Subject: General enquiry
Hi, I have received a PCN and have appealed to the parking company and POPLA who have rejected my grounds. The parking company and debt collector keep writing to the lease company who own the vehicle even though I have previously told them I am the driver. How do I stop them writing to the lease company and are the chances of defending the PCN in court slim because the POPLA decision was not in my favour?
The contract that is allegedly formed by parking would be between the parking company and the driver. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced the concept of keeper liability. This was introduced to stop keepers denying they were the driver of the vehicle at the time when they often would be. If the parking company write to the keeper of the vehicle, and the keeper does not disclose who the driver was, then if certain conditions are met, the keeper could be held liable for the charge.
It’s not clear from your email whether you identified yourself as the driver before they applied for the keeper details, or after. If you identified yourself before they applied for the keeper’s details, then you should make a complaint to the DVLA since they would have had no reasonable cause – they knew who the driver was. If they identified the keeper first, who then disclosed your details, then they probably did have reasonable cause to apply for the keeper details.
However, since you were identified as the driver and you appealed in your own name, then the parking company have no right to continue to pursue the lease company – and so you should complain to the DVLA and the BPA about their behaviour. Lease and rental companies have frequently been poor at dealing with private parking charges, treating them the same as authority issued penalties, and paying them to stop further escalation of costs (and often also profiting themselves by adding on an ‘admin’ fee). I would imagine in this case the parking company are preying on this to try and get money out of them. Your only course of action is to continue to complain.
Now to your question about chances of defending a court claim based on your POPLA decision. The POPLA decision holds no weight in law. If the matter went to court, then it would be decided on its own merits. However, you do not mention on what grounds you appealed or what the ticket was for so I cannot offer any advice as to how likely you would be able to defend it. Further, some parking companies do court, many don’t. It would be worth trying to search the forums for cases where that parking company has taken motorists to court – if you don’t find any, chances are they won’t. If it’s a company like ParkingEye or Civil Enforcement, then they often do.Best of luck, PC