Smart Parking

Smart Parking is a private parking operator in the UK. They were formerly named Town and City Parking until they were acquired by an Australian group called Car Parking Technologies in 2012, and later rebranded as Smart Parking.

Smart Parking logo

Smart Parking operate on privately-owned land, such as supermarket car parks (such as Asda, and Lidl), retail parks, and trading estates. They generate income by issuing Parking Charge Notices; this is the industry term for parking tickets. Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued when they believe the terms and conditions are broken. Examples could be overstaying, parking outside of a marked bay, or not purchasing a ticket. For more information on PCNs, take a look at our page.

Smart Parking primarily use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems in their car parks. These systems detect entries and exits into a car park – any cars that stay longer than the permitted time are automatically issued a Parking Charge Notice for up to £100. Smart Parking claim their sensors detect over 1 million vehicle mvovements every day. Unfortunately the ANPR technology is fallible – the systems may not detect all entries and exits (e.g. if number plate obscured), and so someone who visits twice in one day could be issued a ticket for staying from the first entry to the last exit. We talk more about ANPR on this page.

Smart Parking are a member of the British Parking Association (BPA); an industry association that works in its members’ interests, such as the lobbying of Parliament. Membership of the BPA’s Approved Operator Scheme enables them to request keeper data from the DVLA. They need access to the DVLA’s data to lookup the keeper data to allow them to enforce payment of unpaid parking tickets.

Where do Smart Parking operate?

Smart Parking are known to operate in the following places:

  • Asda supermarkets
  • Lidl supermarkets
  • Hospital car parks
  • Matalan
  • Fistral Beach
  • Talbot Green
  • Retail Parks
  • McDonalds

What do I do if I get a ticket from Smart Parking?

If you get a PCN from Smart Parking, there are two things you should do. Firstly, ask the landowner to cancel. For example, if this is in an Asda supermarket car park, then ask the store manager to cancel on the basis that you’re a genuine customer. In parallel you should consider appealing to the independent appeals service, POPLA. Before October 2012, when the Protection of Freedoms Act was introduced, the typical advice was to ignore private parking tickets. However, that is no longer recommended since certain parking companies now try to enforce tickets through the county court. Instead there are arguments to use in your independent appeal that will increase your chances of winning. Have a look at the following pages for information on how to appeal your Smart Parking ticket

Alternatively, we are partnered with an online solicitor firm called JustAnswer. For a £5 trial they will provide you details on how to appeal your ticket. Give them a try now.

Keeper liability

IMPORTANT – SMART PARKING are known to issue Notices to Keeper (postal parking tickets) that are not POFA-compliant. POFA 2012 is the legislation that allows the keeper to be held liable if certain conditions are met. If the NTK isn’t POFA compliant the keeper cannot be held liable, and assuming they don’t know who the driver is, then they can’t enforce the ticket! This point should be included in any appeal made.

Does Smart Parking take people to court?

Smart Parking are not known to issue many court claims to enforce private parking tickets. Since tickets are based on contract law the only way they can force motorists to pay is by taking them to the county court. Some parking companies, such as ParkingEye, issue thousands of claims a month, but Smart Parking are yet to do so. More information on legal enforcement of parking tickets can be found here.

If you have received a court claim from Smart Parking our recommendation is to:

  • Do not ignore it! If you don’t defend the claim, then it will default against you. If you don’t then pay it then you will have a County Court Judgement on your credit file
  • Understand the legal aspects of private parking tickets
  • Start a thread on Pepipoo forum

Smart Parking in the news

Murdo Fraser outside the Kinnoull Street car park (Photo DC Thomson)
Murdo Fraser outside the Kinnoull Street car park (Photo DC Thomson)

The following stories have been published relating to Smart Parking

Smart Parking have been in the news in Perth where MP Murdo Fraser has been campaigning against unfair tickets

Smart Parking accused of issuing bogus tickets

Smart Parking manager jailed for three year embezzlement scam

Westminster roll out Smart Parking sensor technology