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At a glance: How to deal with parking fines from private companies.
Reading time: 2 mins
This summary covers England and Wales
To view information that covers Scotland, please click here.

What is a parking charge notice?

When you park on private land, like a supermarket car park, the landowner is responsible for making the rules. Clear signs should show you what the parking rules and charges for using the car park are. The landowner can give you a parking charge notice if you break the parking rules or park without permission.

They might give the notice directly to the driver or post it to the registered keeper.

How to deal with the parking charge notice if you agree you owe the money

Pay the charge if you agree you owe the money and can afford it. Make sure to get a receipt to prove you have paid.

Some parking operators follow a code of practice. This says that a parking charge notice must be reasonable and not usually for more than £100. Parking operators who follow the code of practice should offer a discount of at least 40% if you pay in full within 14 days.

What can I do if I don’t agree that I owe the money?

Write to the parking operator explaining the reason why you think you don’t owe the money. For example:

  • The parking operator who sent the charge was not responsible for looking after the land you parked on.
  • You followed the parking rules.
  • The signs were unclear.
  • You are not the registered keeper of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle broke down.
  • The payment machines were out of order.
  • There were compassionate reasons, such as being ill at the time or if someone close to you has recently died.

Send any evidence you have to support your case, like photos.

How can a parking charge notice be enforced?

  • Continue to ask you to pay.
  • Pass the debt to a debt collection agency.
  • Decide to take court action.

If the parking operator gets a county court judgment, it will usually be recorded on your credit reference file for six years.

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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