If the car parking company is a member of the BPA it is signed up to the independent body Parking on Private Land Appeals. Parking firms must pay £27 for every appeal made through this service but it costs you nothing, apart from time preparing for the case. Campaigners such as the National Motorists Action Group, AppealNow and Parking Prankster can offer advice to help you winOther organisations which can also help are:
consumer action group
There were several factual errors in the article. At least the Mail on Sunday got the Prankster's name right, which is more than can be said for the parking company, 'Parking Eye'. At least this is slightly better than being called Private Eye by one of your advocates.
The Prankster would like to point out that Mrs Lemon and Mrs Harris did not win at POPLA. ParkingEye always lose at POPLA with the right appeal and so do their utmost to avoid giving out a POPLA code, and although Mrs Lemon asked for one, ParkingEye refused.
Instead they took the two ladies to court. Although The Prankster along with several other people offered a small amount of help behind the scenes, the credit for the court victory must go to the two ladies who did their research and mounted an awesome defence. The transcript of their victory, kindly donated by Mrs Lemon, is available here and makes great reading. While you are at it, also read ParkingEye v Collins-Daniel.
The Prankster offers the following brief corrections.
There are two rival parking trade associations, the BPA Ltd and the IPC Ltd. POPLA is only available to members of the BPA Ltd. If your ticket is from the IPC Ltd you must use their appeals service instead; IAS.
You must first appeal to the parking company and then the appropriate appeals service.
When you appeal to the parking company, mitigating circumstances can be used; several parking companies for instance, have secret clauses in their contracts which state that genuine shoppers will not be charged.
If they turn you down you can then appeal to the appropriate appeal service. At this point you must use points of law and not mitigating circumstances. The parking companies have lobbied hard to prevent the winning points of law from appearing on public documentation, such as the POPLA website, and have largely been successful.
The main winning point is that if the charge is for breach of contract the level of charge can only put the landowner back in the position they were before the transgression occurred. It is impossible to run a parking company on this basis; they could never make a profit. As a result parking companies have resorted to making untrue statements about their costs, but even so they are almost always found out and the appeal upheld.
ParkingEye, for instance, regularly lie to POPLA and the courts that their cost per ticket issued is £53 but have been exposed because their 2011/12 accounts show that it is in fact a maximum of £16.
ParkingEye are on record as having lost over 100 appeals on this point, and never having won. Dr Julian Lewis MP has written to Stephen Hammond MP pointing this out, and ParkingEye are now under investigation by the DVLA for repeated breaches of the BPA Ltd code of conduct.
Companies who are members of the IPC Ltd use a different cost model. Their charges are a contractual charge and must be appealed differently.The IPC Ltd is on record as having stated in the January 2014 meeting of the DVLA Consumer forum that parking companies who charge for breach of contract are using an unsustainable business model, and they do not allow such companies to be members.
To get specialist help on POPLA or IPC appeals, The Prankster recommends moneysavingexpert.
For help on court cases, The Prankster recommends pepipoo.
Other resources are linked at the start of this blog post.
The Prankster can also help of course, but has limited resources. To combat this, The Prankster has written two guides to defending a ParkingEye court case. These allow a great deal of self-help, and one guide has reached the #2 spot on the Kindle for legal self-help books.
One guide concentrates on the legal points needed to win a case. The other guide explains the processes which occur during a ParkingEye court case, the forms to fill in, the paperwork you will receive and need to file and so on.
The Parking Prankster