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Parking Ticket Information

 

Parking Ticket on Private Land

You may have received a ticket for exceeding your stay in a supermarket car park or similar location.

You should not regard these private parking tickets as "fines". They're not. These companies have no auithority to fine you, though they may try to make you think they do. Quite simply they're sending you a notice for what they deem as a breach of contract. What's the law on this?

When you park in a privately owned car park - eg, a supermarket or hospital car park - you're effectively entering into an unspoken contract between you and the landowner.

On the landowner's part, they're effectively allowing you to park on their land.

But on your part, by parking there you're agreeing to meet the conditions they've stated (paying £1 for an hour, or staying for under two hours).

If you park in a reserved place, overstay the time you paid for, don't pay, or leave your car outside the allocated parking area, the landowner can argue you've broken this contract, and issue you a parking ticket.

Under contract law throughout the UK, private firms are allowed to do this. To press pursue their case they need to take you to court. It's not a criminal prosecution, just a contract dispute.

Even where companies are legitimate, they often employ third-party management firms to run car parks, with apparently little scrutiny of their methods. Plus, as private tickets are largely unregulated, in theory, companies can legally charge what they wan