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Smart Parking Fine – Should you Pay or Appeal?

Scott Nelson MoneyNerd Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
By
Scott
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd

Scott Nelson

Debt Expert

Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.

Learn more about Scott
&
Janine
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

Learn more about Janine
· May 26th, 2024
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Smart Parking Fine

Are you facing a Smart Parking fine and feeling unsure about whether to pay or appeal? You’ve come to the right place. Each month, over 130,000 individuals visit our website looking for guidance on fines and parking tickets.

This article will provide the guidance you need on:

  •  The legality of parking fines on private land.
  •  Smart Parking’s court measures.
  •  Reasons for receiving a Parking Charge Notice.
  •  The British Parking Association’s Code of Practice.
  •  The process for appealing against Smart Parking.

Which? found that, despite 78% of members deeming private parking fines unfair, many don’t contest due to low confidence in appeal success.1 That’s why, in this article, we aim to address this concern by offering guidance on understanding the appeal process and making informed choices.

Most Ticket Appeals Succeed

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your parking fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

Chat below to get started with JustAnswer

*According to Martin Lewis, 56% of people who try to appeal their ticket are successful and get the charge overturned, so it’s well worth a try.

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, we suggest you pay the fine before things spin out of control. But, whatever you do, don’t ignore any correspondence.

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

Appeal Process Steps

Understanding the steps you should take to appeal your parking ticket is crucial. That’s why we’ve put together this quick table that explains each stage of the appeal process. For more information, be sure to check out our complete guide.

Process: Steps you should take:
When you receive the ticket… You should gather as much evidence as you can to support your appeal claim and prove that the ticket was unfairly issued.
If you were given the ticket in person/attached to your car… You must make an informal appeal (sent to the local authority/council that issued the PCN) within 14 days. This should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If it was posted to you… You will be given 21 days to submit an informal appeal (from the day you received the letter). Your informal appeal should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If the informal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice to Owner and will have 28 days to respond to this with a formal appeal. You can conduct the formal appeal online or via paper form. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal can send you one of these forms.
If the formal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice of Rejection. From here, you are free to challenge the council’s verdict at an independent tribunal.
If the independent tribunal disagrees with your appeal… You should pay the ticket within 28 days of the tribunal rejecting your appeal. If you don’t, the fine will be increased by 50%.
If you don’t have the money to pay the fine, you should contact Citizens Advice or another debt charity.

Successful Appeal Case Study

Situation

Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

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, we 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 service if the operator rejects it.

If you want to save time and write an effective appeal, you can download MoneyNerd’s free parking ticket appeal letter template. This free resource gives you a fantastic starting point to launch your appeal.

Download The Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Template

Download the parking Appeal Template today

Tips for making a successful appeal

We suggest you familiarise yourself with the operator’s appeal process and the deadline they impose. Also, make a of appeal strategies for unfair parking tickets you could use.

Also, make sure you have adequate evidence to support your appeal which would strengthen your case.

The sort of evidence we suggest you gather could include:

  • Witness statement if there’s anyone who can support your appeal
  • Photos of the car park, signage, road markings and payment machine if they don’t meet Code standards
  • Proof you paid the correct fee to park
  • Invoice from a garage if you were broken down

The more evidence you can provide, the better your chances of making a successful appeal.

What are the consequences of ignoring a Smart private parking fine?

The implications of ignoring parking fines could lead to further action being taken against you.

For example, an operator could:

  • Get a debt collection agency to chase you for payment
  • Start legal proceedings to recover the amount owed
  • Register a CCJ against you through the courts
  • Enforcement agents (bailiffs) will enforce the debt if a court order is issued
  • You could have some of your possessions seized and sold at auction during a parking fine enforcement process

Will they take court measures?

There’s always a 50/50 chance that a private operator will take you to court over an unpaid Parking Charge Notice.

In short, if you ignore the fine and correspondence you receive, you may have to face court action.

But before this happens, a debt collection agency could get involved. You’d have to deal with them rather than the operator. Dealing with debt collection agencies for unpaid parking fines is not a pleasant experience.

If you ignore a court summons, a default notice will be registered against you. It will be recorded on your credit file.

You have a month to pay the CCJ, or it remains on your credit history for six years. It would make getting any future finance that much harder.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Reasons why you could get a Parking Charge Notice

Understanding Parking Charge Notices and why you’d get one could help prevent falling into the trap.

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 have grounds to appeal the fine.

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

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

Parking rights for disabled, pregnant, or families with young children are strict and operators must respect them.

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.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

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Smart Parking Contact Details

We’ve listed Smart Parking’s contact information in the table below.

Address: Smart Parking Limited
Unit 43, Elmdon Trading Estate, Bickenhill Lane, Birmingham, B37 7HE
Smart Parking contact number: N/A
Contact: https://www.smartparking.com/contact
Website: https://www.smartparking.com/

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 you could get a CCJ.

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.

That’s the impact of parking fines on credit history when they go unpaid.

That said, if you settle the CCJ within a month, it won’t be recorded on your credit history.

We suggest 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.

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

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

References

  1. Which? – The rise of private parking fines
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The authors
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd
Author
Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
Appeals Expert
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.