A Court of Appeal ruling has confirmed what many motorists have feared in recent years, namely that parking charges imposed by private companies can be enforced against drivers and that they are not, as previously thought, unfair, unlawful, or disproportionate. The upshot of this is that motorists should no longer simply ignore parking charges claimed by private companies as doing so could lead to civil procedure action being taken against them.
While it is true to say that sums claimed by private companies against those who breach the conditions of use at a car park remain demands for payment rather than automatically enforceable fines, the Court of Appeal found in the above mentioned case that the charges imposed in the circumstances were not extravagant or unconscionable. The court accepted the argument of the claimant that the charges were necessary in the circumstances and justifiable on the grounds that they discouraged people from overstaying at car parks which were intended to be used and enjoyed by all.
The previously preferred option of many motorists faced with charges levied against them by private parking companies was to simply ignore the letters in the hope that no formal action would be taken against them. The guidance provided by the Court of Appeal in the case of Beavis however seems to suggest that the charges imposed by the parking companies are neither unfair nor disproportionate, and as such it is anticipated that many more cases will now be brought before the courts with the reported case of Beavis being cited as evidence in favour of the parking companies.
While each case will of course turn on its own facts, detailed consideration should now be given to such cases and it is likely that a blanket dismissal of charges will not result in a favourable restitution of the action for a defendant.
If you have received threatening correspondence from a private parking company or if you have or feel you may be made the subject of litigious proceedings, contact Beor Wilson Lloyd today for jargon-free, no hassle advice on how best to protect your position. Call us on 01792 655178 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.