Are private car parking charges enforceable in Scotland?

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Are they enforceable? How many times has a family member or friend told you to just bin any private car parking charges you receive after parking in a private car park?

Most people in Scotland believe that private car parking charges are not enforceable in Scotland with many believing that if you receive such a charge that you should just forget about it or put it in the bin. However, these private charges are enforceable as clearly identified in the case of Vehicle Control Services Limited v Carly Mackie at Dundee Sheriff Court in 2017. Vehicle Control Services Limited raised an action for payment against Ms Mackie for her non-payment of private parking charges.

The action was defended by Ms Mackie on the basis that Vehicle Control Services Limited had no right to issue the parking charges and therefore she was under no obligation to pay them. Ms Mackie was found by the courts to be liable for payment of £24,500 to the private car parking company (Vehicle Control Services Limited) as they had signs up which clearly advised her of the consequences of parking in the car park without permission. The dispute boiled down to the law of contract.

By choosing to park in the car park which had very visible signs about car parking, Ms Mackie accepted the contract and its terms and conditions. By parking in the area without a permit, Ms Mackie breached the terms and conditions and as a consequence breached the contract.

At the moment there is no written piece of law in Scotland dealing with private car parking charges. However, it is governed by the law of contract as stated above. Therefore, by parking in a private car park that has signs detailing the terms and conditions of parking there, motorists accept the terms and conditions and enter into a contract with the car park operator.

In the future, please remember, if you don’t pay such a charge you could very well find yourself subject to court action just like Ms Mackie.

If you think you have an issue with parking fines, please contact one of our team for help and assistance

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