Parking court hearings are an increasing burden on the court service, and today saw a new record high in England and Wales with the number of hearings beating 50 for the first time. for a total of 51.
Another 8 cases were heard in Scotland.
Manchester was the busiest court with 14 hearings. Birmingham was next, with 7.
The Roboclaims business has made it viable to take out speculative claims, regardless of merit, on the basis that most people are scared of the courts system so will pay up. However, as more and more people use the internet for research, the scam nature of large numbers of these claims are exposed, and with the facts available motorists can file a robust defence and proceed to a hearing.
The maths is simple. Suppose a motorist folds on receiving the claim, paying the parking company £175. After court costs, they clear £150. If a motorist defends and wins, the parking company pay £50 court costs £150 advocate costs and £100 motorist costs, losing £300.
If 9 out of 10 motorist fold, the parking company clears £1350, for a cost of £300. The overall profit is £1050.
A number of pressure, information and help groups are springing up on the internet. This dramatically changes the picture. In some areas 9 of 10 cases will now go to a hearing, and courts are reporting huge backlogs.
The maths now becomes £150 taken by the parking company and £2700 lost. With a counterclaim of £250 (and £25 court fee), the losses could rise by another £2475.
Only time will tell how this pans out as more self-help groups spring up.
The Parking Prankster