Lidl Parking Fine

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MLH16
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I received a parking fine from Lidl back in February, after reading online from others, I ignored the letter.
I have now received a 3rd letter stating that I could be took to court. Is this genuine? Should I just pay (even though I have no money whatsoever, and no job due to the Coronavirus)? Should I wait longer? Does anyone have any advice on what to do?

EDIT - I shopped at Lidl before college and purchased various items and typed in my registration on the machine. The hour and a half you get parking at a Lidl store was usually more than enough for me to remain parked there for the duration of my college class as well as shopping in the store, however, on this unfortunate time, my college class ran over, resulting in the fine. I did not only park in Lidl with the intent to not shop in the store, and went into the store as I would normally then didn't see the point in moving my car when there would usually be enough time to be able to go to college.
Last edited by MLH16; 7 months ago
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IWMTom
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(Original post by MLH16)
I received a parking fine from Lidl back in February, after reading online from others, I ignored the letter.
I have now received a 3rd letter stating that I will be took to court. Is this genuine? Should I just pay (even though I have no money whatsoever, and no job due to the Coronavirus)? Should I wait longer? Does anyone have any advice on what to do?
You should never ignore a parking charge.
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MLH16
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(Original post by IWMTom)
You should never ignore a parking charge.
I’ve read that it is a private parking ticket which you legally do not have to pay since the company does not have any legal authority, not sure whether it’s true or not, but most things which I have read have said that.
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Josh279
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(Original post by MLH16)
It’s a private parking ticket which you legally do not have to pay since the company does not have any legal authority
Not true.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by MLH16)
I received a parking fine from Lidl back in February, after reading online from others, I ignored the letter.
I have now received a 3rd letter stating that I will be took to court. Is this genuine? Should I just pay (even though I have no money whatsoever, and no job due to the Coronavirus)? Should I wait longer? Does anyone have any advice on what to do?
I agree with IWMTom regarding it being unwise to ignore penalty parking charges. However, remember than Lidl's car park is going to be private land whose parking is managed by a company. The 'parking charge' isn't a 'fine' in the sense most people understand it, because this is a civil matter of trespass rather than a criminal matter as it would be if the fine had been levied by a council parking warden (where it is called a 'penalty charge' . If it went to court, the parking company would need to prove their case, which could be difficult, costly and time-consuming, particularly at the present time.

Was the penalty charge issued within fourteen days? Was the signage adequate? Did you overstay by only a few minutes? If you think the charge has been issued unfairly, complain to either the BPA or IPC if the parking company is a member of these organisation (which it probably is). Don't feel pressured into paying if you think you shouldn't.
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MLH16
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I agree with IWMTom regarding it being unwise to ignore penalty parking charges. However, remember than Lidl's car park is going to be private land whose parking is managed by a company. The 'parking charge' isn't a 'fine' in the sense most people understand it, because this is a civil matter of trespass rather than a criminal matter as it would be if the fine had been levied by a council parking warden (where it is called a 'penalty charge' . If it went to court, the parking company would need to prove their case, which could be difficult, costly and time-consuming, particularly at the present time.

Was the penalty charge issued within fourteen days? Was the signage adequate? Did you overstay by only a few minutes? If you think the charge has been issued unfairly, complain to either the BPA or IPC if the parking company is a member of these organisation (which it probably is). Don't feel pressured into paying if you think you shouldn't.
I overstayed by a few minutes due to my college class running over the usual time. By any change do you know if after receiving 3 letters you can still complain to the company?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by MLH16)
It’s a private parking ticket which you legally do not have to pay since the company does not have any legal authority
That is totally incorrect. A correctly-issued parking charge is perfectly enforceable in the courts. You're getting 'penalty charges' issued by a parking warden for parking on public land and 'parking charges' issued by private companies for parking on private land mixed up. Both are enforceable, but by different ways.
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MLH16
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(Original post by Reality Check)
That is totally incorrect. A correctly-issued parking charge is perfectly enforceable in the courts. You're getting 'penalty charges' issued by a parking warden for parking on public land and 'parking charges' issued by private companies for parking on private land mixed up. Both are enforceable, but by different ways.
(Original post by Josh279)
Not true.
Ahhh right, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was true, it was just what I was basing it on from what I have read online.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by MLH16)
Ahhh right, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was true, it was just what I was basing it on from what I have read online.
Glad to clear that up for you then
(Original post by MLH16)
I overstayed by a few minutes due to my college class running over the usual time. By any change do you know if after receiving 3 letters you can still complain to the company?
If you only overstayed by 'a few minutes', and you can evidence that somehow, then receiving a parking charge is probably disproportionate. You should challenge it, but really you should have done that straight away and not left it until having received your third letter. It's still not too late. Check that the parking company is a member of one of those organisations I mentioned, and make a complaint directly to the company in the first instance. If they reject your appeal, you have 28 days to appeal to the independent adjudicator - this will be POPLA for BPA members or the IAS for IPC members.
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MLH16
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Glad to clear that up for you then

If you only overstayed by 'a few minutes', and you can evidence that somehow, then receiving a parking charge is probably disproportionate. You should challenge it, but really you should have done that straight away and not left it until having received your third letter. It's still not too late. Check that the parking company is a member of one of those organisations I mentioned, and make a complaint directly to the company in the first instance. If they reject your appeal, you have 28 days to appeal to the independent adjudicator - this will be POPLA for BPA members or the IAS for IPC members.
Great, thank you!
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Josh279
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Based on what you've said, I doubt the fine is for overstayed parking and more for mis-use of parking.You say that you were late back from a college class, therefore you weren't using parking to shop in lidl you were using it to park for college. Which is probably a breach of contract.
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AC11
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(Original post by MLH16)
Ahhh right, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was true, it was just what I was basing it on from what I have read online.
MLH, there were changes in the application of the law following a court case in 2015. Prior to this Parking charges were correctly considered unenforceable , being a fine , something that cannot be agreed contractually. The Court ruled that private companies can seek charges for parking on their land where the signage is clear, as per Mr. Reality Check.
There are however loopholes.
First of all, it is only the parking charge that can be enforced. Parking firms often engage Debt Collectors who add extra charge on top of the, say £70 parking + their fees = £130 or so. You should IGNORE the debt collectors and deal directly with the parking company and pay only the parking charge that is on the signage at the parking lot. No more.
Secondly, it depends what the signage says. It is often the case that it says :" If you stay longer than the permitted time you agree to receive Parking Charge Notice (PCN)". Here is the trick. Their PCN is meant to immitate PCN as in Penalty Charge Notice that only public companies, like local Council, can impose. It is a missleading intimidation on the part of the private companies.
If it says as the above or similar, it means that ALL you AGREE is to recive a PCN (parking charge NOTICE), that is all, no problems receiving the notice. They might just as well send a picture of topless Dolly Parton. What I do with it , is my business: put it in a frame or bin it.
The Notice that you got in the post, of course says that you have to pay them £so and so, but this is not what you agreed when you parked the car, because you agreed that you will receive a NOTICE, not that you will have pay them any money.
Please note, that the Court case that I am referring to above was a very clear cut, where the signage was clearly saying: You agree to pay £80 parking charge if you stay longer than 90min. Hence , the Court's decision.
I can tell you from personal experience that unless the signage is that clear, they will not pursue you in court and if they did, you will success in your defence.
Now, I do not suggest that you explain the law to them as I did briefly here. If the signage is clear, you'd better pay. Or perhaps you can use the coronavirus as an excuse and ask them to be lenient - it was only a few minutes, not a day... poor student , etc. I doubt they will care, but in the current climate, they might.
But if the signage was unclear as I suggested, don't bother paying them. Tell them to send you an explanation as to why they believe that you owe them money and that is it.

Best of luck,
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AC11
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Glad to clear that up for you then

If you only overstayed by 'a few minutes', and you can evidence that somehow, then receiving a parking charge is probably disproportionate. You should challenge it, but really you should have done that straight away and not left it until having received your third letter. It's still not too late. Check that the parking company is a member of one of those organisations I mentioned, and make a complaint directly to the company in the first instance. If they reject your appeal, you have 28 days to appeal to the independent adjudicator - this will be POPLA for BPA members or the IAS for IPC members.
I don't mean to contradict what the other poster says, but APPEAL is when you ask someone in authority to consider your petition. It is correct that parking companies are members of some ogranisations and you can use their adjudication, It is actually ADR, altertnaite dispute resolution. However, these bodies will normally agree with the parking company if the signage , wording , etc were clear. They won;t be interested that it was only a few minutes overstay or that you don't have money for food.

This is a contract law. No need to APPEAL to the Parking company. If you disagree with them, you can ask them to drop the charge or you fight. You don't appeal.
Anyway, I am off now.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by AC11)
I don't mean to contradict what the other poster says, but APPEAL is when you ask someone in authority to consider your petition. It is correct that parking companies are members of some ogranisations and you can use their adjudication, It is actually ADR, altertnaite dispute resolution. However, these bodies will normally agree with the parking company if the signage , wording , etc were clear. They won;t be interested that it was only a few minutes overstay or that you don't have money for food.

This is a contract law. No need to APPEAL to the Parking company. If you disagree with them, you can ask them to drop the charge or you fight. You don't appeal.
Anyway, I am off now.
What in earth is all that about, then?
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Capitalist_Lamb
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I don't think they are going to take a person to court for this. It would be far too expensive and time consuming for them. Idk this but I don't think they would have their own legal team looking at this mans parking fine. Instead they would just probably ban you from parking their again and be done with it like that. I'm not a lawyer though so nothing for sure but they are a big company with bigger things to deal with.
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AC11
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(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
I don't think they are going to take a person to court for this. It would be far too expensive and time consuming for them. Idk this but I don't think they would have their own legal team looking at this mans parking fine. Instead they would just probably ban you from parking their again and be done with it like that. I'm not a lawyer though so nothing for sure but they are a big company with bigger things to deal with.
Parking for customers is a big part of their business. Many big companies hire parking companies to deal with this side of the business. I don't go to Lidl so I don't know if they manage the parking themselves or outsource . Many claims for parking charges are taken to court all the time. You can search for statistics.
It's either one or the other as per my advice. OP should decide what to do.
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Capitalist_Lamb
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(Original post by AC11)
Parking for customers is a big part of their business. Many big companies hire parking companies to deal with this side of the business. I don't go to Lidl so I don't know if they manage the parking themselves or outsource . Many claims for parking charges are taken to court all the time. You can search for statistics.
It's either one or the other as per my advice. OP should decide what to do.
I understand that but I feel like it's just more effort than it's worth. I mean taking someone to court is costly and timely and I don't think they would do that to be honest. I believe they would just be quick about this and just ban the person from parking at their store again as the amount they would get from the fine would probably not outweigh the cost of taking them to court and proving them to be guilty, even if they use a private company I believe that is more to scare people into paying when in reality they would just ban the person from that store. Like I said I'm not a lawyer but just providing some information on what I think but I do understand your point and that is something to consider.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
taking someone to court is costly and timely
No it's not.

(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
I believe they would just be quick about this and just ban the person from parking at their store again
This is nothing to do with Lidl - the private parking firm operate the car park, and make the majority of their revenue from fines.

(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
the amount they would get from the fine would probably not outweigh the cost of taking them to court and proving them to be guilty
Civil court - only need balance of probability, not beyond all reasonable doubt. Really not difficult to win. Defendant must pay costs.

(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
Like I said I'm not a lawyer
We can tell...

(Original post by Capitalist_Lamb)
just providing some information on what I think
Of which is nonsense, so please refrain.
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username47781
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Just pay up why on earth were you parked on Lidl anyway when you are at college
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Capitalist_Lamb
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(Original post by IWMTom)
No it's not.



This is nothing to do with Lidl - the private parking firm operate the car park, and make the majority of their revenue from fines.



Civil court - only need balance of probability, not beyond all reasonable doubt. Really not difficult to win. Defendant must pay costs.



We can tell...



Of which is nonsense, so please refrain.
Please refrain from giving an opinion because I don't know everyone. Sounds a bit bigoted of you. Just because you don't know something fully doesn't mean you can't give an opinion on what you think and for you to say you can't is very big headed of you. I even said that I don't know this for sure, I was just providing an opinion lmao.

Also taking someone to court does cost, something like £30 to get the claim recognised. Most private parking companies would most likely not bother to be honest as they make most of their money of the people who pay instantly instead of chasing up others but like I said, do your own research.

EDIT - OP the best bet would probably be to pay but it's up to you. Do your own research and make your best judgement on the situation.
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