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Smart Parking Fine Scotland – Should You Pay? 2022

HomePrivate Parking FinesPrivate Parking Fines ScotlandSmart Parking Fine Scotland – Should You Pay? 2022
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Did you get a SMART letter about a parking fine in Scotland? Are you one of the many people who wonder if they should pay or appeal?

I look at who SMART Parking are, when you could appeal a charge and when you might have to pay. 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 SMART Parking?

Smart Parking is a private operator that manages car parks for landowners. Their systems ensure that motorists obey the Terms and Conditions when parking on private land.

The company uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software in many of their sites. When motorists don’t follow the rules, Smart Parking is authorised by the landowner to issue parking charges.

Parking charges are not ‘fines’. They are invoices raised by an operator and should not be confused with Penalty Charge Notices which are enforceable by law.

Is Smart Parking a member of the British Parking Association?

Smart Parking is a member of the British Parking Association’s Approved Operator Scheme (AOS).

This means the operator can access your details from the DVLA!

Are Smart Parking tickets enforceable in Scotland?

Civil enforcement parking fines are not like tickets you get on public land. As such, a parking charge you get in a private car park is not seen as a criminal offence. According to Tom Docherty, a transport lawyer the charge is a civil matter.

An operator must take you to court in order to enforce the Parking Charge Notice. Without a judge’s ruling, operators like Smart Parking cannot legally demand you pay.

But, if the parking charge is constituted correctly, you’ll have to pay if the operator wins the case in court.

Smart Parking Scotland fines fall under contractual law

As mentioned, parking charges are not ‘fines’ as such. Because they fall under contractual law. Smart Parking issues the charges to you on behalf of the landowner for breaking their ‘rules’.

There must be clear signs at the entrances of car parks that Smart Parking operates. Motorists must be able to see the T&Cs of using the car park. When they park their cars, they effectively agree with the rules indicated.

However, if the signs are unclear or not clearly visible, you may be able to appeal a fine. The reason? Without knowing the Terms and Conditions, you cannot ‘break’ the rules.

Do you have to pay Smart Parking fines in Scotland?

If you committed a parking violation when using a car park managed by the operator, you should pay. However, make sure the parking charge is yours and that was correctly given.

All car park management companies must follow a Code of Practice which means they have to follow specific rules.

If you feel a parking charge you got was incorrectly given or unfair, you have the right to contest it. You must follow the set procedure to appeal a parking charge which you can do on the operator’s website.

Note: Don’t automatically pay the parking charge but don’t ignore it either!

How much is a Smart Parking charge?

Smart Parking cannot overcharge you. The amount is capped by law at £50. If you pay within 14 days, the amount is reduced to £30.

Under the new legislation, private car park management companies can no longer charge any more than that.

Can I ignore Smart Parking fine?

No. Never ignore a Smart Parking fine whether you feel it’s unfair or incorrectly issued. Either pay or appeal the charge to avoid further action being started.

What happens if I don’t pay a Smart Parking fine in Scotland?

When you don’t pay the parking charge, you’ll be sent reminders. Each reminder Smart Parking sends is more threatening which includes being taken to court.

My advice? Don’t ignore any correspondence you get. The operator may not take you to court, but they could instruct a debt collection agency to pursue you.

If you feel you have a strong case to appeal the parking charge, do so. But if you think you might lose, I recommend you pay the ticket within 14 days to benefit from the lesser amount.

Will I get a CCJ for a Smart Parking fine in Scotland?

No, the parking charge itself won’t earn you a County Court Judgement (CCJ).

An operator must take you to court to recover the amount you owe. Without a judge’s ruling, Smart Parking cannot legally demand you pay.

My advice? Never ignore any court papers you receive. Always respond and stay on top of the situation to prevent things from escalating.

Is there a Smart Parking appeals process?

You have the right to appeal a parking charge in Scotland if you feel it’s unfair. You must make an appeal with the operator within 28 days and you can do this on the Smart Parking website.

Make sure you provide as much evidence to support an appeal as possible. This includes:

·         The reason why you are contesting the charge notice

·         Proof you think it is unfair

Note: If you appeal a charge notice it prevents Smart Parking from taking any further action against you until a decision is reached.

What happens if Smart Parking rejects my appeal?

When an operator rejects an appeal, they must inform you and they must tell you how to file an appeal with POPLA. Again, if you want to take the matter further, it stops the operator from sending in debt collectors.

What is a 10-minute grace period?

Smart Parking must allow you the 10-minute grace period when you return to your car. If you’re issued a ticket within ten minutes, the operator should cancel the parking charge.

Good reasons to appeal a Smart Parking Scotland fine

If any of the following applies to your parking charge:

·         You could not see the signs indicating the Terms and Conditions for using the car park

·         You got the parking charge over 14 days after you used the car park

·         The parking charge is prohibitive

·         There were mitigating circumstances

Smart Parking fine Scotland, pay or appeal?

You should never ignore a Smart Parking fine in Scotland. You have to decide whether it’s worth paying the lower amount within 14 days or appeal the fine because it’s unfair.

Thanks for reading my article on Smart Parking fines Scotland. If you think the fine is correct, take advantage of the lesser amount by paying within 14 days. However, if you feel you could win a case in court, you have the right to appeal the parking charge.

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.

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