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

Menu

Vehicle Control Services – Pay or Appeal? 2022

vehicle-control-services

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

“Hello, I got a parking ticket on my partner’s car from Vehicle Control Services LTD. It says they’re a member of IPC […]”

  • Sezie (Money Saving Expert Forum}

Does this sound familiar? It’s because Vehicle Control Services Limited is one of the biggest private car park operators in the UK. And they send out a lot of parking tickets as a result. But do you have to pay a Vehicle Control Services parking fine, or can you appeal instead? 

Uncover the important details below.

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.

Who are Vehicle Control Services Ltd?

Vehicle Control Services Limited is a company that provides services to private landowners and car park operators. The services on offer help to run and manage a private car park, including payment solutions, legal signage, manned patrol and fine enforcement. 

Vehicle Control Services are known to provide these services to private car parks in urbanised areas and attached to universities and airports. They claim to operate more than 1,500 car parks in the UK. 

Are Vehicle Control Services legal?

Vehicle Control Services is a legal company registered in England. Their head office is located in Sheffield Business Park. 

What is a Vehicle Control Services parking fine?

As part of managing private car parks, Vehicle Control Services are responsible for identifying parking contraventions and issuing parking tickets. 

These parking tickets may be left on the motorists’ vehicles, or they could be sent out in the post. Vehicle Control Services can retrieve registered drivers’ addresses by sending vehicle registrations to the DVLA.  

A Vehicle Control Services parking fine is also known as a Parking Charge Notice. These are not the same as Penalty Charge Notices which are issued for parking contraventions by councils.

Unlike a council parking ticket, a private parking ticket isn’t even a real fine. These should be considered an invoice from the company – e.g. Vehicle Control Services – for breaching the terms and conditions of the car park. 

How much is a Vehicle Control Services PCN?

Vehicle Control Services are only allowed to charge a maximum of £80 for parking tickets in London and £50 outside of the capital. They also have to offer a minimum of a 40% discount to motorists who pay within 14 days, meaning fines can be as low as £30 or £48 outside and inside of London, respectively. 

Previously they could charge double this amount. But, as reported by The Guardian, new laws came into effect in 2022 that reduced private parking fine caps, changed signage rules and gave motorists a 10-minute grace period before they could be issued a ticket. 

Do you have to pay a Vehicle Control Services parking ticket?

Parking Charge Notices aren’t real fines. They’re invoices from a company for breaking the terms and conditions of a contractual agreement you agreed to by entering their private car park. 

You aren’t forced to pay unless a judge tells you to pay. However, if you’re taken to court for this to happen, you may be stung with even more costs and expenses. 

If you don’t pay the Vehicle Control Services parking fine by the deadline (usually 28 days), it’s likely that Vehicle Control Services will pass the recovery process to a debt collection agency

These companies don’t have any more legal powers than Vehicle Control Services themselves. But they may be more persistent in trying to get you to pay. They certainly aren’t bailiffs! 

Will Vehicle Control Services take me to court?

Vehicle Control Services might threaten legal action if you don’t pay the parking ticket. Alternatively, the debt collection agency they use to chase you for payment will do the same by sending a Letter Before Action. 

There is a chance they could follow through on these legal threats, despite parking fines now being reduced to smaller amounts. However, there is also a chance that they don’t plan to go to court and are just making these threats to scare you into paying. 

Assuming that Vehicle Control Services won’t take further action is a big risk.

How to appeal a Vehicle Control Services PCN

You have the right to appeal a Vehicle Control Services Parking Charge Notice. The first stage of any appeal is to make the appeal directly to Vehicle Control Services. You must state the reasons why you think the parking ticket is unjust, and back up any arguments with evidence. 

For example, you might state that you overstayed in the car park because your hospital appointment was delayed. In which case, you may need a letter from the hospital to say this is true. 

Should I pay or appeal the Vehicle Control Services PCN?

You probably wish to appeal if you have a good reason backed up by evidence. The thing that makes the decision to appeal more difficult is what you will lose. By lodging a PCN challenge, you are giving up the discounted fine rate that is available if you pay within 14 days. 

This means if you lose your appeal, you will have to pay the original fine amount. Thus, you should be confident about your appeal. Otherwise paying the reduced rate may be the better option. 

Vehicle Control Services rejected my appeal

Vehicle Control Services will email or write to you – or both – to let you know the outcome of your appeal. If they accept the appeal the ticket will be cancelled and you won’t have to pay anything. But if it’s rejected, you can:

  1. Accept the rejection and pay the fine
  2. Escalate the appeal to an independent tribunal

Vehicle Control Services will provide instructions on how to escalate the appeal within their rejection letter. 

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.

Learn more about private parking fines

We’ve created a dedicated private parking fine guide with answers to the most asked questions. Check it out if you’re having to deal with Vehicle Control Services.

Share