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Is there a time limit on private parking tickets?

  • Apr 23, 2020

In short, yes, there is a time limit on private parking tickets.

Firstly, let’s address the difference between a council issued parking ticket, where the parking regulations are enforced under statute or formal regulations, and a private parking ticket, where the parking is enforced under civil law.

A ticket issued by the council will typically be called a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), whereas a parking ticket issued by a privately run car park, will be called something different, for example, a “Parking Charge Notice”.

What is the time limit on private parking times?

A privately run car parking firm should fix a parking charge to your car before you leave the car park and then post a follow-up to your address. If a private car park is managed by a car park management company then you may just receive the charge notice in a letter format directly to the vehicle’s registered address.

If the car park owner has to contact the DVLA to gather your address details, they must send you a follow up within 14 days. 

If you receive a parking ticket way beyond the date in which you used the facilities, for example, four months later, you should have a sufficient opportunity to appeal and argue that this is unfair. As most companies fully automate the process, you may need to consider – why you didn’t get the notification in the first instance. Many people who change address remember to change their driving licence details with the DVLA, but don’t realise that they also have to update the address associated with the vehicle registration itself. You must contact the DVLA again and update your log book using a V5 form, otherwise your vehicle could remain linked to an old address, meaning that speeding fines, MOT reminders and parking tickets are sent to the wrong place – it may also leave you with some explaining to do if you have an accident or you are stopped by the police – it’s a technicality but you may not be insured.

This may be the reason you do not believe you received a parking ticket or speeding fine, but then ended in a court case and with a CCJ without your knowledge as all correspondence would be going to the vehicles address. Technically it is because you may not have updated your V5 and is no one else’s fault. You can always try to appeal and apologise but a lot of businesses and courts will have spent money and incurred costs at this stage due to the oversight.

What to be aware of when entering a private car park?

Although, generally speaking, there is a time limit on private parking tickets, you should be aware that upon entering a private car park you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set out by the car park owner. 

A private car park will have signs around the car park which state the parking conditions, including the agreed time limit. Be aware of this before entering and parking.

If the private car park is managed by a car park management company then the signage will explain the terms in detail and will comply with all BPA guidelines. Many more reputable parking companies these days use ANPR cameras which also capture your vehicle entering and exiting the car park with time stamps applied. You should always appeal if you feel you have been mistreated for any reason and had a valid reason to be there, but also consider the cost of delay in a failed appeal when backed up by photographic evidence in all cases.

If you require advice, please speak to one of our experienced advisors today, call us at 0333 242 5529 or contact us online.