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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 78705
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have received a parking charge notice from Euro Car Parks

Customer Question

I have received a parking charge notice from Euro Car Parks charging me £100 for having parked for 12 minutes. I admit I had forgotten to buy a ticket as i was preoccupied with helping my passenger, who was struggling with a with helping her with a heavy parcel, to return it to a nearby shop.. Therefore I carried it for her and then returned to the car and drove straight off. I find this fine out of all proportion to the offence
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Sheridan Centre car park - Stafford
JA: Do you need to appear in court?
Customer: No - it is a privately own parking facility
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I don't think so
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 16 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 16 days ago.

Are you asking if you are liable?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No I accept that I overlooked paying for my 12mins stay, but I am querying the amount of the supposed "fine" of £100, when this is being imposed by a private company and is, in my opinion, out of all proportion to the "offence" of not paying the parking fee, which would have been a minimum charge of about £1.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 16 days ago.

Thank you.

You can obviously appeal but bear in mind the answer below.

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

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

They have been emboldened by the case of Beavis which you canview here

Although all that really does is confirm that £85 is not excessivewhich would seem to answer your point.

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

They do have an appeal option called POPLA. I have never heard of much success from themalthough apparently they do uphold many appeals. Their decision does not determine whether youwill pay anyway. The order of the court does.

You do have the option of putting them to proof on theadequacy of signs though. That may wellsucceed.

Alternatively, you can offer them £10 in full and finalsettlement. You need to make this offerin writing heading “without prejudice”. Markthe cheque “full and final settlement” and take a photograph of both sides of it. If they cash it then there is a pretty overwhelmingargument that settles the claim.

You could appeal to POPLA to use their discretionary groundsto cancel though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Hopefully, Ihave answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Ifanything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. Inthe meantime, thank you once again for using our services.