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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently parked in what i believed to be a municipal car

Customer Question

I recently parked in what i believed to be a municipal car park. I bought a ticket for 4 hours and then received a fine for parking from Parking Eye for £60 (£100 if not paid within 3 weeks). On revisiting the site I have found that the car park has 2 entrances and the entrance I used belongs to the adjoining hotel which charges differently. I should have used the rear entrance. This was a genuine mistake for which I am being charged an extortionate amount.
Have Parking Eye got any power to enforce this charge I am sure if I apply they will just regret my claim despite the fact I had paid albeit at the wrong ticket machine.

Your help would be appreciated
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Has Parking Eye the legal right to take me to court should I not pay?

This was a genuine mistake if I appeal to them I am sure they will just reject it out of context. I do not have my parking ticket any more what grounds do I have for contesting this outrageous amount. I parked for 3hours 33 mins from 1936pm and genuinely didn't realise I had used the wrong ticket machine .

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
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. 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.
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. They have no claim for 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.
Also, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.
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 £5 for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo thanks for your speedy and succinct response will this be sent to my email.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

"For Jo C" Please would you advise if you think we should explain our mistake to Parking Eye or am I correct in my opinion that they will just say tough luck you should have been more alert. It was night time and we just happened to choose the wrong ticket machine!


Also If they did take this matter to court do you think we would have a case if we haven't made an appeal to Private Eye?


Your advice would be appreciated.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I wouldn't get involved in a dispute with them. However brilliantly you argue with them they will never agree.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks very much Jo.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem

All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo


Further to your reply we have now received a letter from Parking Eye headed "letter before County Court Claim" stating that court proceedings will be issued which will incur further costs. In particular reference is made to that the county court claim being fully compliant with the Practice Direction on Pre Action Conduct asking us to be aware of CPR 17.1. This states that if legal action is taken a defence to the claim should be made and how to go about doing so.


Additional reference is made to the fact that we are now unable to use the Parking On Private Land Appeals (POPLA) Service as alternative dispute resolution as we did not make representation to Parking Eye within the 28 days from their initial correspondence on the parking fine.


Other references are made to the County Court Claim being within the guidelines set out by the British Parking Association and how as no defence has been filed it is impossible for Parking Eye to state exactly the documents that will be relied upon in court. Although the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 the British Parking Association Code of Practice defences from us and Parking Eye and any further documentation from Parking Eye are mentioned as being potentially relied upon in court.


Would appreciate your legal guidance on the next steps we should or shouldn't take.


Kind regards

Linda Willshear

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Its just a letter before action. They do send these out. It doesn't mean they will act.

Of course, there is a risk that they could as I mentioned above but its not really cost effective for them.

If you intend to defend this though then they are entitled to know what your defence is. in this case you seem to be asking them to prove that the signs were adequate. Also, you can ask them to show loss. There is always a debate over the last point because they could argue that its funds due under the contract although you would argue that is a punitive measure so void under UCTA.

You will find the CPR 17.1 here

and it has no application to a letter before action.

This is a simple enough small claims court claim. If they sue you will be given time to file a defence.

They are just trying to blind you with legal references in the hope that you will get scared.

Maybe they will sue. Maybe they won't. Probably they won't. If they do then you have the defence that you mentioned above and even if you lose the sums will be very low.

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