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Emily C
Emily C, Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 80
Experience:  I work as a criminal law barrister and have wide experience of conducting traffic offence trials
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I have received a parking cherge notice from parkingeye 10

Customer Question

I have received a parking cherge notice from parkingeye 10 minutes over the time allowed in Aldi's car park. This car park also serves Home & Bargain. We are a old couple who walk with sticks and slow getting our weekly shopping. We spent about an Hour and ten minutes in Aldi and then half an hour in Home & Bargain.It was busy and there were queues at the tills. I don't think they give enough time.
The charge of £70 or £40 if paid quickly is quite a lot for 10 minutes.

Roy Webster
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Emily C replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I will try to help you with your question but if for any reason, you should feel that there are any other details I haven't dealt with, just let me know by asking a follow up question and I can deal with it as part of my original answer. In short, I have great sympathy for your position. You were only over the time limit by a very small amount and it seems grossly unfair that an elderly couple with some difficulties in getting around quickly should be expected to rush back and be penalised for not making it in time. However, whether you are only a matter of minutes over the limit or not isn't really the issue as Parking Eye is a private company which manages that car park and can therefore impose whatever time limit it likes and is entitled to request a fee if parkers go over their limit. Nevertheless, don't worry that this means all is lost. Parking Eye, being a company rather than a local authority, is not entitled to enforce its fee if you fail to pay it in the same way a local authority can. That's because a local authority's parking restrictions are governed by statute whereas private companies are governed by contract law. This means that should parking eye try to enforce the fine by taking you to court or even increase the fine if you fail to pay it, they need to prove several elements before they can succeed in obtaining a court order against you. They need to prove firstly that you were the driver, that you did park over the limit and that you caused them the loss they are asking for as a fee. The amounts of forty or seventy pounds are completely arbitrary figures the company has chosen which in no realistic way reflect their losses. You have parked ten minutes over the limit and therefore have caused them a loss of whatever that car park cost would have been if you had had to pay to park for that extra time. Any claimant in contract law has to prove their loss. My suggestion to you is that parking eye would be hard pressed to prove that you lost them seventy or even forty pounds. I know of people who have successfully avoided paying parking eye's fees by writing to them, asking them to prove their loss and explain why it is the amount they say it is, then finally offering to pay the extra car parking cost those ten minutes would have cost you and a small fee for their administrative costs in writing to you, for example five pounds. Merge often than not you never hear from them again. The cost of pursuing you in court is simply not worth it for them as they know they are liklely to lose their case. They rely for their income on frightening people into thinking they have to pay a grossly exaggerated fee. I hope this has helped you. Please now rate my answer so that I can be credited for my time in answering it. Thank you and good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The car park is free. for the time stated hour and a half.

Expert:  Emily C replied 4 years ago.
Yes I appreciate that but after the hour and a half mark you have to start paying. The signs at the car park will state what those fees are and when I say that the loss you have caused parking eye is much smaller than their claim of seventy or forty pounds, what I meant was that in contract law the only loss they can actually prove is that stated by the contract you enter into on the point of entry into the car park. In other words you have caused them the loss of whatever it would have cost you to ark for those extra ten minutes. Anything beyond that they can't prove. That is why I suggested writing to them and offering that amount, whatever it is, which depends on the car parking fees imposed after the free hour and a half. Of course you are welcome to continue asking me questions and advice if you need to but could you please now rate my answer so that I can be credited for the time I have spent on your question? Thank you.