Excel Parking Services – Appeal Guide

Excel Parking Services are a private parking company that operates on private land, such as retail parks, airports, hotels and supermarkets.  Excel Parking Services operate under two trading names – Excel Parking Services and Vehicle Control Services (VCS).  They used to be members of the British Parking Association, but on 1st January 2015 moved to the Independent Parking Committee.  The company manages a portfolio of over 300 car parks.

Excel Parking Services and Court

Excel Parking Services to issue court proceedings to come people who don’t pay their Parking Charge Notices, so it is important to lodge your appeal within the time limits allowed.  For a parking ticket issued in the mail by Automatic Number Plate Recognition, the time limit is 28 days.  For a parked ticket left on your windscreen by Excel Parking Services, the time limit is also 28 days.  If the driver, or registered keeper’s appeal is rejected by Excel Parking Services, then the driver (or keeper) has 28 days in which to lodge their appeal with the IPC.

Excel Parking Fat Cat

Simon Renshaw-Smith owns the company. He first came to notoriety as the owner of a ruthless outfit called “Captain Clampit”.  After clamping was outlawed, he start up a company to issue PCN’s on private land.  At one stage, Renshaw-Smith’s companies were suspended from accessing the DVLA database, on which his company relies on to locate car owners.  In 2013, 2,200 motorists lodged appeals against his companies’ parking charge notices, and about a third of these appeals were successful with the notice being cancelled.    His business grossed 10 million in the year ended April 2013, and he paid himself a salary of £450,000.  With his wife, Karen Gillott, is Excel Parking Service’s company secretary.

Excel Parking Fine - my story

Cathryn James

Cathryn James was shopping in Swansea when she rushed to help a woman who was threatening to jump off a bridge into the River Tawe.   Mrs James only just avoided being pulled into the water herself as she talked to the woman, keeping the woman safe until police arrived.  When Mrs James returned to her car she found she had been issued a ticket by Excel Parking Services for exceeding the three-hour parking limit by 22 minutes.  Mrs James appealed against the fine, including in her appeal a letter she had received from the police.  But Excel Parking Services told her she still had to pay.   Ms James said “If the woman had jumped, she would have pulled me with her. The last thing on my mind was my pay-and-display ticket.’  Excel Parking Services Ltd had refused her appeal, saying there were “insufficient reasons” to waive the fine.  Mrs James asked “what does one have to do to prove you had a good reason to be delayed.’  However, following the publication of an article about this in the Daily Mail, Excel Parking Services Limited has now backed down and agreed to drop the parking charge notice.  An Excel Parking spokesman said: “In light of Ms James’ bravery… we are more than happy to cancel the PCN”.

Martin Cutts

Martin Cutts was issued with a £60 Parking Charge Notice – which increased to £100 when he did not pay within seven days – after failing to buy a ticket.   He refused to pay the PCN and argued that the Excel Parking Services signs at the Peel Centre car park were too small to read.   Excel decided to take Mr Cutts to Stockport County Court.  Mr Cutts, who was represented by Nick Freeman, told the court the words ‘pay and display’ and the terms and conditions on the signs at the entrance to the car park were in tiny letters.  The district judge ruled in favour of Mr Cutts and dismissed the claim by Excel and ordered Excel Parking Services to pay Mr Cutts £53.50 costs for travel and loss of earnings.  The judge said that the important question was whether Excel had taken reasonable steps to draw to Mr Cutts’ attention to the terms and conditions of using the car park.  The Judge ruled that  “The lettering about failure to comply is about four times larger than the lettering saying it is a pay and display car park, which tells me the real interest is in failure to comply.”

Victoria Hetherington-Jakeman

Victoria Hetherington-Jakeman was sued by Excel Parking Services Ltd for failing to pay three £60 Excel Parking fines.  She had allegedly left her car at the Portland Retail Park for more than the permitted two hours.  She received the tickets by mail months later when she was sent a bill for £300.  And then received nasty follow up letters from debt collection companies.   The court was told the letters Ms Hetherington-Jakeman received were were intended to “frighten or intimidate” her rather than compensate the firm for any lost income.  Her lawyer told Mansfield County Court that the levy of £100 per offence was an “unlawful penalty clause” intended to “frighten or intimidate” and therefore unenforceable.  And the judge found in her favour, ruling that demands for hundreds of pounds in penalties from Excel Parking Services were illegal because they were too high and he ruled that the fines did not have to be paid.  Ms Hetherington-Jakeman’s solicitor, Martin Lee, said: “In future, companies that charge these sorts of sums will have them struck out unless they can prove that they are a proper account of their financial loss.

Excel Parking Services PCN’s received at an airport

Excel Parking Services are also know to send out demands for parking at John Lennon Airport.  Should you receive such a demand, it is important to be aware under POPLA 2012 airports are not “relevant land” which means that Excel Parking cannot rely on keeper liablity.  Therefore, if the person who has received the letter of demand does not name the driver, then Excel cannot hold the keeper liable and has no way of determining who the driver was.


Excel Parking Services Latest News

1. As of June 2016, Excel Parking Services and Vehicle Control Services have begun using BW Legal for debt collection and for issuing court claims.

2. POPLA has announced it is now adjourning all byelaw cases.   As of 1st September, if you have a PCN from Excel Parking Services for a parking event that occurred at an airport, then POPLA will be adjourning the appeal for up to two months (as from 1st September).  Drivers should still lodge their appeal with Excel, and if that appeal fails, they should lodge an appeal with POPLA, and wait for the adjournment to complete.  POPLA’s official announcement was as follows:

“POPLA has decided to adjourn all cases on which the parking operator has asked the motorist to make a payment in respect of alleged breach of Byelaws. This is following complaints to POPLA and ISPA that POPLA has no authority to look at these appeals”. 



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