Not our usual type of news item but fighting parking tickets is in the news and this is the template one of our virtual PAs uses to successfully challenge the client's endless parking tickets on private land such as motorway service stations:
A simple tried and tested template to use to reject any private company's 'invoice':
Without prejudice, save to costs
Notice to Keeper
Your ‘Parking charge reference number’: XXXXXXXXXXXX
This letter is a formal challenge to the issue of your Parking Charge Notice - Notice to Keeper as set out in the current BPA Ltd AOS Code of Practice B.22
The registered keeper denies all liability for paying this parking charge as the sum does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss for either PARKING COMPANY NAME or their client.
The registered keeper refutes that a valid contract was made between the driver and PARKING COMPANY NAME due to inadequate signage and further contends that PARKING COMPANY NAME do not have the requisite permission of the landowner to pursue these charges.
The registered keeper further contends that this sum is a punitive charge for the alleged breach of ALLEGED BREACH and does not reflect any loss of income for the landowner or PARKING COMPANY NAME by this action. In other words there was no loss of commercially available space and consequently no loss to PARKING COMPANY NAME or its client.
In view of the above, please forward your written confirmation of cancellation of this charge. Should you refuse then please supply a POPLA code for further challenge and I should also remind you of your legal obligations to minimise your losses to both PARKING COMPANY NAME and the BPA as members.
I dispute the whole basis of the parking charge and reserve the right to add further arguments to the defence.
In response to your Notice to Keeper I require the answers to each question in the following. In this respect I remind you of the obligations set out in the current Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct.
Please explain on which of the following grounds your claim is based: damages for trespass, damages for breach of contract or a contractual sum. If it is your case that that a trespass was committed or that a contract was breached such that your claim is one for damages; please give me a full breakdown of the actual losses which evidences that this parking charge is a true reflection of the damages caused solely by the alleged parking contravention. The parking charge of £AMOUNT is punitive and is therefore void. £AMOUNT is arbitrary and disproportionate to any alleged breach of contract or trespass. This would also apply to any costs incurred through debt recovery unless it followed a court order. Please reply specifically to this point. The £AMOUNT parking charge you are imposing is an unfair term (and therefore not binding) under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. In particular, Schedule 2 of this Regulations gives an indicative (and non-exhaustive) list of terms which may be regarded as unfair and includes at Schedule 2(1)(e):
‘Terms which have the object or effect or requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation.’
Please reply specifically to this point.
Furthermore, Regulation 5(1) says:
‘A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.’ Please reply specifically to this point.
The £AMOUNT parking charge you are attempting to unilaterally impose is an unreasonable indemnity clause under section 4(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, which says:
‘A person cannot by reference to any contract term be made to indemnify another person (whether a party to the contract or not) in respect of liability that may be incurred by the other for negligence or breach of contract, except in so far as the contract term satisfies the requirement of reasonableness.’
Please reply specifically to this point.
Your Notice to Keeper simply mentions PARKING COMPANY NAME. Please tell me who the actual creditor is that is making this parking charge demand. Who is making the claim and in what capacity? Please reply specifically to this point. Please tell me who owns the car park as I wish to send them a copy of this letter.
Please provide me with a copy of the contract between PARKING COMPANY NAME and the landowner/landholder that provides the necessary contractual written authority for the issue and enforcement of your Notice to Keeper.
If it is your case that a contract has been breached or that a contractual sum is now due, please send me photographs of the signs that you display and upon which you seek to evidence that a lawful and legally enforceable contract was been entered into. Please ensure that the photographs show the terms and conditions in a clear and legible manner. Please provide me with a diagram showing the locations and layout of those signs at the car park. Also provide evidence that the wording is in plain and intelligible language and in sufficiently large print as to be legible to a driver at the car park’s entry point. Please reply specifically to this point.
You have stated on the Notice to Keeper that ‘additional images relating to this Parking Charge may be viewed online at www.xxxxxxxxxx.co.uk. This is false. Please explain how the recipient of this Notice to Keeper is able to revert without the images which you have implied are germane to your claim. Please explain why you have placed misleading and false information on your Notice to Keeper. Please reply specifically to this point.
I look forward to receiving your acknowledgement within 14 days and as there are no ‘exceptional circumstances’ your comprehensive reply within 35 days (in accordance with the BPA AOS Code of Practice B.22.8).
If you reject this challenge or fail to address the issues that have been raised then, in accordance with the BPA AOS Code of Practice 22.12, please ensure that you enclose all the required information (including the necessary ‘POPLA code’) so that I may immediately refer the matter.
If you fail to follow any of the procedures outlined in the BPA AOS Code of Practice or your legal requirements under the Protection of Freedoms Act, or the requirements of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct then I will make a formal complaint to the DVLA Data Sharing Policy Group, D16.
Please Note: unless you have specifically requested it and received my express permission, you do not have my authority to disclose or refer this letter or any other communication from me to any other person or organisation.
To avoid any doubt due to miscommunication, please do not do any of the following:
a. Send any correspondence or documents to me or try to communicate with me in any way except to address in writing and send by post the specific points I have raised in this email
b. Send me any document purporting to be from the County Court unless it is a valid claim form duly issued
c. Send any ‘reminders’ repeating your charge
d. Write to me threatening to send bailiffs to my address without first issuing a County Court claim and obtaining the Court’s judgment
e. Send me any standard form letters from your company or debt collectors. There is no debt.