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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Alex, I've received a "Parking charge notice" from the APCOA parking com

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Hi Alex, I've received a "Parking charge notice" from the APCOA parking company with a charge of 80 Pound for the alleged contravention of 02-Droppinf off / Picking up outside of a designated parking area. I've just picked up a person from the Luton airport and haven't violated any traffic rules. Based on what I've read in other forums can't they fine me for stuff like that but I'm wondering now if I should simply ignore their charge letter or appeal it?
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.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

unfortunately doesn't that answer my question and it's exactly the same answer you gave another customer nearly a year ago... My question is: shall I appeal or just ignore their letter?


Hello and thank you for specifically requesting me.
You should not bother to appeal. This is a private fine and they will never uphold it. So you should not bother appealing to the same people that gave you the fine.
You should though just ignore it. You will get a number of letters including ones purported to be from a solicitor. Then it will probably just go quiet,
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please
It doesn't really matter either way.
In my experience, they tend to pursue people who respond rather than people who ignore them but there is no real science behind that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So if it goes to court, what I doubt based on your answer and what I read on other pages, it doesn't matter if I appealed the first invoice or not?

No, not at all.
This isn't a council fine. You don't have to use their appeals structure.
To be wholly honest, I think it is a bit of a waste of time. I am sure they would cancel in some circumstances but they have no authority. They are not proper adjudicators.
It is the court that decices whether you pay not their appeals board.
I must admit that I often appeal but I only really do it to annoy them. It serves no other purpose.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yeah, that was my first idea too but I guess it will just go to a bin... So I think it's really a waste of time and I'll ignore it but wasn't sure about the possible juridical consequences.

Many thanks for your great answers

It depends on your definition of a waste of time. I always rather enjoy it.
What I have noticed though is that if you respond or react that tends to rack up their interest in you and then you start getting more calls and nasty letters. All very well if it doesn't distress you but some people find it stressful.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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