Where a private landowner chooses to offer or restrict parking on his/her land, he or she may make arrangements for an agent to manage and operate the land and charge drivers for breaking parking conditions.
A driver who is invited to park on private land and pays a fee does so under a contract. Any terms and conditions of parking are therefore subject to the laws of contract.
The contract sets out the terms that apply, including the fees payable. it will also set out the charges that apply if the terms of the contract are broken.
A driver who parks in a car park with signage setting out the terms and conditions of parking, is deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions and enters into a contract to park.
Where signage sets out the charges for breaking the terms and conditions of parking, the driver is liable to pay the said charges if he/she breaks the terms and conditions of parking.
The Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 provides car park operators powers to pursue the registered keeper of vehicles for unpaid parking charges if the registered keeper refuses or is unable to name the driver.
Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Parking operators who are members of a Government Accredited Trade Association (ATA) may apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for details of the vehicle keeper.
Where DVLA provides details of the registered keeper, the registered keeper has 28 days after receiving notice, in which to provide the driver’s details, pay the parking charge, or appeal against the ticket.
If the registered keeper fails to do any of these things the parking operator may begin proceedings to recover the parking charge from the registered keeper.
A driver hiring a vehicle from a hire company is responsible for any parking charges during the hire period if they have signed an agreement with the hire company accepting liability.
In those circumstances the hire company is not liable for unpaid parking charges during a period of hire if they provide a copy of the hire agreement within 28 days of receiving notice from the parking operator.