Advice about Scottish/UK Law for private parking tickets?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by big_malk, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    I have a parking ticket from a private company for parking on private land, so this ticket is NOT from a traffic warden or for breach of any traffic laws.
    They are insisting that I am due them £70 for staying to long in a free car park, when the shop was shut. They are also insisting that I am liable for paying this money as the owner of the car, regardless of whether I was driving it at the time.

    I understand that if this was a legally issued 'ticket', for speeding or whatever, I would be responsible for paying it as the keeper, or for proving who the driver was if it wasn't me.

    But, as they said in their first letter to me, "you agreed to be bound by the terms and condition upon entering the car park". And it is these terms and conditions which state you agree to pay the £70 if you stay too long. This is clearly a private contract, that by entering the car park you are assumed to have agreed to. It is not in any way a law.

    Can I really, as the keeper of the vehicle, be held accountable to a private contract agreed to be the driver of my car?

    I know this isn't exactly a legal forum, but I'm not sure where I can get trustworthy advice about this, and hopefully there's a helpful lawyer on here :)
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I am not a lawyer and this is most certainly not legal advice.

    Having said that:
    1) Ignore them: if they want the money they will have to take you to court. At that point they will have to prove many things including that it was you driving, that all signs were in place and correct etc.

    2) If you don't like that idea send them this form letter (from http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/...182&mid=0&i=20&nmt=Tesco's ANPR, again!&mid=0)

    To whom it may concern
    [Add their title and address]

    I am in receipt of your letter dated [insert the date] alleging that a vehicle registered to me overstayed an arbitrary duration in a vehicle park attached to one of your stores.

    As I am sure you will be aware, it is the driver of the vehicle with whom any contract to park was made, not the Registered Keeper. You will also be aware that the terms of any such contract must be set out in such a manner as to be obvious to anyone with whom you wished to make the contract. These terms must comply with all applicable contract law, such as the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

    Should you wish to pursue this claim, please supply evidence that the person parking the vehicle you allege to have overstayed the set duration would have had the opportunity to read the contract terms. Such evidence must be, as a minimum:

    * a detailed route and timings of the vehicle's travel into and through the vehicle park;
    * a detailed route of the driver's passage out of the vehicle and into the store - this and the evidence listed immediately above are to show that the driver had reasonable opportunity to see and read the contract terms;
    * photographs of all relevant signage in situ in locus in quo at the time of the alleged overstaying so as to show that the signs were actually readable;
    * an accurately-drawn, scaled, map showing the location of each sign and indicating which you believe the driver would have had the easy opportunity to read (the routes of the vehicle and driver should be superimposed upon the map);
    * details of the weather conditions at the time, in particular the visibility (all to be confirmed by the Meteorological Office);
    * sufficient details of the driver with whom you claim to have made a contract to enable their unique identification;
    * a detailed description of the processes followed to record and analyse the evidence of the alleged overstaying; and
    * a notarised statement from a senior manager at the store to the effect that your recording and analytical systems were working normally at the time of the alleged overstaying.

    Without the above, I cannot entertain your claim and any further demands for payment will be considered harassment and will be reported to the police with a view to your criminal prosecution under s1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1998, s85 of the Postal Services Act 2000, s127 of the Communications Act 2003, and/or s2 of the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997 - this last with a view to the court issuing a Restraining Order against you. Additionally, civil action will be taken against you personally and your employer to cease and desist and for the recovery of all costs, together with a substantial payment in compensation for the mental pain and suffering caused.

    I expect your reply by return, either providing the evidence requested above or indicating simply your termination of this correspondence.
     
  3. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    I probably should have explained this to start with, but I have already written to them a few times telling them that I don't remember who the driver was, and they haven't made any effort to prove it was me. They sent their 'photographic evidence' of my car entering and leaving the car park, but you can barely see the driver, it's certainly not proof enough that I was driving.

    But their latest letter is a 'final reminder before legal action' and it states they will register this money as a debt against a 'County Court' (which don't operate in Scotland, where I live and where my car was parked). And it says "As the keeper /owner of the vehicle at the time of the event you are responsible for the payment of the Parking Charge Notice."

    It doesn't say that I am legally responsible, but I'm sure they'd happily let it sound like that.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Well, if you are happy to take the risk, as well as stand up in court, under oath, and say you don't know who was driving at the time and therefore believe you have no contract with them then let them take you to court. The general consensus on the motoring sites I read is that they won't
     
  5. CHAOS STEP macrumors 6502

    CHAOS STEP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    playing tiddlywinks with Kim Jong-un
    #5
    I did type something long winded but what did the person who was using your vehicle at the time say about the car park usage?
     
  6. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    I don't remember who was driving my car at the time...
     
  7. CHAOS STEP macrumors 6502

    CHAOS STEP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
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    #7
    So basically you overstayed at a Private car park and don't fancy paying the fee.
     
  8. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    Well my car was parked in a free car park (no ticket machines or anything), about an hour after the shop the car park belongs to was shut. I really don't think it's reasonable for a different company to use scare tactics to demand £70 from me for this. It's not even the shop who is demanding this, it's a company whose sole purpose is just extracting money from people like this.
    The shop can't even claim the over-staying in the car park caused them loses.
     
  9. CHAOS STEP macrumors 6502

    CHAOS STEP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    playing tiddlywinks with Kim Jong-un
    #9
    Fair enough, these sorts of companies are seemingly unregulated, good luck to you.
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #10
    I like that. A lot. :D
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    well chances are the laws are a lot like US laws.

    You are responsible for the ticket because you are the owner. You let some one else drive your car so anything that happens involving that car you are responsible for it and it is your job to collect the money lost.

    They have proof your car was there now it is your job to pay it yes it sucks.


    Now you have a few choices, 1. Do not pay it and see if they send you to a collection agency.
    2. pay it.

    If you go with option one it is a risk that it not enough for them to do it. I know Texas Tech policy is it takes 10 tickets before they send you to a collection agency if the car has no direct ties to a student. So I got a ticket on my bother car year ago when I park it there because I was going to borrow it. I never paid that ticket. They sent my parents (legal owners) something about it and I told them to not pay attention to it i would handle it.

    Never paid it Tech will never send it to collections. Hell now if they try to track down those plates they will need to go to a scrape yard because that car was totaled 2 months later.
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Nope. That's not the law here at all. The person driving the car is responsible, not the registered keeper.
     
  13. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    So when their letter says I as the owner am responsible, it probably means they want to hold me responsible, but the law wouldn't see it that way? So their threats of court action are empty threats?

    I was always pretty sure it wouldn't go as far as court and I couldn’t be help responsible just as the keeper/owner, but their last letter made me want to get a second opinion.
     
  14. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I'm not a lawyer, but yes, everything I have read indicates that these are empty threats. If you want more advice try the "Speed, Plod & the Law" forum at pistonheads (I think you have to be a member and signed in to see that particular forum or check out pepipoo.
     
  15. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15
    Thanks for your advice.
    I think I looked at pepipooo when I was first looking for advice, it was pretty useful.
     

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