ANPR Ltd are a Parking Company and members of the British Parking Association Ltd (BPA) Approved Operator Scheme. As part of that scheme they have to sign up the BPA Ltd Code of Practice which states.
19.5 If the parking charge that the driver is being asked to pay
is for a breach of contract or act of trespass, this charge
must be based on the genuine pre-estimate of loss that
Now, the problem is that any genuine pre-estimate of loss is going to be a tiny amount. For a free car park, the loss caused to the car parking company will be £2.50 to the DVLA to get the registered keeper's address and another 50p to post of the Notice to Keeper. So how can the parking company turn that into worthwhile loot? Trev Whitehouse, the boss of ANPR Ltd had an ingenious idea. He would pretend that he had a contract with the landowner which would force him to pay out if a motorist broke the parking conditions.
Here is an example of the signage he uses.
The sign states: "If you park without our permission [...] we, ANPR Ltd will be in breach of our contract with the proprietor of this private land. We will require you (the trespasser) to pay us £100 compensation as 'liquidated damages' for our breach of contract.
Here is another example shamelessly stolen by The Prankster from pepipoo
Now, the major logical flaw in this is that Our Trev cannot possibly make any money from this scheme. If he really does have to pay the landowner £100 for breach of contract then any money he gets from the motorist will go straight to the landowner. If the motorist does not pay up, then Our Trev still owes the landowner £100 and will be mightily out of pocket. If Our Trev offers the required BPA Ltd discount of 40% for prompt payment then he will still be £40 out of pocket for each paid-up (should that be made up) charge.
So, is the signage all a big lie, or does Trev really run car parks out of the goodness of his heart, splashing out cash to landowners whenever a motorist transgresses?
Not surprisingly, it's all a big lie. This all came to light in a recent POPLA case where the motorist queried the amount charged as not being a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Our Trev foolishly supplied POPLA with a copy of his contract. The assessor was quick to spot the absence of any £100 penalty clause requiring Trev to cough up to the landowner.
Here is the assessor's decision.
Of course, this means the wheels have well and truly fallen off the bus for ANPR Ltd. All their parking charges have become instantly unenforceable at a stroke.
One of the requirements the Secretary of State imposed upon POPLA was to report breaches of the code of conduct to the BPA Ltd. So far they have only reported one breach. This would be an excellent opportunity for them to double their record, especially since ANPR Ltd committed further offences by using debt collectors while the POPLA appeal was still ongoing.
The Prankster isn't holding his breath though. Never mind, if you ever received a ticket from ANPR Ltd where they used signage like the above, you can complain yourself to the BPA Ltd at:
|British Parking Association||T: 01444 447 300|
|Stuart House, 41-43 Perrymount Road||F: 01444 454 105|
|Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3BN|
Once the BPA Ltd are informed of a breach of the Code of Practice they are duty bound to investigate.
The Parking Prankster