Thursday, 17 September 2015

Civil Enforcement Limited/Creative parking actual costs

CEL are known for issuing claims which they variously claim are contractual charges, charges for breach of contract or charges for trespass. It it clear at least that older claims are for breach of contract although they have now updated their signage and it is currently a matter for dispute.

In general claims for breach of contact must match the losses incurred by the injured party, so a valid question is, just how much do CEL lose when they issue a ticket.

The immediate answer is of course nothing. However, they do then start to lose money due to the issuing of the ticket itself. CEL do not usually have a direct contract with the landowners themselves. Contracts are issued through their sister company Creative Parking. This helps keep a respectable distance from the murky actions of CEL and the actions of Creative. CEL can be viewed of as a disposable shell which can be phoenixed if any problems occur, while the other company, Creative is carefully kept out of the news and squeaky clean.

A useful guide as to how much a ticket costs Civil Enforcement Limited/Creative Parking comes from this FoI request. Creative have a contract with health provider Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust where they enter a revenue share on parking charges issued. Costs are deducted on an open book basis, and the remainder then shared between the trust and Creative on a 20%/80% split.

At this site CEL set the charge level to £70, so if a charge is paid on issue of a PCN then the profit is around £66. If the charge is paid on issue of a notice to keeper, then profits drop to around £63 per ticket.

It is only if a motorist appeals, and in particular appeals to POPLA that profits drop.

Creative give the Trust a handy guide to the levels expected for the various costs.

Charges such as patrol hours, NHS support, and vehicle costs are general running costs of car park management and cannot be attributed to losses incurred by motorist breaches. The expenses directly incurred as a result of 1,000 breaches comes to 8867. The average cost per breach is therefore £8.87.

The charge of £70 is therefore clearly extravagant and unconscionable, and moreover is in breach of the government guidelines on hospital parking contracts which forbid contracts which incentivise the issuing of tickets.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. The linked contract includes. £15,000 + VAT payable by the Trust for signage. That seems a large cost for the Trust to bear in order to facilitate the PPC's activities.

  2. The POPLA response cost seems disproportionally high.

    1. There is a forumla;

      Cost of POPLA Response = Cost of ticket - (Sum of all other made up items)