.
But if you don’t pay the fine when there’s a court order, a CCJ is registered on your credit file.
It will affect your credit rating if you don’t settle the CCJ within 30 days.
The County Court Judgement remains in your credit history for 6 years. You would have trouble getting:
- A bank loan
- Credit card
Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee
If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.
Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.
For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.
Try it below
Fight back against private car park fines!
Knowing your rights is the best way to fight against unfair private car park tickets.
I have other free guides to help equip yourself with the facts to do just that. I’ve also written articles to help people fight and claim against council parking fines. Check them out soon!
Are private car park fines enforceable? (Quick summary)
Private car park fines are initially not legally enforceable but can become legally enforceable if the car park operator wins a case against you in a small claims court.
This can make it difficult to know whether to ignore these tickets or pay private car parking fines.