APCOA Parking UK Ltd Charge Notice
So you have received a PCN from APCOA Parking UK Ltd? This website will explain how to successfully appeal to APCOA and/or POPLA. If you construct your appeal correctly, then APCOA Parking will normally withdraw your contravention notice, thus meaning you don’t even need to appeal to POPLA.
APCOA at Luton Airport and Birmingham Airport
APCOA Parking UK Ltd issue are a large private parking company. A large portion of the parking fines they issue are at rail or train stations and airports (such as Luton Airport, Birmingham Airport and Royston station). These fines that they issue are “dodgy as” because they are issued on government land. An APCOA Parking Charge Notice is issued for matters such as stopping on the side of the road when not permitted. Even worse, APOCA Parking Services UK Ltd will try and claim the the driver is liable for the notice. However, the POFA 2012 legislation specifically forbids private parking companies from asserting keeper liability on land that is not “relevant land”. What this means is that all the driver needs to do is not admit who was driving and then APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd has no way of enforcing the PCN.
APCOA Parking Services (UK) Ltd at Railway Stations
APCOA Parking Ltd also try their jig at railway stations which is again, government land which is covered by by-laws. Because the land is covered by by-laws, then only official government fines can be placed on cars. Because APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd is a private company, they have no right under the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) to hold the keeper liable. They will obtain the keepers name and address from the DVLA, and post a Parking Charge Notice to the keeper but, as per the situation at airports, they cannot hold the keeper liable. All they can do is meekly ask the keeper if they were the driver. The keeper can either ignore the letter of demand from APCOA Parking UK Ltd, or they can write back saying that since the land is not considered to be “relevant land” under POPA 2012, they can only hold the driver liable and state “I am the keeper and I decline to name the driver”.
Railway stations that APCOA are known to operate at include Harpenden, Swindon, St Albans, Gloucester and Huntingdon stations.
APCOA debt collection
In this letter from solicitor Graham White representing APCOA (UK) Ltd, Mr White says the costs of a legal claim against the driver would be £142.25 including costs of £37.25 for issuing a warrant. However, this assumes that the person loses the case and doesn’t pay the judgement amount. Most people would pay the judgement amount if they lost, so the additional cost of £37.25 for judgement enforcement is misleading.
APCOA (UK) Ltd sample letters
Let’s examine this letter of demand from APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd. It is alleging the driver dropped off or picked up outside a designation parking area at Luton Airport. This is a classical airport scenario. Notice that it says this is a “breach of the terms and conditions of the use of the airport road”. That’s right, its a road, not a car park and is not relevant land under POFA 2012, therefore APCOA Limited cannot enforce this against the keeper, only the driver. And this letter is what the demand looks like after it has gone to the debt collection agency. All pretty lame.
APCOA parking fine – my story
When this story appeared in Luton Today on on 28th March 2014, a spokesperson for APCOA Parking (UK) Limited said “We have reassured Ms Lee that our processes don’t penalise those that stop to find directions”. The obvious implication here is that they do penalise those that stop for any other reason . Katy Lee had gotten lost at Luton Airport and had paused for 9 seconds to read a road sign and get her bearings. She had not parked and was not dropping off or picking up passengers. She was therefore surprised a few days later when an APCOA parking fine from parking company APCOA Parking Ltd arrived at her home. Ms Lee challenged the parking ticket and was upset when she was told her appeal had been rejected – and the £80 still stood. She told the newspaper that she was entering the airport and couldn’t work out what entrance to go in to because of the sunlight. “I paused, for about nine seconds apparently, and then went into the short term car park immediately”. She said that if she had parked illegally on the side of the road she would pay the fine without hesitation.
APCOA Ltd and court
One of the most frequent questions my website received about Apcoa Parking UK Ltd is whether they are known to take drivers to court. The answer is “yes, but not very often”. According to a Freedom on Information request, from the 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2014, a total of 7 court claims were initiated by Apcoa Parking UK Limited. Compare this with 30,000 court claims initiated by Parking Eye and 3,000 court claims initiated by Civil Enforcement Ltd. So your chances, based on these FOI figures, of being taken to court by Apcoa Parking Ltd is extremely remote, to say the least.
In one well documented court case, a woman was taken to court by APCOA Parking for 4 parking incidents that occurred in a hospital in Epsom St Helier. The motorist researched APCOA’s standing to bring a claim, and found that APCOA Parking UK Limited did not have standing to take her to Court. The parking company had claimed £700 from her, but in the end APCOA’s claim was “struck out”. In the end, APCOA ended up paying the woman £200 to settle the claim.
APOCA Parking (UK) Ltd and local council
Some councils outsource to APCOA the issuing of official council tickets. For example, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has such an arrangement with APCOA. Whilst the APCOA Parking ticket will have the words “APCOA” on it, the ticket will also have words similar to the following:
“The Traffic Management Act 2004, s.78″
“Civil Enforcement of Parking Contravention (England) General Regulations 2007″
“Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007″
POPLA does not apply to council penalty notices. POPLA only applies to private parking on private land (hence the acronym POPLA, which stands for Parking On Private Land Appeals). If you receive such a council penalty charge notice, the advice on this website does not apply and you need to look elsewhere for help.
PCN’s at Railway Stations on-hold
PCN’s issued by APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd are currently on hold whilst POPLA determines if it has the authority to hear appeals from parking on non relevant land.