End of the road…….

…….for motorists arguments over parking fines

We would venture that most of us, at some point or another, have felt the sting of a parking ticket.

A gentleman by the name of Mr Beavis certainly did and he did not take it lying down.

Mr Beavis was fined £85 for overstaying his time in a shopping centre car park. The car park provided two hours free parking and Mr Beavis overstayed by almost 1 hour.

The car park was managed by Parking Eye and they fined Mr Beavis for overstaying his time.

The motorist challenged the fine through the courts. He said that it amounted to an unfair penalty which, in law, was unlawful as the company had suffered no loss.

The parking company resisted the challenge.

Believe it or not the case of the £85 parking ticket went all the way to the highest court in the land, The Supreme Court.

The Court held that even though the parking company had suffered no loss they were entitled to apply a fine and accordingly they found against Mr Beavis.

The court said that the charge was not unfair and it was entirely within the motorists control to avoid the charge. All he needed was “ a watch”.

They said that fines were beneficial to most motorists as it prevented parking spaces from becoming clogged up by long stay users.

Although the sum at issue was small there were much wider implications for the law and the way it applies to the treatment of penalties in contracts so this decision is significant.

The law on the issue now seems to be that deterrent charges in a contract will be allowed if there is a commercial justification for them

If you are contemplating litigation or find yourself facing a claim then please do  not hesitate to contact Andrew Grant at our Chester office on 01244 394 230.

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