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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Ive had a letter from a debt recovery firm about a parking

Customer Question

I've had a letter from a debt recovery firm about a parking fine I've not paid. The fine was made by a company called Highview Parking. I parked the car at the Amondvale Retail Park in Livingston, West Lothian and they claim that there was a notice regarding the first two hours of parking being free only. I have the photographers to prove otherwise and that is why I've not paid the fine. I've been told that if I refuse to pay, they will take me to court. When I called Debt Recovery Plus, they said I had to pay under the Law of Contract. My understanding of this is that both parties have to be aware that there was a contract in the first place or am I being naive? What are my chances if I continue to refuse to pay on a matter of principle?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

There is a lot of nonsense on the point of private land fines on the internet. A lot of forums say they are scams and the fines are unenforceable. That is not true. They are a perfectly legitimate company and they have a perfectly valid claim against you in breach of contract.

What they do have though is a claim that is very hard to enforce and not cost effective. If you are in Scotland then they still have to prove that you were the driver. There has been case law that has suggested that the court should presume the registered keeper was the driver unless he names another but that is really only a weak presumption. They have to prove that you were given adequate notice and arguably have to show loss.

The practical reality is that the chances they will sue to recover £50 or thereabouts are very low. They will send you many unpleasant letters though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The fine is now £150! Would there be additional costs involved if the case did go to court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
They won't be able to claim £150. They are trying to claim for their debt collection costs which they would not get at court.

They will get the sum of the fine plus about £35 in court costs and maybe a fixed solicitors' costs of £50.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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