Would you willingly pay £85 if you were 1 minute late, parked one inch over a line, or returned to a car park after 59 minutes instead of one hour? Lord Neuberger thinks you would willingly pay this. However, he is on a salary of over £200,000, so £85 to him is like £8.50 to a person on £20,000 a year. He may therefore have got it horribly wrong.
Would you pay £8.50? Probably, because it would not be worth the hassle of complaining. But £85? Probably not. But this is only The Prankster's opinion. Perhaps you are one of those people who think rules are rules and so would willingly and happily pay £85 if you broke them, even if you were a pensioner and this was almost your entire weekly pension and left you without food or rent.
Of course, knowing how greedy parking companies can be, you would also have to happily and willingly pay if you broke down and so physically could not remove the car. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. You would have to happily and willingly pay if you had an accident and injured yourself and could not remove your car. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. You would have to happily and willingly pay if you stopped parking within the time allowed, but traffic congestion prevented you from leaving the car park for a few minutes. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. You would also have to happily and willingly have to pay if you took a few minutes to park and pay for a ticket, and the operator's opinion of when your parking period began differed from yours. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. You would also have to happily and willingly have to pay if you purchased a ticket, stuck it on your windscreen, but the glue the operator provided was not sufficient for the summer sun and the ticket fell off. Armtrac regularly issue tickets in these circumstances. You would also have to happily and willingly have to pay if you purchased a ticket, but the machine neither gave you the ticket nor you money back. Armtrac issue tickets in these circumstances.
Knowing how incompetent or corrupt some parking companies are you would also have to be prepared to appeal a parking ticket even if you did not break the rules. If you visited a car park twice but a not-fit-for-purpose ANPR system recorded you as visiting once, you would have to appeal. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. If you sold the car before the parking event, but the DVLA did not update their records, you would have to appeal. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. If the parking company were incompetent and did not put cameras on all entrances and exits of the car park, thereby missing the fact you left the car park, you would have to appeal. ParkingEye have taken people to court for this. If the warden doctored photos to make it seem you were parked for longer than you were, you would have to appeal. If you use the non-standard IAS appeal system, you would have to pay £15 to appeal, and when you lose you would also have to pay the parking charge and debt collector fees with no recourse to the courts. UK Parking Control have won appeals even though they doctored photographs.
You should also bear in mind that if you would like to renegotiate the charge to be, say the same level as council charges (£50/£25), that although this is a proven level of deterrence for council car parks, this level of charge may may not be enough to deter people in the car park you are currently in. Large numbers of people may be perfectly happy to pay £50 to park all day, which would leave you no place to park. This is an important point to bear in mind.
So, whenever you visit a car park where the parking charge is £85 or more, if you are willing to pay this in the above circumstances, tweet @parkingcontract #accept.
If you would have preferred to renegotiate, given the chance, tweet @parkingcontract #decline
This twitter campaign is being run by Barry Beavis. For more information see this link.
The Parking Prankster
The Parking Prankster