Who’s Really Liable for Parking Fines?

Fines are, unfortunately, a hazard of driving for a living, be it a speeding or parking fine. Speeding fines are always distributed to the driver of the vehicle, but something you may not know is that this is not the same for parking fines.

There’s a little law that was introduced in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 that introduced keeper liability for parking charges incurred on private land. This law, while relatively simple, can mean that receiving a ticket becomes a complicated procedure.

Who’s Liable for the Parking Fine?

First things first, there is a difference between council-issued and privately-issued parking tickets, with the council tickets being legal and contractual whereas private tickets give you a bit more leeway.

This does something very interesting as the council will pursue the registered keeper of the vehicle, while private tickets tend to chase the driver at the time. Councils who issue company owned vehicles tickets therefore, will go directly to the company for payment rather than seeking the driver at the time.

In short:

  • If the council issues a ticket then it is the registered owner who is liable
  • If the fine comes from a private company then it is the driver who is liable

This does not mean that a company has to pay tickets on behalf of the staff however, they are within their rights to extract the amount from wages or bill the driver for the expense. Largely though, this will depend on the company in question.

Private Parking Charges Unenforceable

As there is no legislation for private parking charges these fines are unenforceable, that’s information that can save your business a lot of money. Typically contesting the charges or even ignoring these fines the private company in question will drop the case. As you’re on private land you have entered into a civil contract and the police will not take you to court for not paying, furthermore less than 5% of cases ever make it to court as often they are dropped prior to this event.

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