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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78008
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have received a Parking Charge Notice from Parking Eye a

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I have received a Parking Charge Notice from Parking Eye a private company for parking at a car park in Durham. We did park at that car park and when returning to our car we went to the machine to pay. How to pay was very confusing and there was little guidance however we put in our vehicle registration and it displayed a payment of £2 which we thought was lower than we expected but went ahead to pay. We used a credit card and it looked as the payment had gone through as the display read 'Need receipt?' we pressed yes but no receipt was issued. Assuming everything had gone through we left. Then received a PCN last week for £100. We checked on our credit card statement and it doesn't look as if the payment did go through. I want to know if it is worth challenging this notice as obviously the payment machine was faulty. I have since looked online and found dozens of posts form people who have experienced similar problems with this car park so something is obviously wrong with it. Would appreciate any help with this please!
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in Co. Durham
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing yet as I have never received a PCN before so was looking online to see whats best to do.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so thanks

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Are you asking if you are liable?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean? We did park at that car park and we did try to pay for parking but the machine was obviously faulty but that was no apparent at the time.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
All I am wondering is should I pay the fine now at a discounted rate of £60 although I think it is a scam judging by how many other people have had the exact same problem or should I challenge the PCN and risk losing at appeal and having to pay £100. I have no evidence that I thought I had paid except from the witnesses who were with me at the time.

Thank you.

This is a private land fine. There is a good of nonsense on the internet about private land fines. The truth is that they always did have a perfectly valid claim in breach of contract against those who do not pay or park at variance with their terms and conditions. The issue was that it was not very cost effective for them to sue. It still is not.

They used to sue almost nobody but they are becoming more aggressive now largely because they have lost control of the industry and can only regain it by suing those who don't pay. The chances that they will sue remain very low though so the risk is not great.

If they do sue, you can plead your case and may well win. If you don't win then you will only be liable for the sum of the fine plus about £25 in court costs and £55 in fixed solicitors costs. If you pay it off within 28 days of judgment then it will not show on your credit file.

You do have the option of putting them to proof on the adequacy of signs though. That may well succeed.

Alternatively, you can offer them £10 in full and final settlement. If they cash it then there is a pretty overwhelming argument that settles the claim.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I assume that when you say 'sue' you mean that I have refused to pay the PCN or that I have appealed and lost?

Refused to pay and been sued and lost.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I do appreciate your help but I am not intending to refuse to pay- all I wanted to know is it worthwhile to go through the appeal system in terms of winning given I have no evidence to show that I tried to pay the parking charge? The PCN is not clear if it relates to underpayment or failure to pay at all.

I would never use their appeals system. I have never heard of them finnding in the motorists favour and they have no power anyway.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
However when I look online 34% of those challenging Parking Eye using the POPLA appeals system win?

I know they do say that but I've never known anybody.

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