- Parking penalty charge – NCP car park
Received a ‘notice to owner’ from NCP the other day over a penalty ticket issued a few weeks ago at a private NCP car park, addressed to Mrs Tyred (as she’s the registered car keeper). No ticket was bought – it was late at night and the carpark was virtually empty.
She was not driving the car.
Now, my understanding is that private parking firms have no legal right to enforce penalties in the way traffic wardens/local authorities do. All they can really do is send scary-looking letters in the hope people pay up. Even if there was some avenue open to them, surely the contract being broken is between them and the driver of the car, not the owner?
The notice comes with all sorts of threats about debt collection, county court judgements and so on. My thinking is, this is purely a civil matter of contract law, and while they could potentially take *someone* to court over this (to recover the damages incurred, ie the 2 quid normal parking charge or whatever) surely this *someone* would have to be the driver of the car?
My thinking is to simply ignore this, save for perhaps sending a letter to dispute the debt should anything arrive from a debt collection agency.
Has anyone else done this? What happened?Posted 9 years agoJasonMember
Have a look here for lots of info:
I got one of these notices at the end of last year, although from a different company. It was sent to me as the “Registered Keeper” of the car. I wasn’t driving the car on the day in question, so had no intention of paying. I sent a couple of fairly standard letters back to them, they sent me a couple of standard letters back in return (I don’t think they even read what I had written), in the end they just stopped writing back.Posted 9 years ago
Gus – they’re after 100 quid!
Not interested in the rights and wrongs of using a carpark without a ticket, just the legal position. I don’t think scary looking documents made to look like statutory penalty notices are enforceable at all, especially if they’re not sent to the person committing the ‘offence’.Posted 9 years agotheotherjonvSubscriber
write and inform them who was driving, suggesting it is they who are liable, not the keeper. And of course inform the person who was driving that you’ve done so (who was it btw?)
Should at least be enough to stop the clock and get them to reconsider, and if they continue to pursue I’d suggest that would be enough to save you, if not the actual evader.
Usual rules – recorded / signed for so you know they have it and so on.Posted 9 years agosootyandjimMember
The driver of the vehicle at the time of the ‘offence’ is liable, but as it is a speculative invoice rather than an official PCN they cannot force you to disclose the name of the driver which they’d need in order to persue the case via the courts.Posted 9 years ago
Ignore the letter, its written in a vaguely legal sounding manner in order to frighten people into paying.
Of course if you had paid for the carpark…..scuttlerMember
As it’s a private car park you’re liable for losses only. The 100 quid fee is a penalty fee and they have no right to it.
When this happened to me after I overstayed in an empty private car park I sent them a cheque GBP2.50 to cover the loss to them of me not putting enough money in.
They cashed it I got a stackful of letters threatening all the usual $h1t (mortgage, bailiffs, blacklist etc) that I kept but never responded to. After about 6 months it stopped.
Many people don’t even pay but I felt that it would help me to cover their losses if it did go to court.
Note however that they are only allowed to pursue the registered keeper who is under no obligation to say who was driving. You need to be sure the driver isn’t identifiable on any CCTV though and if so get the Mrs to tell them she wasn’t driving and she doesn’t know who was.
None of this is legal advice – just my own research and experience. Eventually these clowns might be get regulated properly.Posted 9 years ago
Eventually these clowns might be get regulated properly.
I reckon the ‘clowns’ might eventually just wheel clamp cars which haven’t paid to park on their premises.
I have to say that I’m surprised that ‘who drove the car’ would be an issue here, as the charge isn’t for a driving offence, it’s presumably because your property was dumped on their premises to which they only agree if the owner pays a fee.
I agree that the £100 charge is excessive btw.Posted 9 years agosootyandjimMember
Gg – The use of NCP carparks entails agreeing to a private contract (all that small print next to the ticket machine) and a contract can only be legal between the company and whoever uses the facility. This means that legally they only have the right to persue the user of the facility, not the vehicle keeper and since it is a private contract between two individuals the registered keeper has no obligation to provide any information to them.Posted 9 years ago
You quite often see “we will contact DVLA” or similar on these sorts of letters and parking tickets but they have no more right to access to this information than you or I and such information would be useless anyway because, as already stated, the contract of use is between the company and carpark user, not NCP and the registered keeper.ourmaninthenorthSubscriber
All the above is correct: conrtract between user (i.e. driver) and car park. Under contract you can only recover your loss, not a random amount chosen to scare people – that’s a penalty and unenforceable.
I suggest that Mrs Tyred writes back to thank them for their letter and point out that she was not driving the vehicle that night and as such there is not contract between her and them.Posted 9 years ago
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