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Smart Parking Fine – Should you Pay or Appeal? 2022

smart parking

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

You can challenge a Smart Parking fine when you think it is unfair or when it was not issued correctly. The parking operator is a British Parking Association (BPA) member. They must, therefore, follow the Code of Practice when issuing Parking Charge Notices.

I look at how the operator deals with appeals against a ticket and the consequences of not paying. I also explain why you may get a Parking Charge Notice when it could be deemed unfair. Read on to learn more about Smart Parking fines and whether to pay or appeal tickets.

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.

Are parking fines legal on private land?

When you use a private car park, you agree to an operator’s Terms and Conditions. When you break their ‘rules’, they have the right to issue you with a Parking Charge Notice.

However, the charge is an ‘invoice’ and not enforceable under UK law. There is no legislation covering Parking Charge Notices. It is a civil matter when you get a ticket on private land. In short, the operator or landowner has to take you to court to recover the amount you owe.

You should never ignore a Parking Charge Notice whether you believe it was unfairly given or not. You can pay the fine or appeal it by following the correct procedure. First, make sure the ticket is yours. Next, file an informal appeal with the operator. This prevents them from starting legal proceedings.

Reasons why you could get a Parking Charge Notice

Private operators have the right to give you a Parking Charge Notice when you don’t follow their rules. However, they too must follow the Code of Practice, and if they don’t, you could appeal the fine.

The most common reasons for receiving a fine on private land are:

  • You didn’t pay
  • Overstayed the time you are allowed to park
  • Didn’t park in a bay correctly
  • Parking in bays that are designated for the disabled or families with children

Operators must erect signs indicating the Terms and Conditions for using their car park. If the signs are not visible, you could challenge the fine. However, if you don’t know the ‘rules’ applied to using the car park, you can’t be in breach of the contract. Therefore, the operator should cancel the Parking Charge Notice.

When to appeal a parking ticket

You have the right to contest a Parking Charge Notice if the following applies:

  • The operator sent you a ticket over 14 days after you were parked on their land
  • Your vehicle was parked correctly
  • The signs in the car park were not clearly visible, and the road markings were faded
  • The Parking Charge Notice is over £100
  • You couldn’t get back to your vehicle – you are disabled, pregnant, or you have a young child with you
  • You were not the driver of the vehicle when the ticket was issued
  • Your vehicle was broken down, and you were waiting for a tow
  • You weren’t given the mandatory 10-minute grace period
  • You got a Parking Charge Notice in the mail, but no signs were erected in the car park stating there was CCTV or ANPR in operation

What is a 10-mins grace period?

According to the Private parking Code of Practice, operators must give you a 10-minute grace period when you leave the car park. Accredited members of a parking association must adhere to the rule. When you are given a ticket and have not been allowed the grace period, I suggest you contest the fine.

You should file an informal appeal against the Parking Charge Notice with the operator. They should investigate the case and cancel the fine if they find you are right.

Moreover, you must make an informal appeal against a Parking Charge Notice before filing one with an independent appeals association.

How do I appeal against Smart Parking?

You have to complete Smart Parking’s online appeals process when you want to appeal against a Parking Charge Notice. However, you can also send the appeal through the post. But remember to send it registered mail, so you know the operator receives it.

Also, make sure you send any relevant, supporting evidence when you send your appeal, if you have any.

Can you get CCJ for a parking ticket?

Can you receive a CCJ for an unpaid parking ticket? Yes, if the private car park operator decides to start legal proceedings and wins. Once you have a County Court Judgement on your credit history, you’ll have trouble getting loans, credit cards and a mortgage. The record of the CCJ remains on your report for up to six years.

I recommend you challenge Parking Charge Notice by filing an informal appeal or paying the fine to avoid this happening.

The operator cannot take you to court once you start an informal appeal. They can only begin legal proceedings against you when an appeal is rejected. Also, if Smart Parking rejects your appeal, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeals association.

Lastly, Smart Parking fine – should you pay or appeal it?

If you didn’t break any rules when you parked your vehicle, you could contest the Parking Charge Notice. The same is true if you were not the driver of the vehicle when the ticket was issued. In addition, if you weren’t given a 10-minute grace period, you have the right to make an informal appeal which prevents the operator from taking the matter further.

On the other hand, if you deserved the Parking Charge Notice, I suggest you pay the fine before things spin out of control. But, whatever you do, don’t ignore any correspondence for that reason.

Thanks for reading this post on Smart Parking fines and whether you could appeal or pay them. I hope the information found in the article helps you decide whether you have reasonable cause to challenge the Parking Charge Notice you were given.

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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