How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70109
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
12826847
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ben - I have a question about a euro car parks penatly

Customer Question

hi Ben - I have a question about a euro car parks penatly charge: In the Cobham High St Euro Car Park, they have a camera that records car number plates, in and out. I used to use the ticket machine on site, but on following their adverts, began using the pay by phone service instead, as this was more convenient. In general, I would arrive at the car park (I no longer use it), and buy my parking e-ticket using it. Sometimes there's a delay (presumably caused by the phone network), and sometimes not. Similarly, I usually get a txt message confirming my parking, sometimes delayed and sometimes not. As I became aware of this, I generally purchased 1 hour more time than was needed, in order to avoid overrunning in case of delayed messages. On 2 occaissions, they say that the ticket purchased did not cover the date/time of parking. In fact the time I paid for was more than the time the car was present by the pay by phone delays slipped the time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.
A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.
This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute arising from an alleged agreement whereby you agree to park for a fee. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract. That is what is in dispute.
Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.
All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.
The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.
If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that.
Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.
They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.
Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer a small amount for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Related UK Law Questions