Parking Penalties

Parking Penalties

Most of us have, at some time or other, been in the situation that we rush into a shop, run into an acquaintance and decide to “catch up”, and end up spending more time than we wanted. We go back to our car only to find – a parking ticket. Maybe you don’t find out right away that you have to pay a fine, but you will get a notice much later. As “real” tickets aren’t mandatory any more, and you could get your ticket via post.  Here is a quick look at what you should know if you are the unfortunate recipient of this less-than-pleasant surprise.

When could I get a parking charge notice?

 Parking penalty notice

A supermarket car park, for example, is considered land that is privately owned. Therefore, when you park there, you technically “enter into an agreement” with the person or company who owns this property. It should be clearly marked that you are driving onto privately-owned land. Now it is up to you to decide to park, or leave. If you don’t pay the required fee, stay longer than allowed, park where you shouldn’t – you will most likely be given a parking charge notice.

What is a penalty charge notice?

This is similar to the parking charge notice. However, in this case, it isn’t issued by privately-owned businesses, but by local authorities. This could be for parking your vehicle for an extended period of time – or in a public area, in an incorrect location – such as in front of a private driveway.

Can I get out of the parking fine?

If you were just a few minutes late in returning to your vehicle, you might want to think about appealing the ticket. This process is free, so it’s worth a try. There is a “grace period” policy that states that you must be given an additional 10 minutes prior to being issued a parking charge notice.
If you dispute the charge, explain the situation to the parking operator in writing, and mail it by “recorded delivery” – and don’t forget to provide evidence.  There could be many reasons why you disagree with the charge. For example:

  • i You could not read the signs because they weren’t clear or readable.
  • i You didn’t display your ticket properly and the parking operator couldn’t see it.
  • i When the ticket was issued, you weren’t the registered owner of the car and the fault lies with the previous owner.
  • i The payment machines were out-of-order or unusable.

You should not be asked to pay the charge during the time they are evaluating your case. After this has been done, you must be informed if they have cancelled ,or reduced, your charge, or if they disagree with your argument and your dispute has been rejected. In this case, you will be sent a notice of rejection.

What could happen if I don’t pay my ticket?

What happens if you don't pay a parking fine

If you don’t pay the fine, you will be continually asked to pay and the debt will be passed on to a collection agency. This will add additional costs to your ticket as they will ask for money to cover the debt recovery process. You may also be taken to the county court where you can make your case again. If the case is decided against you and you don’t pay the required amounts, this will be put on your credit reference. The stain on your record will remain there for six years, and you also risk your income as well as your assets. The good news is that you will have the opportunity to offer monthly repayments in order to avoid additional problems.

Will the ticket affect my car insurance?

A parking ticket does not show whether you are a safe driver or not and therefore does not have an effect on your insurance premiums.

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