I'm the registered keeper of a car which has received a parking ticket but I wasn't the driver. How can I dispute this?

I am the registered keeper of a car that was given a private parking ticket. I was not driving the vehicle at the time and I supplied the driver’s name and address as requested. The parking enforcer has now sent a notice to my address for payment from the driver, who does not live here. They have threatened us that their enforcement agents are in the area and that the driver of the vehicle is liable to prosecution under the above regulations (lots of regs on top of notice). They say that I have failed to pay the debt and not contacted them to explain why.

I complained to the British Parking Association, but they told me that I would have to pay because the driver obviously hadn't. Apparently, I should have given the driver details in 28 days of the PCN posted on the car. But the driver never told me this had happened, so I was unaware of it. I have not been able to contact him and he does not answer my calls. I first knew about the PCN when NSL wrote to me over three months after the date of the PCN asking me for the money or the driver details. It seems that the registered keeper has no rights. It is very confusing. So, even though I had given the details, I still seem to be liable.

Asked on 28 December 2013 by AD, via email

Answered by Honest John
I checked this with Nev Metson, a retired fraud squad officer who knows more about the relevant legislation than anyone else. He wrote:

"The Achilles heel in this legislation for the private parking company is that once the registered keeper has named the driver, then the registered keeper can no longer be held liable, irrespective of whether or not the private parking company gets its money or not from the driver. So as long as the registered keeper provided the private parking company the genuine and serviceable name and address of the driver within the appropriate time frame, then they cannot be held legally liable for the alleged debt irrespective as to whether of not the parking company gets paid. For a Notice placed on a vehicle, the liability is with the driver and the driver only as there is no way of knowing (or proving) that the RK was ever aware of a Notice being placed on a vehicle. It is immaterial as to whether or not the RK can contact the driver. Where a Notice is placed on a vehicle at the time and which is not responded to, then the parking operator must serve a Notice on the keeper within 56 days of the date of the contravention in order to benefit from registered keeper liability. Three months is significantly more than the statutory 56 days and therefore they cannot hold the keeper liable, irrespective as to whether they find out who the driver was or not. To claim 'keeper liability' where none exists is a misuse and misrepresentation of DVLA data and should be reported as such to the DVLA.

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Sch 4 Paragraph 8 (5): "The relevant period for the purposes of sub paragraph (4) is the period of 28 days following the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice to driver was given"".

28 days plus 28 days = 56 days. The link is legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/4/enacted.
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