[Updated 17th January 2014 to add DVLA guidance]
When a BPA-member parking company reject a first-stage appeal, they are bound by their Code of Practice to offer you the chance to make an independent appeal. They do this by providing you a ‘POPLA verification code’ which POPLA require in order to accept an appeal. The POPLA verification code is 10 digits long, and contains the following information:
- A three digit identifier for the parking company (e.g. 606 is ParkingEye)
- A three digit number which identifies the day of the year made (e.g. 001 is 1st January, 040 is 9th February etc)
- A single digit year identifier (e.g. 4 is 2014, 5 is 2015)
- A three digit identifier to identify the case for that parking company on that day (e.g. 001 is 1st, 100 is 100th)
For example, a code of ‘9993244213’ would be decoded to be:
- Parking company ‘999’
- The code was generated on November 20th 2013
- The case was the 213th rejection for that operator on that day
It is important that you understand your POPLA code, for a number of reasons:
- The code must be valid in order for your appeal to be accepted by POPLA. It is not unheard of for parking companies to send invalid codes (for example, and see below)
- Some parking companies have not clearly identified the code on the rejection letter (for example)
- You only have 28 days to appeal from the date of your rejection. POPLA calculate this from the code generation date within the code
- Some parking companies have included codes on the rejection letter which were generated before the date of the letter, effectively reducing the time you have to make an appeal (for example)
The good news is that Parking Cowboys has developed a free POPLA Code Checker. This can be used by you to check your code before you make your appeal.
Try the Parking Cowboys POPLA Code Checker here.
One particular motorist wrote to the DVLA complaining about unfair practices by private parking companies with respect to POPLA codes. As a consequence, the DVLA informed the motorist of the guidance they requested the BPA Ltd issue to all of their members. If you encounter similar practices, then complain to the DVLA.
The following practices may be considered as Code breaches and must not be continued:
• Asking the motorist to enter into additional correspondence to obtain a POPLA code
• Failing to include a correct and/or valid POPLA Code within the Rejection correspondence
• Issuing a POPLA Code with a date identifier which is significantly different from the date of rejection
• Appearing to indicate that the issue of a POPLA Code is conditional on driver details being supplied
PS. When you send your appeal, make sure you know how to win!