Readers’ emails: Does a parking company need to comply with POFA 2012?
Subject: POFA 2012 and PPCs
Do all Private Parking Companies have to comply to POFA 2012 legislation? I received a Notice to Keeper dated 22 days after the parking took place and I have disputed it saying that the notice and charge is invalid as over 14 days have passed, but the parking company have said that they are not pursuing the matter under POFA 2012 and so it is irrelevant?
Is that right – where does that leave me if I can’t use POFA 2012 in my argument with them?
Parking companies only have to comply with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 if they want to enforce keeper liability. The keeper liability provision allows them to pursue the keeper for whatever charge the driver was liable for. To enforce it the parking company must follow the procedures specified in PoFA 2012, including time limits and detail on the tickets (Notice to Driver and Notice to Keeper).
As such, the parking company are correct in what they state; they’ve not met the timescales for keeper liability, so they will have to revert to the default position which is pursuing the driver. If you were not the driver, you can provide that response in your appeals (1st to parking company, and 2nd to the independent appeals service). At a 1st stage appeal, the parking company may refuse (i.e. they don’t believe you weren’t driving), so if you can provide any evidence to back that assertion, they that would help your case. Parking cases are dealt with by the county court which means evidence must be on the “balance of probabilities”, as opposed to “beyond reasonable doubt”, so any evidence you can provide would be unlikely to be refutable by the parking company.
Parking companies would allege that the driver made the contract there by parking in a car park with signs stating the terms and conditions. If you were the driver, then the parking company will pursue you. However, there are still many ways you can fight the ticket. For example, using the genuine pre-estimate of loss argument, breaches of the BPA Code of Practice, or you could simply not engage with the parking company. Have a look through the fightback guide for more details.