Saturday, 13 July 2013

What does my POPLA code mean?

Minds greater than The Parking Prankster's worked this all out - The Prankster is just documenting it here for easy reference. The Prankster would like to thank Jack155 for first publicising this, and ItchyCrakus for reminding him where he saw it.

When a Private Parking Company inevitably turns down your appeal, they are supposed to dish out a 10 digit POPLA code. Here is an explanation as to how the code is derived.

The code can be broken down into 4 fields:


PPP is a three digit code identifying the Parking Company. The Pranksters favourite code is 292, which is HighView Parking.

DDD is the day of the year (001-367) they issued the POPLA code

Y is the last digit of the year they issued the POPLA code. For 2013, this will be 3

NNN is your place in the number of appeals they turned down that day 000-999. No one knows what happens if they want to turn down more than 999 appeals in one day; perhaps they have to allow all other appeals after that.

Of these, by far the most important is the day the PPC issued the POPLA code. You only have 28 days from then to submit your appeal. Unscrupulous PPCs have been known to backdate POPLA codes so that they expire before the 28 days are up. The Prankster has even heard unsubstantiated rumours that some codes have already expired by the time they are issued.

The Prankster therefore recommends you always check the POPLA code to find out the day of issue. Here is a handy guide for non leap years, such as 2013.

month               days     yearday
jan 31 1
feb 28 32
mar 31 60
apr 30 91
may 31 121
jun 30 152
jul 31 182
aug 31 213
sep 30 244
oct 31 274
nov 30 305
dec 31 335

The second column shows the days in each month. The third, the day of the year of the first of each month. So a POPLA code issued today, 13th July should be 182 + 13 - 1 = 194

When you get your rejection letter, use the date on the letter and the postcode on the envelope to work out the POPLA code you should have been given. If the POPLA code you are given is smaller than this, complain to the British Parking Association (BPA) Ltd that the parking company is using sharp practices and delaying handing out your POPLA code.

Add 28 to the POPLA code to find when you must appeal to POPLA by. The Prankster recommends appealing online straight away with the appeal reason: details to follow. This then gives you at least 35 days to get in your complete POPLA appeal.

Here is a worked example. Highview Parking sent The Prankster POPLA code 2920513001.

292 = Highview Parking
051 = 51st day of year, or Feb 20th
3 = 2013
001 = The Prankster was the first appeal turned down that day.

The Prankster checked the date on the rejection letter which was Feb 20th. Highview Parking therefore played fair with their allocation date. They did send the rejection by second class post so it only arrived on Feb 24th. This means The Prankster only actually has 24 days to appeal. The Prankster wasn't too sure whether they actually posted the letter the same day they wrote it because Highview Parking use a mail service which does not postmark envelopes. In this particular case The Prankster decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and not to complain to the BPA Ltd.

Here is another. Smart Parking sent the POPLA code 8511283200

851 = Smart Parking
128 = May 8th
3 = 2013
200 = The Prankster was the 200th appeal turned down that day

The Prankster checked the date on the rejection letter which was May 8th. The letter arrived on May 16th.  This means The Prankster only therefore has 20 days to appeal. The Prankster checked the postmark which was 8th May. The Prankster considers that using up over 1/4 of his appeal time is taking the mickey, but that Smart Parking should not be held responsible for failures of the Royal Mail. In this particular case The Prankster decided not to complain to the BPA Ltd.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Has it been proven yet that POPLA takes the appeal limit as 28 days from the issue of the code? Clearly it would be 28 days from receipt of the code, so the day code reference may only be relevant internally...?

    1. POPLA reject appeals without even reading them if they are over 28 days, which I take as proof the clock starts ticking as soon as the code is find the date of receipt they would actually need to read the appeal.

  2. really? have you got a case where this actually happened? because if so then that's a bit tricky as they would at least have to give one or two days for delivery of the code. in the case where this actually happened, have you taken this further?

  3. This has not happened to me but cases have been reported on pepipoo and moneysavingexpert. If it happened to me, I would certainly take it further. If it's happened to anyone else and they want to email me details I would be happy to blog about it.

    As for giving one or two days grace...this is the parking industry. That just makes me laugh! Why would they want to play fair? Why else do you think they use a secret code? No rejection letter contains the actual POPLA expiry date...the motorist is left to try and figure it out for themselves.

  4. I have 2 rejection letters,one dated 21/11/2013 and one dated 19/02/2014.
    Both have the same POPLA code with the day as 325 which equals 20/12/2013.
    The code was not recognised on the POPLA site on receipt of either letter.
    I tried the code 2 days ago,and suddenly it worked...although it is now out of date!
    Parking Eye are the bandits in question.