Each year millions of motorists across the UK receive parking fines.
Most grudge them, but ultimately pay them.
Others don’t and bin them, oblivious to the possible consequences of not paying them.
Some, believe if it is from a private firm, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.
However, did you know that Parking Fines can damage your Credit Score, see your car clamped, or in the worst case scenario, see you arrested as you travel through an airport to go on holiday?
It is worth knowing your Parking Fines.
What is the truth about Parking Fines?
There are essentially three types of Parking fines you can receive:
- Those issued by the Police or Traffic Wardens;
- Those issued by Local Authorities and Parking Attendants; and
- Finally those issued by Private Firms.
Different Reasons for and Different Types of Parking Fines
There are multiple reasons why you may be issued with a parking fine.
You may have parked on a double yellow line or in a pay and display car park and not displayed a ticket; or you may have over-stayed your welcome; or parked in a disabled parking spot.
Normally, when you park on public land, this is managed by a local authority, but you may also get a parking ticket from the Police or a Traffic Warden where you have parked illegally.
The difference between the parking tickets you receive from the Police and Traffic Wardens and those issued by local authorities and private firms, is those those issued by Police Officers and Traffic Wardens are issued when you commit a road traffic offence, which can include a parking offence. Those issued by a local authority or a private firm are when you commit a civil wrong, rather than a criminal one.
- When fines are issued by Police Officers or Traffic Wardens, it is known as a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- When it is issued by a Local Authority Parking Attendant, it is a Penalty Charge Notice;
- When it is issued by a private firm, it is called a Parking Charge Notice.
Can Parking Fines Affect your Credit Score?
Parking Fines normally don’t affect your Credit Score.
However, if a decree (court order) is obtained against you for a private parking charge and goes unsettled for 30 days, after it is awarded, it will be registered on your Credit Report.
It will then affect your Credit Score and impact on your ability to borrow.
Decrees (Scottish CCJs) remain on your Credit Report for 6 years.
Can your Vehicle be Clamped for a Parking Violation?
Wheel clamping has been banned in Scotland since 1992, but there are still some circumstances when your car can be clamped.
These are when you don’t pay a fine issued by the Courts, or where you park your car in or around an airport (this will normally be done by the Police, or a firm working for them).
If your vehicle is clamped, even wrongly, you should not remove the clamp yourself, but contact the Police. If you remove the clamp yourself you could find yourself charged with vandalism.
Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019
The Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 was passed by the UK Parliament in March 2019. It provides the Secretary of State with new powers to issue guidance to private parking firms and to issue guidance relating to fees and penalties.
As at the time of writing this article, this Code of Practice has not been produced. It will apply across the whole of the UK.