How To Appeal A Parking Ticket On Private Land

This is the process on how to appeal a parking ticket on private land. Specifically for a Private Parking Company (PPC) that has issued a Parking Charge Notice in England or Wales. The PPC that issues the Parking Charge Notice could be managing a standalone car park, or one that is associated with a retail establishment or hospital.

If you received a Parking Charge Notice at a retail establishment in Scotland or Northern Ireland, still follow the same process outlined below, however, do not try Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) or Independent Appeals Service (IAS). This is because the parking infraction took place outside of England and Wales and will require you to state who the driver was.

A Parking Charge Notice from a PPC must not be confused with a Penalty Charge Notice issued from a council, the police or Transport for London.

We did an article on some good excuses to use when appealing Parking Charge Notices and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

The Keepers Appeal

Complain To The Retailer

If you received a Parking Charge Notice on land that is owned and/or operated by a retail establishment, it is a good idea to complain to the retailer first. This can be a hotel, retail shop, hospital, etc. Sometimes it can be quick and easy to get the Parking Charge Notice cancelled by the landowner, as their contract with the PPC can sometimes include a clause where they can cancel them.

If the charge was at a hospital, immediately complain to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. You can find their local contact information here.

Also check that all information is correct on the Parking Charge Notice. Any information that is incorrect such as date, time, vehicle registration, location, etc, can be used during an appeals process. Also it is worth noting that the Government introduced a grace period in 2015 that required PPCs that are members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) to comply with.

The Keepers Appeal

Only a PPC that is a member of an ATA can request your name and address from the DVLA. If the PPC is not a member of one, they will have no way of contacting you. Before you decide to appeal, it is very important that you check whether the PPC is a member of the ATA. You can do this by checking these website:

If a PPC has contacted you at your address, but they are not an ATA member, they could have obtained your details illegally. If this is the case, you should complain to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

If the windscreen ticket from a British Parking Association member, then appeal by email or online at day 25 or 26 after the windscreen Parking Charge Notice. Make sure you do it as the keeper and not the driver. There is an example generic appeals template below.

The reasoning behind this is that the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) has a set of procedural steps that the PPC must follow in order for Keeper Liability to apply. One of them is that a Notice To Keeper must be severed no earlier than 28 days, and no longer than 56 days, since the Parking Charge Notice was issued. So by appealing close to the 28 day mark where the PPC would be sending out a Notice To Keeper, it ties them up in an appeals process instead. Many BPA PPC members omit any Notice To Keeper when replying to an appeal, and because they usually forget by day 56, it gives a winning point at the POPLA stage.

IPC members are different!

If the PPC is an IPC member, the general advice now is to wait for a Notice To Keeper to arrive and then challenge as the Keeper, and not as the driver. Again, see the example generic appeals template below.

The reason to wait for the Notice To Keeper to arrive is because generally it has been shown that there is no appeal worth trying. You will more than likely get a rejection anyway. So because of this you may as well wait and see if they issue a Notice To Keeper and let them apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The only time it would be ideal to appeal at the windscreen Parking Charge Notice stage is if your vehicle is a company or lease car.

Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Template

This is an example of a parking ticket appeal letter that doesn’t identify the driver:

Re Parking Charge Notice number:

I am disputing your parking charge as the keeper of the vehicle and I deny any liability or contractual agreement. I will be making a complaint to your client landowner about your predatory behaviour and conduct.

There will be no admissions as to who was driving and no assumptions can be drawn. Since your Parking Charge Notice is a vague generic template, I require an explanation of the allegation and your evidence. You must include a close up photograph of the actual sign you contend was at the location on the mentioned date as well as your images of the vehicle.

If the allegation concerns a PDT machine, the data supplied in response to this appeal must include the record of payments made – showing partial VRNs – and an explanation of the reason for the Parking Charge Notice, because your Notice does not explain it.

If the allegation involves a suspected overstay of minutes, your evidence must include the grace period agreed by the client landowner.

The name and postal address of the keeper, or the Lessee/Hirer, goes here. If there is a relevant box on the appeals page, put it there instead.

Never identify the driver!

Always use the online appeals page provided on the Parking Charge Notice. In the unlikely situation that isn’t available, use email. This is to help maintain a paper trail as you can take screenshots of online confirmation pages and/or sent email confirmations. Use postal services as an absolute last resort.

You could carefully add some additional details to your appeal to try and help resolve the dispute without identifying the driver:

  • If you were a genuine customer as a retail establishment, any receipts or bank transactions from the retailer from the day the Parking Charge Notice was received. If it was a hospital appointment, a copy of an appointment card could be provided;
  • If an occupant of the vehicle was infirm, elderly or disabled;
  • If the occupant had a Blue Badge at the time of receiving the Parking Charge Notice, it would be a ideal to upload a copy of it as evidence.
Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Template

Independent Appeals Service

The introduction of the POFA required the establishment of an independent appeals service for victims of Parking Charge Notices to be able to appeal to. This created:

When appealing via an independent appeals service, still never identify the driver.

POPLA Appeal

There will be lots of boxes to fill out on the online forms, but don’t feel the need to fill these out. What would be a better option is to provide a strong argument as a pdf file with as much information and pictures as possible to try and make the PPC give up. Then upload it in the POPLA appeal under OTHER.

The Money Saving Expert forum has some great templates to be added to your appeal in order to make it as long and detailed as possible. Add as much information as possible regarding:

After Submitting Your POPLA Appeal

If the PPC challenges the POPLA appeal, and it will be put on the POPLA Portal. At this point, you can comment on the evidence they provide, and it recommended you do. Remember to keep your comments concise so the fit the comments in the portal.

Look through the evidence and find things to invalidate. This can include things such as the signage is unclear, there is nothing to show how close the vehicle was to a sign, it could be illegible, etc. The contract and/or witness statement could be out of date and/or show no expiry date, heavily redacted or not signed by the client landowner.

Again, The Money Saving Expert forum has some great examples of evidence comments here.

IAS Appeal

The IAS is terrible compared to POPLA. Articles and forum posts can be found all over the internet complaining about their practices. Because a PPC has to pay to become a member of an ATA, there is the possibility that a bias could be had from an independent appeals service towards their members, and it certainly seems that way with IAS. So for this reason, unless you have some home run evidence, appealing to IAS isn’t worth it unfortunately. Just be persistent with the power of complaint to the retail establishment and/or client landowner.

TLDR: How To Appeal A Parking Ticket On Private Land

  • Never identify the driver at any stages during an appeal;
  • Complain to the landowner first as they may have a clause where they can cancel them in their contract with the Private Parking Company (PPC);
  • If the Parking Charge Notice was received at a hospital, immediately complain to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service;
  • Make sure all information on the Parking Charge Notice is correct such as vehicle registration, time, date, time, location, etc. Also make sure you weren’t in a grace period;
  • Only a PPC that is a member of an ATA can request your name and address from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA);
  • Always maintain a paper trail;
  • Create an in depth appeal pdf for a Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) appeal to try and make the PPC give up;
  • The Independent Appeals Service (IAS) is terrible, and it not worth the time, so be persistent with the power of complaint to the landowner and/or retail establishment.

Sources used to write this article: