Martin Lewis explains council and private company parking fines
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A couple in Berkshire returned to their vehicle to find a “parking ticket” from an issuing authority. Upon examining the document, left on their car near the Shepherd Meadows beauty spot, the pair noticed the so-called fine was in fact handwritten.
The notice, which demanded the payment, had the time and location recorded as well as the identification number of the issuing “officer”.
Upon seeing the note, the couple took a photo, sharing it on Facebook.
They refused to pay any money – and the note included a website link for payment on the notice.
The baffled pair added: “Be careful parking at Shepherd Meadows.
“My folks went for a walk and came back to this on their car.
“Clearly a scam, but don’t get taken in by these ****s.”
Social media users were quick to react to the note which had rapidly circulated online.
One said: “They’re trying to defraud you.”
Mocking the note, another said: “U owe us £80 4 parkin ere. Here ma bank deets. Fanks.”
And a third said: “Now if they invested in a printer…”
One woman suggested the note could “well be valid”.
However, the poster replied that the couple had parked in a bay – and said the web address isn’t a secure site.
Strict rules govern the issuing of fixed penalty notices.
Either local councils take control of the portfolio of parking, or in cases of private land, dedicated companies act on behalf of the landowner.
Officials are poised to reduce the current cap on private parking fines of £100 to £50.
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It was revealed earlier this month that private parking firms issued an astonishing 22,000 tickets a day – 15 every minute – in the first six months of the financial year alone.
That means they raked in £400million in just 26 weeks.
They aim to introduce a code of practice for the private parking industry, which will include a single appeals service and a system of charges and penalties in line with council fines.
Many drivers are encouraged to appeal fines that use smart ANPR technology.
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Companies have a “genuine customer” waiver in their terms which often mean drivers could avoid hefty and annoying fines.
A driver handed a fine should check the company is accredited by the British Parking Association or the International Parking Community by checking the member lists on their websites.
If they’re not, they won’t be able to get your name and address from the DVLA.
Drivers are also able to contact their local citizen’s advice bureau for advice on the legitimacy of the fine, and how to appeal the penalty should they feel it has been issued unfairly.
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