Some landmark rulings on private parking operators have been made that motorists can use as precedents for their own disputes.
This case involved an individual who received a letter from a private parking firm stating that he owed £100 for overstaying his time in a car park in Bury.
INTIMIDATION AND COUNTER-CLAIM
He was threatened by bailiffs, solicitors and a Court case but he chose to stand his ground. By doing his own research he found that the firm had no proof that he was the driver. The private parking operator dropped the case but he pursued a counter-claim and won £500 compensation and £405 in costs.
He received a parking invoice 32 days after the supposedly incident occurred, called a ‘notice to keeper’. It stated he was originally fined £60 however because it was more than 14 days, he now needed to pay £100. He ignored it because he knew there was no way they could know who was even driving the car. The private parking operator continued to send more letters threatening him with bailiffs and solicitors.
He did his homework and realised that the ticket had to be received within 14 days and it hadn’t been. It was exactly 32 days after the incident.
The private parking operator has to prove who they are claiming against. There was no way they could know who the driver was because they use number plate recognition. If you respond to them, even to call for more details, you are automatically identified as the driver. That is why he decided that because they hadn’t followed the guidelines, neither would he.
After receiving a letter stating the parking operator would be taking him to Court, he decided to deny all fault and launch a counter-claim against them for the stress and alleged data protection breach by passing on his details to bailiffs.
This case involved a private parking firm suing a top lawyer £85 for exceeding a free 2 hour limit while he took a nap at a motorway service station.
CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW
Mr Bowen argued that the company had no legal right to charge people for parking to take a nap in an empty service station car park at night. He said it was a breach of consumer protection law. Mr Bowen insists there was no signage with parking information where he parked and he had exceeded the free period by only 20 minutes.
He said signs making reference to 24 hour charging were in tiny print in another part of the car park.
His defence was that the contract was unenforceable, and that they had no legal right to charge members of the public for night parking in service station car parks. Another strand to this is the road safety aspect. Motorists should not be penalised for taking a rest especially at night in a service station.
Motorists are finding inspiration from high-profile celebrity cases where Nick Freeman (otherwise known as ‘Mr Loophole’) has successfully won cases based on sloppy administration errors and badly drafted legislation. I have successfully used these tactics to cancel an alleged speeding offence due to a sign being obscured by a hedge and one motorist literally took a leaf out of my book to beat a speeding fine on temporary roadworks.
Other motorists have successfully appealed parking tickets based on various technicalities including obscured and hidden signs. This is an unregulated industry based on contract law that most people simply do not understand, which is why I have published a pocket guide book to shine a spotlight on your rights and how you can fight back. You have a 1 in 4 chance of being caught out.
Have you successfully cancelled a private parking ticket? If so, how did you do it?