Appealing against unfair parking charge notices on private land

A few months ago we took a look at what you can do when you find yourself with a penalty charge notice that you wish to challenge. As with many things though, matters are not always as straightforward as they may seem and you now know that there are more than one type of parking ticket. As a recap, there are three types of tickets that you can find on your windshield:

  1. Penalty charge notices (also known as excess charge notices) which apply to council-owned land, such as the high street or a car park run by the council. For a reminder of what to do if you are issued with a penalty charge notice take a look at our previous article.
  2. Parking charge notices which are issued to cars parked on private land. These typically include supermarkets or shopping centres. This is our focus for this month.
  3. Fixed penalty notices which come under the jurisdiction of the police and could include red routes, for example. Drop in next month for details on how to deal with those.

Fighting an unfair ticket on private land

While landowners have a right to charge for using their land, there are instances where a parking ticket is issued which you wish to challenge because you believe it to be unfair. We are assuming that the issued ticket is valid – there are instances where it may not be, for example where an issuer does not have the legal authority to issue tickets. It may indeed be a mistake, in which case this is what you should do:

  • If you plan to appeal the ticket, then don’t pay the fine. It is harder to recover your money once you’ve paid up than to challenge the ticket in the first place.
  • Gather as much evidence as you can. This can include photos of the parked vehicle, the ticket itself, and any signs advising of what is and is not allowed – for example, parking times and locations. If there are no signs then a photo showing that there are none, or none that are easy to find, is also a good idea!
  • If there are any witnesses around, ask if they would be willing to help you out. Get their details and their agreement to signing a corroborating statement confirming the circumstances under which the ticket was issued.
  • There will be a process outlined on the ticket letting you know what to do if you believe it to be unfair. You should follow this carefully, keeping a record of all correspondence.
  • If this does not work, your next step should be to check whether the issuer is a member of a trade body. Assuming that they are, then go through the appeals route of that body. This is where all the evidence you have gathered will come in handy. If the organisation is not a member of a trade body, with its independent appeals process, then there are questions over how fair it is likely to be if you go down their appeals route. In this case, writing to them arguing why you should not pay is probably your best option.

Remember, if you are using a hire vehicle you are still responsible for any charges and penalties that you incur, but that does not preclude you from challenging a fine or ticket that you consider to be issued unfairly.

If you are travelling or need space to transport people or goods from one place to another during the holidays, talk to our CVS Van Hire team to find out how we can help you. Give us a call on 020 8003 2785 and we are sure we can find you the right one from our wide selection of vehicles.

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