Drivers who are fined for keying-in the wrong numberplate can now appeal

Published 08 January 2020

A new parking code of practice will make it easier for drivers to appeal fines caused by simple keying-in errors and numberplate mistakes.

The British Parking Association (BPA) has instructed private parking operators to cancel charges if one letter or number is incorrect. The move should protect drivers who make honest mistakes when keying-in their vehicle's registration number when purchasing their ticket.

"We recognise that genuine mistakes can occur, which may result in a parking charge being issued even when a motorist can demonstrate they paid for their parking," said Steve Clark, head of business operations at the BPA.

"In recognition of this we have further clarified the situation for all parties. Motorists will still need to appeal, but we expect our members to deal with them appropriately at the first appeal stage.”

POPLA, the independent appeals service for parking fines on private land has welcomed the news. John Gallagher at POPLA said: “The revised code will bring greater clarity for motorists and parking operators alike on issues such as simple keying errors. 

"The introduction of a section on keying errors, requiring parking operators to cancel parking charge notices in certain circumstances and reduce the amount to only administration costs in others, is particularly welcome."

The new rules will only protect drivers who use BPA approved car parks. It will not affect fines linked to major errors - where the first three digits have been recorded or a completely incorrect registration number is used.


Brit_in_Germany    on 8 January 2020

Surely the technology is capable of detecting that a plate has been keyed in which is not in the car park. A warning message to check the entry would solve the problem.

Tiger Feet    on 8 January 2020

And surely, if you can prove that you bought a ticket (card receipt, for example) within a few minutes of entering the car park, then why should there be a fine even if the number plate entered is wrong?

You can prove that you paid for car parking, so there is no loss to the operator. Therefore, where does the fine come from? I accept that there are terms & conditions, but I can't see a court upholding a fine where you can prove that you paid the appropriate parking charge.

Ridgmont61    on 9 January 2020

It is all to do with attempting to stop people passing on unused time left on parking tickets to other people. I am surprised the was not more uproar about this.

DeadBat    on 9 January 2020

Nothing wrong with passing your ticked to someone else.

aufdermaur    on 10 January 2020

Nothing wrong with passing your ticked to someone else.

Until the parking operating company send you a fine - receiving a £1 parking ticket from a kind soul in Gloucester resulted in a parking charge of £40. Just not worth it.

DeadBat    on 10 January 2020

You must've been very unfortunate and have a parking officer near you or something.

The car park in my neck of woods does not require number plate, you just put 50p and get an hour ticket, but if I'm dropping my little one to the nursery I only use 5min out of that hour slot. There is nowhere I can park (all double yellow lines) for a pick up/drop off, so whether I like it or not I have to spend 50p each time, which in my opinion is a bit much.

I know that some of you will say 50p is nothing, but similar systems are all over the country and in my case I may be lucky that the parking operator charge is so small, however for some of you that charge may be £1 or more, which is a bit much for 5-10min of use.

Bilboman    on 9 January 2020

Given that parking companies absolutely will not risk losing a penny of revenue, overpayment is the norm, i.e. nearly everyone pays for more parking time than they actually use, so there is some degree of overlapping, e.g. one parking space may have nine or ten hours of parking paid for in an eight hour charging period. The obligation to key in registration numbers and small print in T & Cs enforcing this makes it a win-win for the parking company. Where parking time is limited, a canny motorist might pay for 2 hours for "AB12CDE" and a further two hours with the wrongly keyed "AB13CDE" and plead an honest mistake, but this is the one situation where the parking company is, begrudgingly, in the right, as it's an obvious overstay. Most modern life consists of overpayment in one form or another - those unused GBs of data on the monthly mobile bill, the extra cost of virtually any rail or air ticket that hasn't been bought weeks in advance, and of course, the built-in profiteering of the changeover of the paperless "tax disc" whenever a car is bought and sold.

Edited by Bilboman on 09/01/2020 at 11:15

DeadBat    on 10 January 2020

You're absolutely right and some of us will take it as a part of the life in the UK. But why do we have to agree to this unfair practice and why there is no control over what private parking companies can and cannot do.

I'm happy to pay for a service, but I refuse to be ripped off.

daveyjp    on 9 January 2020

I went to a building with ANPR. It was linked to the DVLA website so when you put in your reg your car details were given, much as it is when buying car insurance.

No reason any of this can't be insisted on as a minimum when using ANPR with manual input of data, but that would reduce the scammers income,

Car Crusader    on 10 January 2020

My wife borrowed my car and inadvertently entered her reg in the M&S car park machine. We then received a fine through the post which we appealed. I argued that the parking ticket was issued to a vehicle reg that was not in the car park and the camera system used should have detected this therefore the parking system was not fit for purpose. I also quoted that a similar case where an incorrect reg had been entered went on appeal to the house of lords who ruled that it is inevitable that people will make mistakes entering their reg into a machine. They commented that the purpose of issuing fines is not to catch out genuine mistakes and upheld the appeal. Worth looking this up if you find yourself in a similar position. Faced with this the parking company backed down and withdrew my fine.

Driver1    on 14 January 2021

Hi can you please tell me the case name so I can refer to it please. Thanks

Driver1    on 13 January 2021

Hi ( To Car Crusader)
Can you please tell me where or how I can find your case on the internet .
Thank you

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