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Angus MacDonald MSP backs Citizens Advice Scotland "It's Not Fine" campaign on unfair private parking charges

New legal opinion - Private parking tickets 'can be challenged in court' 

Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has voiced his backing for a campaign by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) against unfair charges for parking on private land. The It’s Not Fine campaign reminds consumers that such charges are not fines or penalty notices as on public property. It also seeks to help those hit by disproportionate or unfair charges fight back.

Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) across Scotland have helped clients challenge charges and have been at the forefront of campaign activities. They have seen consumers charged up to £200 for outstaying allotted time limits by as little as half an hour. Signs in such private car parks – often those outside supermarkets and garden centres – are not always clear or visible. Those who do not pay the charges often receive repeated letters from car park operators, many of which have references to rules and processes that do not apply in Scotland, such as County Court Judgements and the use of bailiffs.

Welcoming the launch of the campaign and the release of the legal opinion, Angus MacDonald MSP said:

“The action taken by Citizens Advice Scotland is very welcome. The fact that we now have legal opinion provided by CAS which states clearly that people can challenge private parking fees on two specific grounds: the size of the charge and whether the charges were adequately displayed in the car park.

“CAS have been campaigning on this issue for a number of months, however this new legal opinion gives comfort to anyone wishing to challenge unfair charges in private car parks.

“I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in the position of being charged unfairly for parking to check the advice from the CAB on the links provided and take appropriate action.

“If you feel the ticket has been issued unfairly, or the charge is disproportionate:
• Contact the company operating the car park and state the reasons why. For example, were the signs clear? Template letters are available from Citizens Advice Scotland on the links below.
• Speak to the owner of the car park. Are they aware of the operating company’s conduct?

CAS have made available template letters for you to easily and quickly challenge charges:

• Letter to challenge a parking ticket: parking on private land - you think the ticket is unfair:

• Letter to challenge a parking ticket: parking on private land - you broke the rules but had a good reason:


More information on the campaign is available here:


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