Parking charge notice received from Parking Eye Ltd

We recently received a letter styled as a “Parking Charge Notice” from a company identifying themselves as Parking Eye Car Park Management. You can see it here. I’ve removed identifying details of the car.

So what do we do about it?

Here are the basic facts.

  1. We weren’t driving the car. Not me or anybody working for me, with me or similar.
  2. We had sold the vehicle prior to the alleged offence, have an invoice proving as such and know who now owns the car.

Private parking charges are breach of contract, not fines or penalties

As this offence allegedly occurred on private land, it is not a crime. This is a civil matter. If it were issued by a council, DVLA or the Police then this would be different.

So their charge is based on contract law. That is to say they believe the driver of the car breached a contract which was made when they entered the car park.

The contract in question is that of “Don’t stay longer than 1 hour 20 minutes or we’ll charge you”. Without getting over the top with details, the land owner is then allowed to charge a driver in breach of this contract for the loss he or she suffers due to the driver’s overstaying his/her welcome.

The driver in question did overstay this welcome. They were there for just over 1 hour 30 minutes according to the timestamped photographs of entrance and exit.

So the letter received is not a fine, or a penalty; it’s an invoice. They are requesting money they believe they are owed. Now if I send you an invoice in the post for something you’ve never heard of, will you just pay it? No, and you shouldn’t and here’s why.

Only the driver and not the car owner or registered keeper is responsible

The law says that only the driver of a vehicle can enter into a contract by parking on private land. So if you lend your car to your mum and she gets a ticket like this, it is she who has breached the contract, not you. But of course cars are registered to keepers and not drivers and you’re more than entitled to lend your car to whoever you like.

But how do they get the details of who to send the letter to? The DVLA make a rather tidy sum each year by charging companies such as Parking Eye to access their records, in order to dish out these charges. That’s perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the ICO, the office that controls data protection. In fact when I spoke with them they told me it would be perfectly acceptable for me to pass details of the new owner on to Parking Eye.

So why didn’t I? Because I don’t have to. Legally, this private company, Parking Eye, cannot make me disclose information about the new owner of the car. Even if you are the owner of the car and you weren’t driving, they can’t make you tell them who was.

Can’t you contact parking eye and explain?

I thought I would give them a call. Unfortunately the number they provide is an automated payment hotline and their website offers no telephone number (Update – I did find a phone number, keep reading). The address they offer is a PO Box so I emailed Parking Eye and let them know that I don’t own the car and that they shouldn’t bother me again.

They offer the email address of [email protected] on the notice. Of course, I wasn’t appealing against anything. This isn’t the ICC in The Hague. I checked their website, www.parkingeye.co.uk and I sent the email to [email protected] and received an automatic response stating that if this was an appeal it would not be dealt with at this address. That’s fine, it isn’t an appeal.

I didn’t appeal, but it was unsuccessful anyway?

A week later I received a letter. It told me my appeal had been unsuccessful and I should tell them who the owner is and prove I sold it. This raised two interesting questions;

  1. If I sent it to info@ and not appeals@ and if they said they wouldn’t respond if it was an appeal, how did I make an appeal?
  2. Am I now being required to prove my innocence to a private company in order to be let off an invoice I don’t owe?
I sent a further email to info@ stating quite clearly the following:
  1. I have not and am not appealing anything.
  2. I didn’t have the car, this isn’t my problem, check the DVLA database.
  3. Don’t bother me again, I won’t reply.
Of course they did reply. They sent another letter telling me my appeal had been unsuccessful. The evidence I provided (none) did not meet the criteria (printed on £20 notes?) of the landlord of the site. So I didn’t reply, I did this instead, but I did email them the link. They said they couldn’t open it. They’ll probably have seen it by now.

 

Why have you sent this invoice to me?

It was surprising that I received this charge almost two months after the alleged offence occured. We always send the logbook away to the DVLA at the latest a week after we sell the car (we save them up and send them all together, saves envelopes and stamps), so why would DVLA still hold our details?

In fact, being a motor trader, we never register the cars in our names. We send away the yellow motor trade section or where we buy from other traders this is already done. The invoice received states:

Your details have been requested and provided by the DVLA as you are the registered keeper of the vehicle which has been parked without a permit; payment of the appropriate tariff; and/or overstayed the free stay period of the on the day in this private car park.

Yes it does say “of the on the day” on the letter. But after contacting DVLA to ensure they had received the logbook and make sure we weren’t registered as the keeper they told us not only are we not the keeper, we never have been.

So how did they get our details? I think this is where the two month gap comes in. Most likely, as the dates between selling the car and the offence were quite close, it was still registered to it’s previous owner. They send him the letter, he sends it to the garage he got it from, they send it to us and we’re supposed to send it to the new owner.

So what happens now, will it be court action?

I’m choosing not to provide the information they have requested. Mostly because of their your unsuccessful appeal approach, but also because if they check the DVLA database again, they will have the information they need. I’ve written two emails and one blog about this so I’m not giving them any more of my time.

There will be no court action, mostly because these companies have a terrible record. It’s hard to prove somebody was driving without CCTV evidence or similar. Even if they have that, how do they know that person on video is the registered keeper they’ve been invoicing (some say harassing).

Furthermore, how can a limited company be the driver of a car? The police and other legal bodies can force companies to disclose who was driving the car in the case of speeding tickets and other motoring offences; or fine the directors. A private company issuing invoices for breach of contract has no such powers.

So to sum up; Parking Eye have a contract with a person, who has breached that contract. That person is liable to a charge under that contract. But Parking Eye don’t know who the person is and have no legal way of forcing us to tell them.

Update: This was true at the time of writing but things changed in October 2012. They can now hold the registered keeper liable if they fail to disclose who was driving. They still can’t force you to pay. They’ve just made the “I don’t know who was driving” defence a little harder to use. Read more about this here.

So if you get a charge in similar circumstances, you know what to do. File it in the shredder. If you’ve had similar issues, let us know in the comments. I’ll keep this updated with whatever they do next.

If you would like to get in touch with Parking Eye their registered address is:

40 Eaton Avenue, Matrix Park, Buckshaw Village, Chorley, PR7 7NA. Be aware that there are also several accountants registered here and this may not be their actual working address. The parking eye phone number is 01772 885800.

What next…

Get the straight-forward guide to Private Parking Charges and why you shouldn’t pay them now for just £4. The guide tells you everything you need to know about how PPCs operate, the laws under which they do business and explains exactly why you shouldn’t pay.

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  • Julie Chadwick

    I have revived a ticket I was on the car park for 14 mins never left my car. I have tried to appeal sent letters. Tried to email it won’t let me wat should I do

  • Chorley resident

    Julie like he said you should probably ignore it, seems they can’t really do much with that information. They can’t possibly have any footage or pictures of you parked there for any length of time and if they do their fraudulently claiming it!

    Ignore it and don’t bother appealing, it’s a waste of your time.

    • simon

      you should never ignore it, i now have a CCJ against me for ‘ignoring’ a letter i never got at an address i haven’t lived at for years.parking eye screwed me

  • faye

    i have received a fine from a+e at Sunderland royal hospital and i had bought a 24 hr ticket, was only in just ova 3 hrs, i appealed and copied and sent them a copy of my parking ticket and still nothing back from them and receieved a 3 reminder in a week from them this morning

  • mohammad

    what is the email address

  • AlanJ

    I’ve received a parking charge notice for parking at the Radisson Blu Stansted Airport, the difference is that I did pay for my parking and I have a receipt.

    So I rang the number on the penalty notice and it was an automated number. I then googled them an found your articles. Very helpful.

    I rang the number in your article but it’s no longer in use.

    I will obviously contact them and forward a copy of the invoice but I’ll also ring the hotel as they took the money and they must have done something wrong themselves. I will also request that they sort out the mess as it’s all their doing not seeing as I paid them.

    One thing that has crossed my mind though is the data protection act – how can DVLA give away my information like that? regardless of reason?

    One they mentioned on this notice repeatedly is the Protection of Freedom Act 2012. I guess that’ll explain why/how they’re allowed to obtain my details but as this problem is merely someone elses error I’m not going to go into this in any more detail. Just thought the extra information might be of use to your article.

    Alan

  • Heather Young

    I’ve just tried to call the number you’ve given for Parking Eye and guess what? It’s no longer in service! What a surprise! I have received two of these parking charge letters, both times I was at a hospital appointment, parked in a disabled bay, displaying a blue badge. The first time I appealed against the ticket, this time I’m ignoring it. They can take me to court, I don’t mind, I’m not that busy. I have to return to the same hospital in two weeks and I know my appointment will last more than 2 hours. Looks like I’ll be getting another parking charge letter. Oh joy!

  • matty b

    This normally works for me :) I have a shoe box full of parking eye rubbish. Harassment proof… well you never know!

    Dear Sir/MadamI am writing in final response to your claim for 21st April ‘2012’ in West Quay Retail Park Car Park supposedly due in relation to Parking Charge Notice 345846, issued on 21/04/2012.A ‘notice’ in law is synonymous with the word ‘offer’ (blacks law dictionary 3) therefore I reject your offer of contract although thanks for the offer.  A ‘notice’ is NOT a bill of exchange and this is a contract law/admiralty law issue, therefore I will conditionally accept your offer once provided with the following:Proof of claim, proof of authority and signed contract saying I agree to your terms. Terms and Conditions upon entering car parks are invalid unless signed for so please don’t insult me with a fraudulent response saying I have an obligation to pay because this will not stand up to any judge as proven in the past.You are probably aware Private Parking Companies rely on the law of contract as the basis for claiming and enforcing penalty notices. This differs from notices issued by police or local authorities that are issued pursuant to the Road Traffic Act 1991. The long established remedy for breach of contract is damages and the measure of the same is to put the injured party in the same position had the breach not occurred. Clearly, therefore in this instance there is no loss amounting to 60-00  as the parking is free. It is trite law (Wilson v Love 1896, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v New Garage Motor 1915 et al) that you cannot charge a penalty for breach of contract, i.e. where the sum bears no relation to the potential loss. I require proof that it was myself driving at the time of the alleged offence.  You photographed the car but unfortunately you failed to capture a mug shot of my happy face JAdditionally, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999 and related Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 2083, in particular at section 5 states that unfair terms are:(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.(2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.(3) Notwithstanding that a specific term or certain aspects of it in a contract has been individually negotiated, these Regulations shall apply to the rest of a contract if an overall assessment of it indicates that it is a pre-formulated standard contract.(4) It shall be for any seller or supplier who claims that a term was individually negotiated to show that it was.(5) Schedule 2 to these Regulations contains an indicative and non-exhaustive list of the terms which may be regarded as unfair.There is also the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 that states in section 4 that:(1) A person dealing as consumer cannot by reference to any contract term be made to indemnify another person (whether a party to the contract or not) in respect of liability that may be incurred by the other for negligence or breach of contract, except in so far as the contract term satisfies the requirement of reasonableness.(2) This section applies whether the liability in question – (a) is directly that of the person to be indemnified or is incurred by him vicariously; (b) is to the person dealing as consumer or to someone else.Clearly the charging of £60-00 is wholly unreasonable.I have no intention of wasting any more time corresponding with you. If you continue to pursue the matter this will constitute an offence under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.Due to the way in which you have harassed me in this matter, as well as the supposedly official nature of your alleged “PCN” I am considering reporting the matter to the police pursuant to Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, that states, it is an offence to coerce another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due to under contract if he or she:(a) harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;(c) falsely represent themselves to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;(d) utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has notAgain, as this is a breach of contract claim I am only liable to compensate you for ACTUAL LOSS. You have not suffered a loss of £60-00My reply and admin fee is £60-00 which is payable to MR xxxx.Any subsequent replies will be charged an administration fee of £100-00I look forward to your written confirmation that the ticket has been withdrawn.Peace.

  • Walshy

    Hi there, this week have received a claim form from Northampton county court after ignoring Paring Eye letters for parking over free period back in Dec 2012. They are asking for £150 to settle claim but I’m going to appeal……..

    • shaz

      please can you update me on what happened as I have received a claim form from Northampton County Court today for notice of proposed allocation to small claims track it doesn’t have a court stamp, not sure it this is genuine

      • Walshy

        Hi, ring the court to check if it is a genuine claim. I am defending my claim which is still on going.

  • Anthony Parkes

    Gone one better with parking, the wifes severely disable and cannot walk as well as she used to, I took her to do her christmas shopping during which we over stayed our welcome of 1hr 30mins my wife took two hours and seventeen minutes, If say she had spent only 20 to 30 pounds then okay we would have put our hands, but she spent a £130 pounds in one go then decided that there were other items that she wanted so she borrowed the money off me “having paid the large bill via her debit card which did not have enough money in the account to pay for the second lot of goods which came to nearly £70 pounds” total spent £200 quid, on the 1th October received one of their invoices, My missus is jumping up in the air so to speak and swears that she will never ever shop at aldis again, found the appeals section on the net couldn’t use it as it was that long the scanner couldn’t scan it, so did the postal appeal in which they want the receipts wrote the appeal out plus receipts then sent it on the 24th October 1st class signed for asking them to reconsider cancelling the penalty charge as my wife was slow in doing the shopping because of her disabilities, in all honesty I knew there was penalty charges for parking to long thus exceeding their set time limits, but come on she spent 200 quid in their clients shop, any I think that you have already guessed whats happened, yes I’ve received another demand for payment, the haven’t even wrote to me telling me about their decision, Thanks to this site I now have a telephone number, the other number given is for the automated service which does not allow you to talk to someone, they don’t want an argument on the phone hence no call centre number, I think that we should declare war on such companies and make them more accountable, Why they don’t have pay as you go at aldis where if you are in their shop buying goods they could then stamp you ticket over a certain amount which you could show when requested I don’t know, They could still have the penalty time in place as not many drivers exceed the time on their ticket, if they are running out of time they usually leave or go and by another ticket. the ticket could limited say to the 90 minutes as in the terms and conditions, I’m now going to phone I need to keep my cool which I’m finding it hard to do others they will just say rules are rules (which is an old excuse) and demand payment, This posting is a bit long and I appologise for it, Watch this space, posted date;30th October 2013.

  • Anthony Parkes

    Guess what, this number 01772 885800 for parking eye is not recognised, no joy there. I’ve seen another one somewhere else.

  • Anthony Parkes

    All phone numbers for parking eye do not work, I have just had a shocking when surfing the web, I have come across a page in which it says that the dvla have sold driver details list to out side parties they made 10 million pounds from the sale in which parking eye bought the majority, Parking unless it’s council are a civil matter, your not breaking the law just the terms and condition that private car park owners put in place, as I read on the web that we are entering into a contract and buying using the car we are agreeing to the owners terms and conditions,,……………….MY QUESTION HERE IS AS THESE COMPANY’S ARE PRIVATE BUSINESS’S THE DATA BASE AT THE DVLA COMES UNDER THE PRIVACY ACT, SURELY THE DVLA HAVE BROKEN THE LAW BY SELLING THESE LIST’S TO A PRIVATE, i THINK THAT WE NEED TO TALK TO THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT ON THIS SUBJECT, WHAT DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK, I HAVE NOW STOPPED GIVING PRIVATES TO ANYONE ABOUT MYSELF, WHAT’S OCCURRED HERE WAS FORECAST WHEN WE WERE FIRST TOLD THAT OUR DETAILS WITH THE COMING OF THE COMPUTER WOULD BE HELD ON A DATA BASE, NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW THESE PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, THEY SHOULD ON BEING FOUND GUILTY BE BARRED FROM EVER HOLDING ANY SORT OF DATA BASE THE PENALTY SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE A HEFTY FIND PLUS IMPRISONMENT FOR THE ACTUAL OFFENDER, ANY IDEAS ANYONE.

  • Jason

    Haha. This website is just a front to flog an eBook for £4. There’s loads of free information on this and why you should just bin it and move on with your life… How many eBooks do you sell?

  • irob

    I parked at coventry walk in medical centre to take my aging mum. I stayed less than an hour. Later i received parking charge reminder for £70 for not having paid. I remember the parking occasion because it was raining hard, there was a queue at the ticket machine, i hadnt got my specs and at my turn i could not see the tiny keys on the silly little keyboard to type in my reg number. I paid the fee and got the ticket only to see i had put in the wrong number by 2 digits, 6 instead of 5, and M instead of W. There was no way to change the ticket so i displayed it as i,d paid anyway. Unfortunately i later threw away the ticket. I wrote this in an appeal letter but now just received a 2nd reminder. What should i do next? I think i should just keep appealing if i receive more notices.. what a crazy awful place england is becoming.

  • Barry

    I have received a Parking Eye invoice against a vehicle I own but was not driving. I know who the driver is, it was my son who parked in one of their monitored car parks which was at a supermarket. He was working there as an employee of the supermarket chain to help them out, it was not his usual store he had transferred for the day.

  • Hooms

    Thank you for all this information. We got a parking ticket for parking in a supermarket car park two weeks ago. We tried to pay the pay and display ticket and the Parking Eye machine kept rejecting one of the coins. After numerous attempts we gave up and left the car park. Surprise surprise a parking ticket came through the post. We logged on an appeal but got no acknowledgement email. Phoned the telephone number 01772450970 and found out that they do have our appeal. Phew!

  • IanC

    this number works 01772 450970

  • michmcn

    I’ve received a parking fine because my disabled mum, for whom I have a blue badge on the car, has limited moblity and took longer in the shop than the parking time allowed. I appealed and did not get a response – only a reminder. I have just submitted copies of the appeal letter and docs (incl copy of blue badge) and update of recent hospital info re mum, and am awaiting response.
    I feel I would rather be taken to court than pay the fine – it feels like discrimination against disabled/elderly and to be penalised for lack of moblity is, in my book, wrong!

  • Chandra

    HI,

    I received a letter from Parking eye stating that they are charging me for unpaid part of parking. The letter also states that ‘the 29 days have now passed and the amount now payable is £100, this payment is required within 14 days to avoid further actions’. That sounds ridiculous because 1) they did not sent any letter before and 2) there is no proof (pictures, time in time out) at all. I am bit panicked as the letter says that they will issue court proceedings if I fail to pay within 14 days. I want to appeal or speak to someone at Parking Eye but there is no contact info. The appealing procedure mentioned in the letter is not very helpful. After reading few blogs online from other people, I see Parking Eye is very rude and not correct. Can you please suggest me on this, should I pay or just ignore the letter. Is it ok to ignore, I just don’t want to get into the court and all. I have some Visa issues already.

  • Marky

    I had a ticket from these clowns, I checked into a hotel in Bournemouth, with free parking because I was staying there. They sent me a fine for £100. I rang them, told them I was a guest and parking is included. I also told them to ring the hotel and check.
    They told me, I had to do all that for them. So I told them, take me to court:-)
    It’ll cost them;-)