Euro Car Parks is a company that manages car parks across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
They have a reputation for enforcing strict rules and issuing tickets to drivers who fail to follow them.
If you have received a fine from Euro Car Parks, it’s important to understand how their penalties work and your options for contesting or paying the fine.
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Parking Charge Notice vs Penalty Charge Notice
Did you get a PCN or a PCN? They are both the same abbreviated, which is why there can be confusion.
If you get a yellow envelope on your car, they look pretty much identical, but they are different.
Penalty Charge Notice
A Penalty Charge is issued by the local authority (council or police). You can get these official council parking fees for parking, breaking some traffic rules such as driving in bus lanes or failing to pay the London congestion zone. These are enforceable under UK law.
Parking Charge Notice
On the other hand, a Parking Charge is issued by a landowner or a parking company such as Euro Car Parks operating on private lands. They can also be known as Private Parking Notices (PPN), but many have been renamed as “Parking Charge Notices” as it’s so similar to the enforceable charges and catch people out.
Unlike a Penalty Charge Notice, the company simply notifies you that they believe you have breached your contract with them and need to pay. This is an invoice issued by the company and falls under contract law.
Do I have to pay Euro Car Park fines?
Euro Car Parks is a private company, and their notices differ from parking tickets issued by the government or police.
However, they have the right to enforce their rules on drivers who violate them.
Did you break the rules, stay too late, or block an exit? If so, it’s only fair that you pay.
However, if you receive an invoice from Euro Car Parks (which they’ll refer to as a “fine”), and the signage was unclear, you did pay, there was a fault, you were in the “grace period”, or there was another error, the invoice is unfair, and you should appeal.
Can I ignore a Euro Car Parks fine?
You can choose not to pay a Euro Car Parks fine, but it’s not advisable to completely ignore it.
If you believe the charge is unfair, then write to them or appeal with your reasoning. This could potentially prevent further charges, threats and court action.
What happens if I don’t pay a private parking ticket?
At first, they may send a few letters to request payment of the fine.
If you simply ignore them, they may well add late charges and other fees in an attempt to get you to pay.
Carry on blanking them, and they may then send threats of legal action.
This could further escalate to a referral to a debt collection agency.
A debt collection agency won’t visit you, but they will add additional charges.
If you still don’t respond, the matter may be referred to court to issue you with a court order. Don’t pay that, and a CCJ may be issued.
If you get to this point and don’t pay the CCJ, a bailiff could contact you to enforce the collection of the CCJ, which will also appear on your credit file.
It is rare it could go this far, and there are a lot of “mays” and “coulds”, but there is no point dragging things out.
Instead, if the parking ticket was issued unfairly, write to them and tell them the invoice is unfair or follow their set appeals process.
Can I appeal a Parking Charge Notice?
You can appeal the decision if you think it’s been given unfairly or if they are simply wrong to issue an invoice (fine).
A Parking Charge company will have their own relevant appeal process, usually printed on the ticket.
Euro Car Parks is a member of the British Parking Association, which means they must follow a Code of Practice, which includes a “grace period”.
Contesting a fine does not guarantee that it will be waived
Euro Car Parks has the right to reject your appeal and require you to pay the invoice. If this happens, you can pay or appeal the decision to the Independent Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service. If you reject it due to unreasonable circumstances, the company may cancel the ticket and their invoice (especially if the car park is a place with a reputation to protect, such as a hospital or DIY trade shopping outlet).
If you choose to do nothing, your fine will remain unpaid, and Euro Car Parks may take further action. This could include adding additional charges and fees, sending the penalty to a collections agency, or even taking you to court.
Parking grace period
Euro Car Parks is a British Parking Association (BPA) member. This means they must follow a Code of Practice, which includes giving you a “grace period”.
Euro Car Parks give you a 10-minute grace period. This allows you to get to your car and leave the car park before being given a parking fine.
Can I say someone else was driving?
You used to be able to get out of a parking charge by saying that someone else was driving and that you refused to pass on details of who was in the car.
However, The Protection of Freedoms Act changed on 1 October 2012, in Schedule 4, to allow landholders (of private car parks) to pursue the registered keeper.
So, you can say someone else was driving and give their details (they have to pay for it).
However, if you don’t hand over the details of another driver, then you are still considered liable.
How Euro Car parking tickets are issued
If you park in a car park and fail to follow the posted rules, you may receive a fine in the form of a Parking Charge Notice (PCN). This notice will be left on your vehicle or come as a nasty surprise through your letterbox. It will include details about the alleged violation, the amount to pay, and information about how to pay or contest the fee.
A few different types of offences can result in a Euro Car Parks fine.
The most common is failing to pay for parking. You may get a fine if you park in a Euro Car Parks car park and do not pay the required fee.
Other common violations include parking in a disabled space without a valid permit, parking in a reserved space, and overstaying the maximum allowed time.
Always check the signs in the car park to avoid a car parking ticket.
If you receive a Euro Car Parks fine, you have a few options for how to respond. You can pay the fine, contest the fine, or do nothing.
Parking ticket deadlines
If you choose to pay the fine, you can do so online or by mail. You will be given a reasonable time frame to do this. However, Euro Car Parks has a strict deadline for paying parking penalties, and failure to pay on time can result in additional charges and fees.
If you contest the fine, you must provide evidence that the penalty was issued in error. This could include proof that you had paid for parking, had a valid disabled parking permit, or other documentation that shows you did not violate the car park’s rules. You can contest the fine by filling out the contest form provided with the PCN and sending it along with any supporting documents.
Do Euro Car Parks take you to court?
If you have been slapped with a parking fine, knowing your options is important.
Euro Car Parks could refer non-payment to a debt collection agency and may go through the courts to enforce payment. If they’re successful, you’ll have to pay the original fine plus court costs.
This would mean paying the original fine plus their court costs of anywhere from £25 to £410.
If you refuse to pay the court order, a CCJ could be filed against you, affecting your credit score.
Can Euro Car Parks send bailiffs?
If you have received a notice from Euro Car Parks or a company acting on their behalf claiming that you owe them money for parking, carefully review the notice and any supporting documentation.
If you do not pay a County Court Judgement for a debt, Euro Car Parks could apply for a “warrant of control“, meaning a county court bailiff could try to take control of your possessions.
It does not need to get this far, and this is a very long route down from first getting an invoice for a parking fine. It should be very rare for this to happen.
Do not ignore the ticket
Euro Car Parks can take legal action to recover money owed to them. This involves sending a letter of claim, a “letter before action,” to the registered owner, which sets out the claim and gives you a chance to respond.
If the matter is unresolved, some private companies may decide to bring a legal claim against you in the county court for the original amount.
If you have received a parking fine/invoice from a private company, this does not mean that you have to pay the amount claimed. You have the right to challenge the fines and any late charges and to present all the evidence to the court if necessary (such as CCTV footage on site).
You may want to visit Citizens Advice or get legal advice about your original fine.
How to avoid car parking tickets
- Punch in your registration number correctly on the Pay and Display machines.
- Keep a photo or a record of your car registration number on you/your phone, so you don’t forget it.
- Keep exemption signs visible – such as a disabled badge.
- Get back to your car on time.
- Keep change in your car or use a car parking app such as Ringo.