Readers’ emails: Ignored Care Parking ticket
Subject: Private Parking / Disabled
Thank you for your site – it is very useful. I have a query however that falls into two categories and there is so much mixed advice out there that I wondered if you could help?
Late December 2013 I parked in a disabled bay at a retail park. It was displayed as disabled. 11 days before I had had a car crash and was getting palpitations and often felt sick. At this point it was Christmas sales shopping and I was getting very anxious so pulled over quickly without caring, got out of my car, sat on a bench and calmed myself down (and took a beta blocker!) In this 5-10 min space the parking attendant had stuck a ticket for £60 on the car! I spoke to him and said it was unfair but he said I didnt have a ticket, wasnt disabled so it was tough. This hightened my anxiety.
I saw your site and a couple of others back in december and decided to ignore all letters as suggested. I am usually the type of person who panics and pays!
Anyway, I did get a couple of letters (Care Parking) but I destroyed them. I have today received one from Roxburghe and it is scary. I see some people say to ignore but you also give me an option for an appeal and also a template letter to deny debt.
I’m not sure which way to take this as I have not responded to anything from them in the past. I have sought medical help following the crash, and a claim for emotional distress following the crash (which is ongoing) and have seen a physco therapist who is sending me for counselling. Yet I am not holding a blue badge or registered disabled.
I am happy to appeal if that is the best option, happy to continue to ignore or will write denying the debt.
Which way forward should I take? Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Victoria, unfortunately you’ve made a couple of mistakes in dealing with this ticket.
Firstly, since the independent appeals service (POPLA) was introduced, the advice is not to ignore tickets. I imagine in researching the subject you’ve dredged up pre-2013 forum threads which say this.
Secondly, you’ve thrown away letters from the parking company. We would never suggest you destroy any correspondence from the parking company. This may have contained useful evidence in the event this ends up in court.
So, what do you do now?
Well, since the ticket was in Decemeber, you’ve probably lost any chance you had to appeal to the independent appeals service. If you had appealed in time, then there are arguments you can use to almost guarantee a win.
As a consequence, you can either continue to ignore, or pay. If you continue to ignore all correspondence, their only option to enforce payment is to take you to court. Fortunately for you, according to a Freedom of Information request, it appears that Care Parking don’t have a track record for taking people to court. Therefore, you may well be lucky.
If they did take you to court, then there are resources out there to assist you through the process. Many people have successfully defended court claims from parking companies. Further, as part of the mediation process which is offered before a hearing, you could offer to pay the original charge (which I’m guessing is probably less than Roxburghe are currently asking for now), or even negotiate to pay a proportion of the charge. Since it would cost the parking company more to go to court than they could recover, they may be silly not to accept.
For reference, the Freedom of Information request which lists the numbers of claims by parking company, please see here.