20th July 2017

Motorist FAQ

See below for our most asked question, and their answers.

 

Is the Parking Charge enforceable, is it a penalty?

Parking Awareness Services does not issue or collect Penalty Charges, fines or excess charges, which are only enforced by police, traffic wardens or civil enforcement officers under the Traffic Management Act 2004 or the Road Traffic Acts. However, Parking Awareness Services does have the authority to issue and enforce Parking Charge Notices for contractual breaches on private land. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court in the precedent setting case of ParkingEye v Beavis (2015) UKSC 67. For more information concerning this judgment.

 

How was a contract formed with the driver?

The Parking Charges issued are levied on the basis of a contract with the motorist, which is set out via the signage at the site. The signage sets out the terms and conditions under which a motorist is authorised to park, be that by payment of the appropriate paid parking tariff or by parking within a limited stay period or similar, and that a Parking Charge will be payable if the conditions are not met. We ensure signage is ample, clear, visible and in line with the IPC’s (International Parking Community) Code of Practice, so as to ensure that the motorist is bound by the terms and conditions when they enter and remain at a site. All users of the site are obliged to follow these rules.

 

Does Parking Awareness Services have the authority to issue Parking Charges?

Parking Awareness Services is authorised by our clients to install signage setting out the terms and conditions of parking, issue Parking Charges for a breach of those terms and conditions, and to recover and retain these Parking Charges. Please note that Parking Awareness Services is presented as the contracting party on the signage and the creditor within any correspondence sent to motorists.

 

Is the Parking Charge fair and reasonable?

In terms of the amount of the Parking Charge, the Supreme Court judgment, along with the International Parking Community’s Code of Practice, supports the level of Charge issued by Parking Awareness Services.

 

Why have the DVLA provided Parking Awareness Services with registered keeper details?

As a member of the International Parking Community and the Approved Operator Scheme, Parking Awareness Services is able to obtain the details for the registered keeper of a vehicle from the DVLA where that vehicle has been found to be in breach of the terms and conditions of parking in operation on site.

 

How do I see any evidence?

All evidence can be viewed by Clicking Here, you will require your Parking Charge Notice number and your vehicle registration.

 

I am a blue badge holder, surely my vehicle is exempt from private parking rules?

The Department for Transport’s Blue Badge scheme for the disabled driver allows for blue badge holders to park in certain restricted areas for up to three hours (areas and times may vary depending upon the local authority). This concession applies to the public highway only and is not relevant on private land. In this regard, whilst some landlords provide preferential parking for blue badge holders, this is generally subject to the same terms and conditions found elsewhere in the car park, including any tariff payments that apply to users of the car park and/or any maximum stay period. To avoid confusion, you should always check the terms and conditions displayed on the signage on site.

 

Can you send me a copy of the contract between you and the landowner?

Our contracts between us and the landowner/agents are protected through the Data Protection Act 1998. However, should the case be taken to the county court to recover a debt then it will be produced to the courts.

 

Why have I been contacted by a debt recovery company?
If you failed to pay the Parking Charge Notice in full while it was with our internal recovery team then it is passed onto a debt recovery agency, their goal to collect the outstanding balance. If you have received a letter from a debt recovery company and wish to pay the outstanding charges, you will need to contact the debt recovery company direct as this is now out of our hands and the additional charges they have applied are to cover their costs.

 

I left a note in my vehicle clearly on the dashboard explaining where I was and a contact number that said “if you ring me, I will move the vehicle”. Why did I receive a Parking Charge Notice?
We do not accept notes as a form of valid permit, it is not our responsibility to ring the driver and request they move. The only reason anyone would leave a note is if they’re aware of the car park rules and have read the signs. Our clients give the valid permits to those who are authorised to park – parking is conditional and not a right, even if you are visiting or working on site

 

Does Parking Awareness Services have a fair appeals process?

Parking Awareness Services has gained experience over many years of handling parking related appeals. Each appeal is individually assessed by an appeals assessor, who will review not only the site rules but all supporting evidence.

 

How can the charge be enforceable if there is a reduction for early payment?

The offer to reduce the amount of the Parking Charge for the first 14 days is not indicative of the fact that it should be considered a penalty and Parking Awareness Services properly offers a 40% discount for 14 days, as per the International Parking Community’s (IPC) code of practice. In addition, as a matter of practicality, there are many commercial situations where a discount is offered for the early settlement of a contractual claim. HHJ Hegarty QC in the case of ParkingEye v Somerfield Stores (2011) stated that this was the case.

The discount amount is offered so that the driver may close an issued Parking Charge Notice in full, without incurring any further charges or administration.

 

Appealing a Parking Charge?

To appeal against a Parking Charge, complete the on-line appeals form by clicking here,  or alternatively click here to pay.

 

Does Parking Awareness Services have a fair appeals process?

Parking Awareness Services has gained experience over many years of handling parking related appeals. Each appeal is individually assessed by an appeals assessor, who will review not only the site rules but all supporting evidence.

 

I have submitted an appeal and have not heard back. How long will it take for my appeal to be dealt with?

Parking Awareness Services endeavours to deal with appeals as swiftly as possible. In periods of high volumes, this can take up to 28 days. Once Parking Awareness Services is in receipt of an appeal, the charge will be placed on hold but the charge value may increase to a higher level compared to when the appeal was received.

 

I have received a Parking Charge and would like to make payment, but I have lost the letter/do not know my reference number.

If this is the case, Parking Awareness Services would advise making contact with us directly so that this information can be provided. This can be done by clicking here. Please note: any appeals or complaints sent to this email address will not be responded to.

 

I have received documents from the county court/a debt recovery agency and would like to make payment but am having trouble locating the correct reference number

Should you wish to make payment to Parking Awareness Services, either via our website or through our payment line, you will be required to provide your Parking Charge reference number. This reference can be found on all correspondence that has been issued to you and is also present on documents from debt recovery agencies, as well as within the ‘particulars of claim’ where legal action has been taken. If your Parking Charge Notice is with a debt recovery agency you must direct all payment to them.

 

Is it possible to get a receipt when parking in one of Parking Awareness Services’s car parks?

Should you park in one of Parking Awareness Services’s paid parking car parks, you should receive a ticket from the machine when purchasing time to park. This should outline the amount of parking time that you have paid for. Alternatively, you may be required to make payment via the business that the car park serves; e.g. at the hotel reception etc. If this is the case, we would advise requesting an invoice or receipt from the site at the point of sale. If you have paid by phone, you may be able to obtain a receipt by logging into your PaybyPhone account on a desktop computer.

 

I am attempting to purchase time to park in a car park managed by Parking Awareness Services, however the machine is out of order. Who should I contact?

Should the machine be out of order, Parking Awareness Services would advise contacting someone associated with the site directly, so they can inform us of any issues immediately. Do note that if a pay-and-display machine is out of order it is advised not to remain on site, you may still be liable for a Parking Charge Notice for not meeting sign requirements.

 

What is the IAS?

Parking Charges issued in England and Wales are underpinned by The Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012 and the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). The Act introduced the concept of ‘keeper liability’ for vehicles parked on private land, however, there had to be an independent appeals service to sit alongside the same, which is provided for by funding from the parking industry. That independent service is known as the Independent Appeals Service or IAS. Assessors at the IAS determine appeals from those who have been issued with Parking Charges when parked on private land. To be able to lodge an appeal with the IAS, the motorist must first have sent an appeal (‘representations’) to the operator who issued the Parking Charge and have had their appeal rejected. The IAS is independent of all parties to appeals, including the operator and the International Parking Community, as are the Assessors who make the determinations. Please note that you are only eligible to make an appeal to the IAS for parking events that have taken place in car parks located in England and Wales.

 

My appeal has been rejected and I would like to appeal to the IAS, how do I do this?

When an appeal is rejected by Parking Awareness Services, the motorist is provided with the opportunity to appeal to the IAS. All information regarding how to lodge an appeal with the IAS is contained within the correspondence issued by Parking Awareness Services wherein you were informed that your appeal had been unsuccessful. Please note that you are only eligible to make an appeal to the IAS for parking events that have taken place in car parks located in England and Wales.

 

Will the parking charge increase if I lose my appeal with the IAS?

Should an appeal be lodged with the IAS, then you will have already lost your right to the early payment discount offered by Parking Awareness Services. Should your appeal then be refused by the IAS, and in order to avoid any further action, you should pay the full outstanding parking charge amount within 14 days. Please note that payment should not be sent to the IAS.

 

I wasn’t the driver, therefore I will not be paying the Parking Charge. What will happen?

Pursuant to Paragraph 9(2)(b) of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the operator must inform the registered keeper that the driver of the vehicle is required to pay the Parking Charge in full. In addition, as the operator does not know who was driving the vehicle on the date of the parking event, the Act states that the registered keeper, if they were not the driver at the time, should inform the operator of the name and current postal address of the driver and pass the notice to them. The Act then goes on to state that if the parking charge has not been paid in full after 29 days, and the operator has not been provided with both the name and current address of the driver, then they have the right to recover any unpaid part of the parking charge from the registered keeper. This warning is given under Paragraph 9(2)(f) of Schedule 4 and is subject to the operator complying with the applicable conditions under Schedule 4 of that Act.


I regularly park on a car park managed by Parking Awareness Services, is it possible to obtain contract parking or a season ticket for parking?

Should it be possible to purchase either contract parking or a season pass within a car park managed by Parking Awareness Services then all relevant information, including instructions about the necessary next steps, will be present on the signage within the car park.


I attempted to pay for parking and did not receive a ticket from the machine, is this a problem?

A number of car parks that Parking Awareness Services manage are monitored using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. It is not a requirement to display a ticket within your vehicle unless the signage states otherwise. Our systems link your transaction from the payment machine to your vehicle registration. With this in mind, you should always ensure that you enter your full and correct vehicle registration into the payment machine when purchasing a ticket. If you do not receive a ticket from one of our parking machines, it may be that your transaction was not completed correctly and as a result, your payment may not have been successful. In all cases we would advise that you read the terms and conditions of parking carefully as these can vary from one car park to another.


Why have I received a Parking Charge?

The car parks managed by Parking Awareness Services have clear terms and conditions of parking, as detailed on the signage within the car park. If the terms and conditions are breached (e.g. overstaying a free period or not paying for your parking), then a Parking Charge will be issued. If you feel the Parking Charge has been incorrectly issued, we will consider any appeal.

Please click here to make pay.


Why is car park management required?

Parking Awareness Services manages car parks for landholders to ensure that motorists are adhering to the terms and conditions of parking. Maximum stay periods are commonly used by retailers to ensure that there is a regular turnover of spaces and so spaces are available for genuine customers. Similarly, car park management is required at paid parking sites to ensure that motorists are making full payment for parking in every instance. Parking Awareness Services ensures that the car park terms and conditions are adhered to and that parking spaces are used correctly. Car park abuse is detrimental to landholders and Parking Awareness Services provides a service that ensures the efficient and regulated use of car parks. The Supreme Court also found in ParkingEye v. Beavis (2015) UKSC67 that there was a clear commercial justification for the issue and enforcement of Parking Charges on private land.

 

What will happen if I ignore the Parking Charge?

If all the correspondence issued by Parking Awareness Services is ignored and no payment is received, then the Parking Charge will be reviewed and further action could include a referral to a Credit Reference Agency, the instruction of solicitors to secure immediate payment, a referral to debt recovery, or the issuance of court proceedings, all of which will incur further costs. If you wish to appeal a Parking Charge, we would urge you to contact our Appeals Department in writing upon receipt of the first notification.

 

I’m not happy and wish to file a complaint. How do I do this?

All complaints can be made so by clicking here. The role of the Complaints Team is to deal with instances where a member of our team has mistreated/been rude, or where you believe your appeal was dealt with in an unprofessional manor. A complaint providing further appeal evidence will not be dealt with.