Private parking tickets

This section  of the website is about private parking tickets, often called Parking Charge Notices (PCNs). These tickets are issued by private parking companies (PPCs) rather than authorities such as a local authority council or the police. These tickets are issued on privately owned land, on which parking enforcement laws are not applicable. As a result, an industry of private parking enforcement has come into existence. Since private parking ‘fines’ or ‘penalties’ are not backed by legislation, these companies rely on contract law. The model works forming contracts by placing signs on the land setting out the terms and conditions and then the motorist being deemed to have accepted them by parking. However, since this practice is not regulated or backed explicitly by law, it is very much a grey area.

The industry of private parking has grown enormously due to the general public’s ignorance of parking laws – most people wouldn’t know the difference and believe they must pay the fines issued. Currently, around 2 millions parking tickets are issued a year, each requesting between £40 and £150. The industry has big players, such as ParkingEye, and UK Parking Control (UKPC), who make millions of pounds per year, down to very small operators managing one or two car parks. The British Parking Association Ltd is the industry’s main Accredited Trade Association (ATA), although an alternativethe Independent Parking Committee was established in late 2013. Members of the ATAs are obliged to follow their respective Code of Practice which, in return, means they can access the DVLA’s database of registered keepers. This is absolutely vital since it means that ATA members can write to owners to chase payment for tickets. There are private parking companies who are not members, but they cannot access the DVLA database. and so rely on people paying the ticket affixed to their windscreen.

The Parking Cowboys website is dedicated to helping the motorist understand the world of private parking tickets in order that they can take an informed choice of how to deal with such a ticket. In the private parking tickets sections we go into more detail about what private parking tickets are. We then look at how they’re issued and enforced. We then discuss whether you should pay for a private parking ticket – you do have a choice!

With the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act in October 2012 we take a look at the new concept of keeper liability.

Elsewhere in the site we look at specific case types, such as supermarket parking tickets, and ANPR parking tickets.

We’ve also got a page that contains examples of tickets and letters issued by private parking companies for reference. The point being that you’re not special, parking companies send out thousands of identical letters every day.

Enjoy the site,

The Parking Cowboys team