Parking ticket - should I ignore or appeal?

I have recently received a parking charge notice for going 50 minutes over a three hour free parking period at a local shopping centre. It is for £85 or £50 if paid within 14 days. I accept that I went over the period, so I would accept paying a reasonable amount - but £50 seems extortionate.

I have been told by friends to ignore it and not to pay as it is unenforceable. I had considered contacting the parking firm to tell them that I am not willing to pay such a disproportionate amount, including a receipt to show I was using the shops - and even including a cheque for £5 to cover the £1 it would have cost me to stay an extra hour and £4 to cover their admin costs.

Should I enter into a dialogue with them like this, or would I be better off ignoring their letters all together? Thank you

Asked on 13 August 2014 by Vicki

Answered by Honest John
The law changed from October 2012, making this legal. But an Appeal Court case may change this. Basically, any parking charge for £50 or more must show the VAT element. But if the 'charge' is for damages VAT does not have to be charged. However, the Appeal Court may rule that for damages to be charged the claimant must show proof that it actually suffered that amount of damage. In the meantine, see: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/private-parking-penalties/
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