Readers’ tweets: Invalid ticket?

@ParkingCowboys  hi there, can you tell me – would a Private PCN -.left on my windscreen – be classed as ‘void’ if it is incorrectly dated?

This is quite a common type of question we receive. Unlike council-issued tickets, there are no laws* that define what a private parking ticket should or shouldn’t contain, and as a result what makes it valid or invalid. Private parking tickets are based on contract law, and the ticket is a notice that they’re requesting a payment for you for breaking the terms and conditions. Just because they’ve made a mistake on the notice makes no material difference to whether you broke the parking rules does it? Also, bear in mind that the ticket won’t be the only record they have of the incident (e.g. they usually take photos too), so they will probably be able spot their mistake later and correct it.

In summary, it’s a minor black mark for them, but it probably won’t make any difference to the outcome. The best advice is to treat the ticket is valid and start thinking about the next steps.

* Despite what I said above, the Protection of Freedoms Act lays down requirements for the Notice to Driver (aka the parking ticket), which includes the date on which the incident occurred. Arguably by putting down the wrong date, it could therefore be considered an invalid Notice to Driver. If it was found to be invalid (by an independent appeal, or county court) then the keeper of the vehicle could not be held liable, although the driver still could. However, the independent appeal or county court may equally agree it was a simple mistake and ignore it.