PRIVATE PARKING TICKETS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
I know that this is a hot topic and a bone of contention with every motorist, so I thought I would write about some top tips on how to get these cancelled. This is an unregulated industry that revolves around contract law with nearly 7m speculative invoices issued each year. I call them ‘speculative invoices’ because that is what they are. They are not official parking tickets – they are invoices for an alleged breach of contract for entering private land.
I have covered this topic in the past and you can read about how to deal with parking problems on private land, driver fined £90 for leaving a McDonald’s car park, parking tickets and appeals and obscured and hidden parking signs via these links.
I recommend that you read what I cover in those blogs as they all form part of the bigger picture for you to deal with this largely unregulated and growing menace.
Go straight to the landowner
The key weapon in your arsenal is to avoid the ticket company and go straight to the landowner. For example, if you get a ticket while parking at Morrison’s, you should complain to Morrison’s direct.
If you know who the landowner is, contact them and they will often cancel the ticket for you. They don’t want the bad publicity, complaints, adverse press coverage and negative online reviews.
Asda will cancel parking tickets within 24 hours and Aldi and Lidl are also good at cancelling tickets.
Ignore the time conditions
Ignore the time conditions on the ticket about discounts in settling it straight away. Do not rush in to doing anything and forget about the discount.
Never admit to being the owner
If you enter in to correspondence with the parking ticket company, always refer to the ‘keeper’ of the car and never the actual owner. Never say ‘I’ or ‘we’. This empowers you on the negotiations.
There is no Keeper Liability in Northern Ireland and Scotland. This means that only the driver is liable.
Keeper Liability allows proceedings against the registered keeper when the creditor (usually the landowner or their agent the parking operator) does not know who the driver was at the time of the parking incident.
Never reveal who the driver of the car was. Do not ring the parking ticket company and reveal that you were driving the car. Wait until a ticket arrives in the post. It is always best practice not to reveal your details.
This does not apply to lease cars or penalty charges in railway car parks though. So, if your car is on a PCP plan, bear that in mind as it is effectively on a lease agreement.
What to do if it has been passed to debt collectors
You may need professional help here. However, the clock can be reset by looking at legal precedents such as Ferguson v British Gas here in 2010.
I have released a new pocket guide book titled ‘How To Complain: The Consumer Guide To Cancelling Parking Tickets and Winning Pothole Claims’ which you can read here.
I wrote and published this simply because nobody else has and I often get asked about it. I have done the hard work so you don’t have to!