Do You Have To Pay Private Parking Tickets – What Happens If I Don’t Pay

Got a private parking ticket notice from a private landowner or a car park company?

You are probably thinking right now whether or not you should pay for the ticket or fine given to you.

Just because it was not issued by the police or local authorities does not mean you are free to ignore it.

Ignoring a private parking ticket notice is not the best option since the owner of the private land or car park company can file a case against you.

So what happens if you don’t pay for the private parking ticket?

In this article, you will learn about the possible courses of action that you can take when you receive a private parking ticket notice.

In this article, you will read about the following topics:

  • What is a Private Parking Ticket?
  • Situations Where You Get a Private Parking Ticket
  • What Happens After You Are Given a Private Parking Ticket?
  • Do I Have to Pay a Private Parking Fine? Steps to Appeal
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Private Parking Ticket?

Private Parking Ticket

A private parking ticket is issued if you fail to follow the parking rules and pay the correct charges.

It is similar to when you are given a parking ticket or Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) by local authorities for parking illegally on public roads.

The only difference is that a private parking ticket is issued in private car parks such as supermarkets, hospitals, businesses, or private car park facilities in the UK.

It also covers parking on private residential roads with parking restrictions implied.

Situations Where You Get a Private Parking Ticket

viol warning private

There are several reasons why you are issued a private parking ticket.

The owner of the private land or the company managing the private car park can issue a private parking ticket when you do any of the following:

  • You parked on private land without the consent of the landowner.
  • You parked and did not follow the conditions you agreed upon with the private landowner.
  • You parked and did not follow the rules indicated on the signs put up in the car park.
  • You parked and failed to pay the parking fee.
  • You parked and failed to pay the correct amount of the parking fee.

If you do any of the above examples, the landowner or car park company can issue a private parking ticket notice, place it on your vehicle, or give it to you directly.

What Happens After You Are Given a Private Parking Ticket?

After the landowner or car park company issues a private parking ticket notice, you have to pay it within 28 days. The issue will only be resolved after you pay the charges asked for.

If you fail to pay, the landowner or the company has the right to ask for the vehicle’s keeper or registered user details from the DVLA and issue a notice.

Once the notice is sent, there are four possible outcomes:

  • You can pay for the private parking ticket within 28 days, and the issue is resolved.
  • If you choose to ignore or refuse to pay, the landowner or company can escalate the issue to the court to get the payment from you.
  • If you were not the driver at the time, you could provide the driver’s details since you cannot be held responsible for the ticket. The landowner or car park company will send the notice to the driver who parked in the private parking, not the vehicle’s registered keeper. The vehicle’s registered keeper will not be held responsible if the vehicle was driven by another person, whether it was borrowed, hired for use, or stolen.
  • You can choose to appeal if you believe you should not have been charged the private parking ticket. However, you must be able to do this within 28 days after the ticket was issued.

Do I Have to Pay a Private Parking Fine? Steps to Appeal

If you believe you should not have been fined, you don’t have to pay the private parking fine yet.

Instead, you should apply for an appeal or represent your dispute within 28 days of issuing the fine.

In summary, here is the step-by-step process of how an appeal works.

  1. The driver or the vehicle’s registered keeper makes an appeal within 28 days of getting the private parking ticket notice.
  2. If the landowner or car park company accepts the appeal, the fine may be removed entirely or reduced to an amount that best fits the situation.
  3. However, if the landowner or car park company rejects your appeal, you may still choose to continue with the appeal process through the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). This option is only available if the car company or landowner is a member of the  Accredited Trade Association (ATA).
    1. If the IAS accepts the appeal, the ticket will be completely cancelled, and the issue will be resolved.
    2. If the IAS does not accept the appeal and you still refuse to pay the fine, the issue may be taken to court by the landowner or car park company.
  4. If the landowner or car park company is not a member of the ATA and still rejects your appeal, the issue will then be taken to court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a landowner or car park company force you to pay?

The only way a landowner or car park company can force you to pay is when the issue is taken to court and the court sees that you should pay.

Do they have the right to clamp or tow your vehicle in a private car park?

No, it is illegal for landowners and car park companies to clamp or tow your vehicle. The only time your vehicle can be clamped or towed is when you commit an offence on a public road and done by the local authorities.

If the landowner or car park company tows your vehicle, they will be fined up to £5,000 for illegal clamping and towing.

Is it legal to get the driver’s details from the DVLA?

Yes, the landowner or car park company can obtain your details from the DVLA to issue a notice if they have provided proof of non-payment.

The DVLA decides whether or not they share the information with them, depending on the evidence given.

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the process of paying for a private parking ticket? Do you think the approach is fair? Let us know your thoughts by writing a comment in the comments section below.

For more information about certain rules in the UK, you can do further reading on some of Winterville’s articles on topics such as:

20 thoughts on “Do You Have To Pay Private Parking Tickets – What Happens If I Don’t Pay”

  1. I received a parking ticket I agree the car is mine and I was driving it at Moto motorway serviced m4 junction 33. I do not agree with date on fine as I was not there on the date given. Am I within my rights not to pay.

    • If you received a parking ticket and you believe that the date is incorrect, you should take action to dispute the ticket.
      I think You have the right to challenge the ticket and present evidence to support your claim that you were not there on the date given.
      You should contact the issuing authority as soon as possible to discuss your concerns and provide any relevant evidence.
      It is important to note that failing to pay a parking ticket can result in additional fines and legal action, so it is best to address the issue promptly.

  2. It us so unfair to charge a fee for overstaying in shopping centre car park. I recently overstayed after visiting Foster Square after doing my shopping then meeting a friend for coffee .. I overstayed by 26 minutes. I can understand some people abuse the free parking and probably stay whilst going to work etc so there has to be restriction but I think 3 hrs is a very short time when there are at least 10 stores and also coffee shops. This does not encourage people to make the most of the shopping facilities.

    • Hi Denise Farrar,
      I understand that you feel it’s unfair to be charged a fee for overstaying in Foster Square car park.

      While I can see why some people may abuse free parking and stay for extended periods, it’s also understandable that you may need more time to fully enjoy all the shops and coffee shops available in the area.

      That being said, it’s important to note that parking fees and restrictions are put in place to ensure that everyone has access to parking spaces and that the car park is not misused.

      The shopping centre may have limited parking spaces available and need to regulate how long people can park there to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of finding a spot.

      While it can be frustrating to be charged for overstaying, it’s also important to be mindful of the rules and regulations in place.

      If you do need more time to shop or meet a friend, you may want to consider parking in an alternative location where there are no restrictions or fees, or looking into the shopping centre’s policies to see if there are any options for longer-term parking.

      In fact, I think that if the shopping centre doesn’t set up the limited parking time, there would be always no parking spaces there.

      However, it’s up to the shopping centre to decide on their parking policies.

      It’s always worth providing feedback and suggestions to them so that they can continue to improve their services for customers.

  3. I park on a resterrant car park did not see any signs or a iPad when I entered I had a cup of tea and left I was in for 45mins 4 days later got a fine for £100 or £60 if paid in 28 days what are my right ????

    • Hello parson,
      I can understand that you are feeling frustrated and upset about this situation.

      If there were no signs or indications of a parking fee or time limit, you may have grounds to contest the fine.

      In the UK, private parking companies are required to follow certain regulations and guidelines, and you have the right to challenge any unfair charges.

      You can start by contacting the restaurant or the parking company directly to explain the situation and ask for further information about the reason for the fine.
      If you believe the charge is unjustified, you can make an appeal to the Independent Appeals Service.
      It’s important to act promptly and follow the appeal process correctly to increase your chances of success.

      Following the steps outlined in my article.

      Remember to provide any evidence that you have, such as photographs of the car park or your receipt for the cup of tea, to support your case.

      Good luck with your appeal!

  4. I have been issued one of these notices for not paying, but I did pay and I retained my ticket which I still have. The time, date and car registration number are all correct, and the fee was correct for the amount of time I remained. In all honesty, the penalty notice appears to have been issued incorrectly since I complied fully with the signage.
    But if I hadn’t been lucky enough to have retained my ticket for almost a month, I would be in difficulty and have to pay the ‘fine’, so I don’t like these bully companies.
    Am I obliged to follow their appeals procedure, as really I would much rather that they took me to court for the money, with all their added costs, as I am confident I would win and it might help teach them a lesson about checking their facts. They are also members of the IAS, but really I want to cost the company financially, since they are trying to penalise me financially when I did everything right.

    • Hi Malcolm,
      I don’t like that sometimes they issue a penalty notice randomly.

      If you have evidence that you paid for parking and followed the signage, it is reasonable to challenge the penalty notice that was issued to you.

      In this case, retaining the ticket that shows you paid for parking is a critical piece of evidence.

      If you do decide to appeal, make sure to provide all the relevant evidence, including the ticket you retained, to support your case.

      The appeals process should be a fair and objective review of the facts, and it’s important to make your case as strong as possible.

  5. I believe that parking tickets at Sainsbury’s super market are unfair some people are slow at shopping and takes them time 2 hrs is not long enough I find it takes for a weekly or monthly shop 3 hours which makes it after shopping their for many years I will now have to change super markets to a more understanding supermarker

    • Hi irene,
      I understand that you feel parking tickets at Sainsbury’s supermarket are unfair, especially for those who take their time shopping and require more than the allotted 2 hours for their weekly or monthly shopping trips.

      It can be frustrating to receive a ticket after shopping at a store for many years.

      However, it’s important to keep in mind that parking restrictions are often put in place to ensure that there is adequate parking for all customers and to discourage long-term parking by non-customers.

      While it may be inconvenient for some shoppers, it’s ultimately up to the store to decide on their parking policy.
      I also don’t like those parking policy at all. Since you are shopping there, you should get free parking if you buy things there. 2 hours are really not enough.

      If you do decide to switch supermarkets, I hope you are able to find a store that better suits your needs and allows for more flexibility in your shopping experience.

  6. I have recently been give a parking notice charge by a company called NE parking limited. I was in the space for all of 5 !minutes. Are they legally binding? What will happen if I don’t pay it?

  7. Hi Sally,
    I think if you don’t want to pay, you can follow our steps to Appeal.
    It’s important to check the terms and conditions of the parking area, as well as the signage and any other information provided by the company to see if there are grounds for appeal.

  8. I parked at a space that allows to park for up to 20 mins, it’s a petrol station and shop, I went there twice in one day, at 13:10 and 20:50 , but they have accused me of parking from 13:10 to 20:50, making it over 7 and half hours, which is not true, they sent two photos of my car registration, one apparently taken at 13:10 and another at 20:50, not proving /confirming my stay. As there are only 4-5 parking spaces, I parked at same spot twice, but I’m accused of parking once but for over 7 hours. Whereas I parked twice, no more than 5-10 mins at a time..time limit being 20 mins.
    What is the best course of action for me…?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Farakh,
      While I’m not a legal expert, I can offer some general suggestions for dealing with this situation:

      Gather evidence: Collect any receipts or records you may have from your visits to the petrol station and shop. If you used a payment card or made a purchase, you might have a record of the transactions on your bank statement or the store’s records.

      Contact the petrol station or the parking enforcement company: Reach out to the petrol station or the company managing the parking enforcement and explain your situation. Provide them with the evidence you’ve gathered to support your claim that you did not overstay the parking limit.

      Appeal the parking charge notice (PCN): If you have received a parking charge notice, you can appeal it. Please follow the steps in the article.
      Be sure to include all the evidence you’ve gathered and a clear explanation of why you believe the charge is incorrect.
      Make sure to follow the appeal instructions on the PCN and submit it within the specified time frame.

      Seek legal advice: If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may want to seek legal advice from a solicitor or a legal advice center, such as Citizens Advice. They can provide guidance on the appropriate course of action based on the specifics of your case.

      Please remember that this is general advice, and it’s important to research your specific situation and consult with a legal professional if necessary.

  9. Hello. Could you please explain how exactly I broke any rule/law and made obstructive parking(who was violated or how i broke the law).
    There was no entry prohibition sings.
    I feel that this penalty is not fair on myself as I have only spent there no more than 5 minutes and the reason is below.
    I had to take my medicines as I started to feel unwell and make an emergency stop and a phone call.
    I also parked in the way so it was possible for other cars and pedestrians to move past me clearly. I didn’t leave my car; you can see that on the picture. After 5 minutes I left.
    Sorry for any inconvenience I might have created, but I didn’t spot any prohibition signs and in my opinion, I didn’t create any obstructive parking. Thank you for understanding

  10. If the company are using cameras they have to be able to read your number plate.If you cover any part of it before you enter to make it. unuseable to trace you.As it on private land it is not illegal.
    The whole ANPR depends on identifying your number plate,if this is not possible it can’t work

  11. I went to a car park on private land, got a coffee and left. Then returned 5 hours later. A week later I received a parking fine saying I was in the carpark for over 6 hours. I provided receipts and cctv to show I was in a different county at the Time but my appeal was rejected as I could only show I was somewhere else but not my car even though I was driving it. The ombudsman also went in their favour as the anpr data which I know to be incorrect only showed me entering once and leaving one, so where’s the record of me leaving and returning again. There’s no cctv on site to show I left, so now I have no choice but to pay £100 even though I wasn’t there.

  12. I parked on private car park for about 3 hrs while staying in a hotel. The hotel had advertised free parking (for 24hrs) When I registered at the hotel I specifically asked for my car to be registered and was told by the reception it’s has. I appealed based on the reception lying to me that my car was registered but the Independent appeals service said I should pay because my car was not registered. I feel the hotel and the car park operators may be in cahoots to fleece guests of their money with this fake car registration. What can I do? Should I take it to court? I feel scammed.

    • Hello Olumide,

      I’m not a legal expert, but I can offer some general guidance on how you might handle this situation.

      Here are some steps you could consider taking:

      Contact the Hotel and Car Park Operator: First, try to resolve the issue amicably. Contact the hotel and the car park operator to discuss the situation and provide evidence of your registration request. It’s possible that there was a genuine mistake or miscommunication.

      Review the Hotel’s Policies: Carefully review the hotel’s policies and terms and conditions, particularly regarding parking. Check if there are any statements about free parking and the responsibilities of the hotel for registering your vehicle.

      Keep Records: Ensure you have all relevant documentation, such as receipts, emails, or any written communication that proves your request to have your car registered with the hotel.

      File a Complaint: If your communication with the hotel and car park operator does not yield a satisfactory resolution, you can consider filing a formal complaint with the relevant consumer protection agency in the UK, such as Trading Standards. They can offer guidance and may be able to mediate or investigate the issue.

      Consider Legal Action: If all else fails, and you believe you have a strong case, you might consider taking the matter to a small claims court. Consult with a solicitor for legal advice specific to your situation.

      Review Customer Reviews: You could also check online reviews and forums to see if other guests have had similar experiences with the hotel and car park operator. This information may be useful in supporting your case.

      When considering legal action, it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional who specializes in consumer rights or contract law. They can assess the specifics of your case and provide guidance on the best course of action. Keep in mind that taking legal action can be time-consuming and may incur additional costs, so it’s typically a last resort.

      Always consult with a legal expert to get advice tailored to your unique situation.


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