National Car Parks – appeal guide
This page explains how to appeal a Parking Charge notice issued by National Car Parks Ltd. NCP are quite different to other private car park companies in that they lease their car parks.
National Car Parks and court
One of the most frequent questions this website received about National Car Parks is: do they take people to court for non-payment of parking fines? The resounding answer is “no”. However, that doesn’t meant you don’t bother appealing. Appealing is free and you are better of trying an appeal to get rid of the fine once and for all. But if it your appeal is dismissed, you don’t need to worry about National Car Parks taking you to court. There was one case where National CarParks Ltd went to court, but it wasn’t the car park taking the driver to court – it was the other way around. It involved James Mayhook who had parked his car in a railway station car park. It was in 2011 when clamping and towing was still allowed. National Car Parks towed his car away for alleged non-payment of 30 previous tickets. However, what NCP Ltd didn’t realise is that Mr Mayhook wasn’t the driver in all these 30 cases. NCP then sent Mr Mayhook a letter banning the vehicle from all NCP car parks. Mr Mayhook filed a Court Claim against NCP, and applied for an injunction against National Car Parks and Nigel Fuller (the may who towed his car away) requiring them to return his car. This injuction was granted temporarily, but only on payment of £650 security, pending NCP’s counterclaim for the outstanding tickets. In the end, Mr xxx won his claim, and beat National Car Park’s counterlcaim. A claim of £2,800 was awarded against NCP. The case was held in Chelmsford County Court and was listed as case number 1CM00569.
National Car Parks in the news
Parking fines handed out by private car park companies are, on average, more than double those charged by statutory authorities. Private companies such as National Car Parks charge up to up to £100, compared with £30-40 charged by the police and councils. National Car Parks, who manage a number of car parks in Crawley, charges £100 for expired tickets. NCP’s fee is discounted to £50 if paid within 14 days. In contrast, Crawley Borough Council charges £40 for expired tickets, discounted to £20 for prompt payment. For a list of who runs which car park, visit the town council’s website at www.crawley.gov.uk.
The Herald Scotland noted on 23rd May 2002, that the UK’s biggest car park – NCPs – has been sold for £820M. National Car Parks has 500 sites across the UK and also provides services to local authorities. National Car Parks was said in 2008 to have the UK’s most expensive car park. NCP’s Pavillion Road car park in Knightsbridge was the UK’s most expensive car park and cost £43.20 for a six hour stay.
The Telegraph on 8th May 2007 said that Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London expected National Car Parks attendants to hand out at least 840 tickets and perform 36 wheel clamping a day. National Car Parks runs Kensington’s parking enforcement and it expected the parking company to issue at least 306,000 tickets and clamp 15,000 vehicles a year. To beat their targets attendants will need to issue tickets to about 100 cars for every hour that the restrictions are in force – more than one ticket every minute. The revelation has prompted an investigation by the British Parking Association, of which National Car Parks is a member, and it has also drawn criticism from the RAC Foundation.
National car parks at railway stations and the airports
NCP also run extensive operators at various railway stations and some airports. However, under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced in October 2012, National Car Parks cannot claim keeper liability in these locations as they are not private land. They are, in fact, considered to be covered by by-laws which can only be enforced by statutory bodies such as Police and Council. So in these locations (railway stations and airports), the odds are stacked against National Car Parks in two respects:
1. It is not relevant land under POFA (2012) and therefore NCP cannot claim the keeper is liable for the notice. So if the keeper doesn’t tell NCP who was driving, then NCP is stopped in its tracks.
2. National Car Parks have not authority to proceed with the fine and take it to court (which is why the don’t). It is 100% bluff in these locations.
National Car Parks use Debt Recovery Plus for debt collection.