When choosing where to park your car, check to see if there is signage that identifies who owns or operates the car park you are using. You risk being clamped or towed if you use a parking spot you are not legally allowed to use.
Using a parking facility
When you park your car on private land operated by a parking company, or in a council owned car park, you enter into a contract with that company.
The terms of this contract should be displayed clearly and accurately on their signage. If you breach those terms, for example by not displaying a ticket or overstaying the time you have paid for, the company is able to issue an infringement notice. The company must be able to provide evidence of the breach.
If you don’t believe you have breached the contract, for example you weren’t driving the vehicle, never parked there at all or returned to your car before your time expired, then you must dispute the infringement notice with the company.
If the matter cannot be resolved then either party can take the case to the Disputes Tribunal. It is important to note that the company cannot send the infringement notice to a debt collector for collection while it is in dispute.
If the company does not provide complete, clear and accurate information on their signage, they risk misleading consumers and in doing so may potentially breach the law. The company must not give the false impression they are a statutory body or authority as to do so would potentially be in breach of the Fair Trading Act too.
If you are concerned a parking operator may have breached the Fair Trading Act you can make a complaint online or call us on 0800 943 600.