Dealing with a Parking Charge Notice

So Ive had the pleasure of receiving a PCN.

Anyone fought these?

Tldr: used the designated pickup area to collect family from leisure centre, owner of the land wants £100 for being on their land too long.


It was on a leisure centre whilst picking up my family after swimming.

I had used the designated drop-off/pick-up outside the entrance which has no terms and conditions signed on max waiting time. It does state however very clearly no parking at any time to prevent people using it as a parking space.

The PCN states i didn’t pay for parking in the carpark and has the entry and exit times showing. The camera picks up reg entering the site not before the actual carpark which is why it counts the designated bay as being on their land.

The terms in the carpark state 10 mins you can’t find a space you are required to exit. Theres no penalty for re-entry.

My defense is it would not be reasonable to drive past the designated area, past the entrance, along the one way to reach the carpark to then read those terms. It would also mean exiting the site, driving around outside the site and back in the entrance road.

My other defence is that if the sign was visible from the designated area then i could have left at before the time and simply driven back round to the designated area again to restart the clock. There is no financial loss.

Ive spoken with the leisure centre manager who confirms he has CCTV but cant share under GDPR unless the police or courts require it.

Essentially there should be footage that i wasn’t in the carpark not paying the 40p for parking, or blocking another car from parking in a bay.

I’ve appealed to the parking company who have promptly sent a denied letter. No mention of anything in my appeal and looks very templated.

They want £100 for being on their land over the stated 10 mins by 5mins 59 seconds and failure to pay for parking.

My leasing company also wants £15 for automatically forwarding the PCN notice on to me. This will be credited if i can get a cancellation.

Im now with POPLA who I hope can see sense but im worried that the Ombudsman might side with them.

I guess I could then go to court over it? but i really hope it doesn’t come to that.


Years ago these used to be a lot easier to fight, and normally with any semi-decent excuse, they half it. £100 seems a lot if you haven’t let it expire.

How long were you in the car park for? What are you entry/exit times? Missed that it was only 15 mins

But from reading the battles people have with these sorts of people, it’s going to be easier and cheaper to just pay it and chalk it up to one of lifes cruel lessons.


About 20 seconds i was in the carpark as you need to drive through it to exit. Its all a big one way towards the carpark located at the back of the site.

The designated drop-off/pick-up is near the entrance of the leisure centre where the ANPR starts the timer.

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best plan is to take it it up with the landowner, who can get it cancelled via the parking company. failing that… I agree, just pay up & move on. I still bear a grudge about one years ago, have a plan to hack down the camera pole in retribution under cover of night - will never happen of course… :shushing_face:


I should state that it takes roughly 2 minutes from designated drop off area to exit.

There’s no penalty for re-entry so if it was clear 10mins was the time, you could essentially leave the bay at 8mins drive out and round to re-enter the site and reset the timer.

The terms are displayed in the carpark so its whether its a reasonable expectation for someone to drive past the designated area, down the one way to the car park to read the terms and then loop back round to the bay.

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Yeah i just dont think i can let them get away with me losing out £115 for being 6 mins over in area where they have not financially lost out on and theres no signage with any terms displayed.

If POPLA fails its whether the next step is court or pay it. :thinking:

Hopefully a judge would see that parking is 40p and reject that £100 is reasonable loss to charge, but i think the terms would be followed instead of common sense. Im assuming the court could however request the CCTV showing me in the designated area, but im taking the leisure centre managers word on whats recorded.

I guess it comes down to is the signage adequate, and would it be expected to find the carpark terms and associate “the not finding a space and leaving within 10minutes” with the designated area on the other side of the site.


I recommend posting all of the details at They have experts there who will guide you.


That won’t happen. It will be a county court and the judge will decide whether or not the contract between you and the company is valid, and whether you have broken it. If they decide against you then it will be £100 plus court costs. £100 is the going rate.


I would agree they would follow what was displayed.

The case is now with POPLA but they do give me a chance to comment on the parking company’s response to my appeal.

I might give that forum a go to see what they suggest.

The key thing is whether the signage is adequate which atm is me guessing. From a legal pov it might be valid that its located on the site, even if thats 3m up a pole in small font on the opposite side of the site where the designated drop-off bay is located.


They are very helpful. If you can upload pictures of the signs and the location of the car park, someone there should be able to let you know if you have a case.


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Those are the terms :sweat_smile:

Isn’t everyone 3 meters tall, its almost like they don’t want you to read them.

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Google says the signs have to be 450mm x 450mm and at a guess, I would say that is.

I really hate these types of things, they’re set out to catch you out and make money. BUT… I will say you were over the 10 minutes allowed, so you probably have to play by their rules and pay.

But the forum that Anarchist linked will give you the best advice.

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Yeah i will do.

Its not breaking any rules on size or awkwardness.

You could argue you would need a ladder or binoculars if you didnt have a camera or phone on you to read them.

I think the key thing i need to know is how far away from the designated area is deemed acceptable by the Ombudsman.

I assume there should be x many per y square meters of area on the site.

Currently dealing with one of these, £60 for similar time with Northwest Parking Management, they didn’t even bother responding to my appeal, as it’s gone to DCBL debt collectors they slapped £100 charges on top.

I’m just gonna wait for my court letter and respond there as the companies are ridiculous to deal with.

You can also try speak with the land owner and explain and they may wave it, I’m waiting for their details. Been ongoing since November :upside_down_face:


That they are. I’ve had two recently for a car I’ve not even owned for a year :rofl: which even though I’ve proved none ownership are taking aggges to sort.

I can’t really add any additional advice other than to agree that trying to deal directly with the landowner is the only way here.

The companies ‘on their behalf’ don’t care about anything other than getting paid and getting money for their client, so they’re never going to back down.


I started replying to one who I was going round in circles with saying I’ll charge them £60 on receipt of every email they harass me with.

She got VERY short and shirty about it, even using capital letters for sentences :joy:


This is clearly not advice - but I’ve had two private “PCNs” for parking on private land

The first I just completely ignored and was entertained by their attempts to get the money out of me, including a fake CCJ!

The second one I wrote a letter, politely, and rather hilariously, pointing out that although I had indeed exceeded their parking limits I was on site for a legitimate reason - drinking in the Starbucks.

They cancelled the charge and refunded Kaye :joy:


Just fire them an email and take it from there.

Keep it short and to the point with all the key detail in there. Even with “official” ones you might catch someone on a good day who just write it off.

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Yeah the parking company has already denied the appeal. The ombudsman POPLA who its now with might side with myself as the operator are meant to respond to the appeal not just send a templated rejection notice.

I was probably too quick in submitting to POPLA as its a one shot, no additional evidence after sending.

But im hoping i can squeeze anything else in on my chance to comment once the operator responds to it. This time if they send the same rejection reasons of not paying for a car parking space then it should work in my favour.

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I’m currently just citing GDPR with the leisure centre to hopefully request just the CCTV footage of entering the designated pickup bay and leaving without any identifiable people involved. I do have confirmation that my car is recorded throughout the site which is excellent.

That should dismiss the response that I failed to pay for the carpark or took a space from another paying customer if thats what the operator replies with to POPLA.

Im going after the land owner now to add pressure.