Originally Posted by alan1302;n196211
The report is about private parking firms though, nothing to do with government/local authorities.
The below refers to England and Wales, no idea about Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Unlike local authorities and police, private parking firms cannot legally issue fines. They are invoices that may or may not be enforceable.
If you park in a private car park that is free (e.g. supermarket), any "fine" is unenforceable, as (unlike the police or local authority) they can only resort to contract law, and can thus only claim damages for lost revenue. As the cost of parking is £0, they have not lost any money by you overstaying. So there are no damages to claim. I have done this a few times and have simply ignored the fake invoices and barely legal notices designed to look like police letters with chequered borders etc. You will also find many of the lawyers' letters are fake - Google the lawyer and you will find they don't exist, and the only results are from consumer rights websites.
The private parking firms give up after a while. They make their profit based on the majority of their victims being scared by the letters into paying (when legally they don't have to).
A private parking company operating a free parking area has as much power to fine you as you do to fine someone who parks on your driveway - i.e. none.
If you park in a private car park that has a charge, this is different and you'll have to be more careful.