PRIVATE PARKING FINES ARE NOT FAIR OR FINE AT ALL.......
Parking firms have continued to keep up the pretence that fines can be imposed upon motorists who fail to abide by their terms and conditions. " Fines " carry the connotation of criminal liability warranting compulsory payment. Such a devious and cunning ploy.
However all alleged contractual breaches are simply and purely a civil matter , which mean that parking firms can only put in claims for liquidated damages . And as the law still stands today these claims must be a genuine pre-estimate of the loss suffered as a direct result of the breach. The only exception being overstaying in a busy site where the only income for the operator comes from parking charges , which can in certain circumstances embody a deterrent component ( see Parking Eye v Beavis )
In pay-by-the-hour car parks which on most occasions are rarely full any liqidated damages claimed for breach of contract are still subject to existing Consumer Law regulations , along with many general principles established in Contract Law precedents.
One of these is that the injured party cannot make a profit from a alleged breach of contract, since the liqidated damages claimed must be based on a genuine pre-estimate of the loss.
All this is perfectly fair and fine. Contract damages are meant to be compensatory. They cannot be wildl over-the-top estimates. Pre-determined damages cannot be set at an amount that will put the injured party in a better position after the breach , than the party would be in if all the contractual terms had been performed.
So how in God's name can a fixed sum parking charge of £100 be a genuine pre-estimate of a loss , when a serious breach of a term carries the same punitive consequences as a minor and petty breach. How can a five minute overstay give rise to the same claim for damages as a 5 hour overstay. How can a £100 demand for compensation be genuine when the breach , such as failure to display correctly paid-for ticket, causes no loss of income to the parking firm whatsoever.
But now let's look at the real lie and total lack of genuineness in their estimate of their losses. Usually they kick off with a standard £70 PCN. Is this genuine ? I think not. By offering a £30 discount for prompt payment suggests otherwise given that £40 is beginning to approach the correct estimate. Motorists who send in say a cheque for £15 to cover alleged losses often don't get chased up for the rest. Why ? Well firstly , the company may still have made a profit out of the scam , and secondly the motorist could argue ( quite successfully in court ) the duty imposed upon firms to mitigate their losses has surely been achieved by this appropriate and fair payment..
Private parking firms will no doubt continue to flout the law with utter contempt. Never ones to willingly mitigate their losses , they prefer to compound and esculate them with the help of dodgy debt collection agencies. They continue to find ways to deceive and entrap motorists into making mistakes. They resort to countless scams to boost their already obscene profits. They act without sympathy , compassion and forgiveness. They muscle in on supermarket sites on the pretext of resolving a traffic flow problem , which probably never existed in the first place. All part of a ruthless business model to exploit the thousand of motorists , who are prone to poor timekeeping and keying in incorrect car registration details.
If these morally bankrupt operators were committed to basing parking charges on genuine pre-estimates of loss , then they were be forced to adopt a sliding scale of parking charges ranging from £2 to £20.......but no more. If there was ever an industry which seemingly has a licence to commit fraud , then the private parking industry stands head and shoulders above despised loan sharks and shameful big name banks.