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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12195
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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What is the current thinking on paying a Parking Charge

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What is the current thinking on paying a Parking Charge Notice? I am being chased by a solicitor instructed to recover £208 for failing to pay a car park fee. The car park was very badly signed (if at all) and there are other extenuating circumstances which meant I did not see that it was a park and display. I have written several letters to the parking company explaining my actions and have asked them for various details but they have simply passed the matter on to a debt recovery agency. I am familiar with the recent precedent set in the Supreme Court (Beavis v Parking Eye) but this seems to muddy the waters e.g. what is a commercially justifiable penalty? I would be most grateful if you would advise, to pay or not to pay?

Thanks for your question. The case of a Beavis is about the commercial justification in relation to the LEVEL of charges made by private parking firms. From your narrative your case is concerned with whether there was a contract in existence in the first place. The parking company has to prove this before they can levy the charge. So they have to prove that you saw the signage and agreed to the terms of it by proceeding to park your vehicle. If the signage was poor or not signed at all there is nothing for you to agree to and therefore no contract has been created therefore no charge can be levied for you not paying as you didn't know that is what you were supposed to do. Accordingly from your narrative my opinion is that you should ignore this charge after you have stated your position that you were unaware and were not made aware that parking charges applied because of the deplorable lack of signage. Thereafter ignore all further communications and they should eventually cease. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks for that. So the burden of proof is on the parking company that I willingly entered a contract with them?