Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Company Car Drivers Exempted From Private Parking Charges

It's highly likely that if you are a company car driver the government may have accidently exempted you from paying private parking charges. Here's why.

Many company car drivers are not the registered keeper of the car they drive. Either their company is, or perhaps a specialist third party 'car provider' such as a lease management company. These third parties assume the duties of the registered keeper, including taxing and insuring the vehicle.

Suppose you are the driver of a company car, and one day a private parking company decides to ticket you. They don't know where you live, so they get the registered keeper details from the DVLA, and send a Notice to Keeper to your company. Your company pass it on to you.

Now, here's the good bit. To comply with the POFA 2012 requirements, the Notice to Keeper has to be sent within a certain timescale; before 14 days for ANPR cases, and between 28 and 56 days for tickets placed on the windscreen.

The beauty is, at this point in time, the Notice to Keeper has not yet been served at all. This is because, for the purposes of the POFA 2012 requirements, the Registered Keeper is not the same as the actual 'keeper'. POFA 2012 defines the keeper as:
“keeper” means the person by whom the vehicle is kept at the time the vehicle was parked, which in the case of a registered vehicle is to be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to be the registered keeper;
The "keeper", under the definition of the act, is you, the company car driver. The Notice to Keeper has not been delivered to you by any of the required methods under the act, which are defined as:

(4)The notice must be given by—(a)handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or(b)sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.

Therefore, all that you, the company car driver, needs to do is wait until the timescales expire: 14 days for ANPR and 56 days for windscreen tickets. At that point keeper liability ceases to exist, and the parking company can only pursue the driver of the vehicle. Then you can write to the parking company to appeal the charge:

Dear Parking Company,
I am the keeper of the vehicle as defined in POFA 2012. Your Notice to Keeper has not been delivered to me in the timescales required by the act, and I therefore wish to invoke your appeal process. If you do not agree that your notice should be cancelled, please send me a POPLA code.
 If they do not cancel the charge, then ask POPLA to do it.
I am appealing the charge because the notice to keeper has not been delivered to me within the timescales required by POFA 2012. I am the keeper of the vehicle as defined in POFA 2012. The parking company can therefore no longer pursue the vehicle keeper and may only pursue the driver of the vehicle. The parking company have offered no proof as to the identity of the driver.
You will need to send POPLA proof that you are the keeper, such as a letter from your company.

The Parking Company cannot pursue your company or indeed anyone else for the parking charge, because the legislation simply does not make them liable.

Of course, you would want to make sure that your company does not grass you up by sending the parking company your details prematurely. You also need to make sure that any lease management company are not going to impose their own administration charges on you. In such cases it may be better to fight the parking charge by other methods.

The same exemption unfortunately does not hold for hire cars, because there is a separate clause in the act to specifically deal with this situation. It does hold for other situations where you use and keep a car for a while,  even cases where you lend a mate a car for a while and they keep it at their place. If that happens, you may consider it wise to write your mate a letter first, because you will need to prove you are not the keeper during that period. Otherwise you become liable for your mate's bad parking!

Dear Dan,
I'm lending you my car for a while, and expect you to look after it at your place. This makes you the 'keeper' under the POFA 2012 definitions, which means you will be liable for parking charges if a private parking company serves you a correct Notice to Keeper.

Please note that the Prankster does not encourage bad or irresponsible parking, or misuse of parking facilities. The Prankster believes that all parking charges should be paid whenever the ticket is legitimate, the Private Parking Company has a proper contract with the landowner, has the correct signage in place, obeys the BPA Ltd code of practice, issues the ticket in accordance with POFA 2012 and charges a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

The Parking Prankster would like to thank various posts on pepipoo for bringing this to his attention.


  1. Could a Company send a letter back to the Private Parking company and say something along the lines of..... We can confirm that we hold the details you are requesting concerning the driver of the vehicle in question. We will supply this information on the receipt of payment for our administration charge of £27.00

    1. Indeed they could. They might also take the view that supplying the PPC with this information would be a breach of Data Protection requirements, and therefore impossible to comply with. As POPLA are currently upholding 50% of appeals, there would be a 50% chance that the company was passing on information in respect of an unenforceable charge. This may well therefore get them into trouble if they did pass the information on.

  2. I overstayed my welcome at a motorway service station. The PCN was issued to the leasing company who paid it and then sent a bill to the company with the administration charge and of course the company wanted the money from me. I argued that by paying the PCN removed my right to appeal and that I would have appealed on the grounds that the notice stated that I had "parked" for 2 Hours and 20 minutes which I would dispute as the ANPR cameras were on the slip roads in and out of the services. As I had re-fuelled and did water, oil and tyre checks in an ESSO forecourt which took up maybe 15 minutes I could not possibly have been "parked" for the length of time as stated. Incredibly the bosses agreed with me and I didn't pay the charge. I would have loved to see this one through to the end.

  3. Hi Parking Prankster
    Please advise if your post Tuesday, 4 June 2013 Company Car Drivers Exempted From Private Parking Charges is still a valid way of refusing to pay. I recently got a £90 parking charge notice for an "incident" in a Lidl car park in Chard and was forwarded the notice to keeper by my employer. If I pay before 3/10/16 it will be reduced to £45. If I use your approach I will reply to them after the 3/10/16 saying they have not contacted me within 14 days. I'm just concerned that things may have changed since your post in 2013.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. please contact me at for specific advice and delete your post here