Big Energy Savings Week 2019
08 Jan 2019
Distance selling - fraudulent use of your payment card
04 Apr 2018
04 Apr 2018
Have you received a Penalty Charge Notice – or a Parking Charge Notice? Both have black writing on a yellow background and appear to able to take the same measures to get you to pay up.
Official council parking fines are called ‘Penalty Charge Notices’, yet private parking tickets – “Parking Charge Notices” – from supermarkets, hospitals and others look very similar. Be aware that these are invoices and NOT a fine.
PCNs issued by the council can be appealed, but if you are liable (because, for example, you’ve overstayed) it is best to pay early (within 14 days) as usually there is a discount. If you pay after 28 days, it usually will cost more. For information about how to appeal a Council PCN see: https://www.gov.uk/parking-tickets/challenging-a-ticket
PCNs issued by private car parks. Did you have a valid ticket which was displayed in an easily visible manner? Did you park between the car park markings? Are there any other parking conditions which you may have broken?
If you have parked correctly and left within the time limits you should have a valid reason to appeal. If a PCN was placed on your car, then: Take a clear photo of the parking ticket. Take photo of exactly where the car is. Take photo of “rules” of the car park. If the ticket is stuck over the driver’s side of the windscreen, this is illegal and “trespass”. These can all be used in evidence to challenge a PCN.
You can also appeal if: there was no way to pay (and no notice to say parking was suspended); if you couldn’t get back to your car because you are disabled, or pregnant or have a young baby; or if your car has broken down so you are unable to move it while you wait for assistance. If you were only up to 10 minutes late leaving the car park, the ticket should be cancelled as all private parking companies should be an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) member, which allow up to 10 minutes leeway, as do council parking.
In all cases, you must try and challenge/appeal a ticket as soon as possible, usually within 14 days – the informal period. If you are turned down at this point, you can take the more formal route. During this time there should be no threats of court proceedings. But you must act quickly, make sure you send copies rather than original car parking tickets or other documentation and a copy of any correspondence. And get a certificate of posting as proof you’re within the time to respond.
For full information about PNCs see: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/parking-tickets/appealing-parking-tickets/appealing-a-parking-ticket/ this has a link to “When to appeal”.
There are template letters and other useful help for appealing on: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/private-parking-tickets/ as well as: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/l/parking-tickets?gclid=CjwKCAiAs8XiBRAGEiwAFyQ-erM45EIAtpurJ2A2Xhf1BFSwJxlDWwIGA-GZCPP4ouC0ve8kJ_WLPhoCsicQAvD_BwE
If your appeal about a private company fails, you can use POPLA (parking on private land appeals), which is an independent organisation, to assist you: https://www.popla.co.uk/
Another useful website, which is an online tool but may help you decide if you have been unfairly issued with a ticket is: https://www.donotpay.com/list/362
Clamping: do NOT remove the clamp yourself! This is criminal. Clamping and towing on private land is banned in England and Wales under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and it’s been banned in Scotland since 1992. But there are some cases where you can be legally clamped or towed by a private company. Either get that company to remove the clamp (which may require payment – you can pay “under protest”) or contact the police to do it for you. Please look at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/private-parking-tickets/ and scroll down to the clamping section for further advice.
In all cases, please do not ignore any type of parking ticket – remember, the sooner you act the sooner the problem can be resolved!