Returning to your car only to find a yellow sticker emblazoned on the windscreen? We’ve all been there.

Fine about receiving parking fines? We didn’t think so, but there’s good news – parking fine rules have changed!

That yellow sticker that’s instantly recognisable and fills the majority of motorists with dread, indicating that a motoring offence has occurred and that you’ve been caught out. Not only is it frustrating to receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) but also means you’ll be parting with a sum of up to £100. But what if you made a mistake? You entered one letter or number incorrectly or you’ve entered the registration in the wrong order and you’ve been charged despite paying? Well, you might be in luck. New rules have come into effect that will make it easier for drivers to appeal or have tickets cancelled if they make simple errors when it comes to keying-in registration details when paying for parking.

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The British Parking Association (BPA) has revised its Code of Practice for parking on private land. With new data revealing that private parking firms will issue approximately 8.6 million tickets between 2019-2020 – a figure that’s increased by more than 2 million compared to the number of fines issued in 2018/19, the changes will be warmly welcomed by motorists. 

Under the new rules, which have been in effect since 6th January 2020, operators must now show leniency when it comes to minor keying-in errors made on pay and display machines, parking kiosks or at validation terminals. The changes will mean simple mistakes such as typing your registration number into a parking machine or app incorrectly will not incur a penalty. The BPA defines a minor keying error as an instance where “one character has been entered incorrectly, or where the registration has been entered in the wrong order.” Examples of a minor keying error could include: 

·      0 instead of o 

·      I instead of L.

·      1 instead of I.

·      Up to one letter wrong, removed or swapped.

·      Up to one number wrong, removed or swapped.

·      Numbers and/or letters in the wrong order (but where the correct registration is still recognisable) 

Previously, firms have issued out huge penalties for the simplest of errors - and sometimes for no mistakes at all. However, the changes will come as a huge relief to motorists plagued by private parking companies and whilst some operators may continue to issue penalty notices, the BPA will instantly overturn them at the first stage of appeal, meaning drivers will not incur the penalty.

There’s also some good news for those that are issued with fines when ‘major’ keying-in errors have been made that include multiple minor errors to entering a different car’s registration – a spouse’s car registration for example. Motorists may find that these mistakes could result in a £20 charge and may even be successfully appealed if it can be proven that parking was indeed paid for. The new Code of Practice also outlines that drivers should be granted a ‘Grace Period’ of at least 10 minutes before a PCN can be issued.

Receiving a Parking Charge Notice for accidentally entering the incorrect number plate details when paying for parking could well be a thing of the past. Whilst the news will be welcomed by all, we’d still advise motorists to ensure that they are aware of the terms of agreement when parking on private land and at the very least keep/take an image of the parking receipt as evidence should you find yourself issued with a PCN. For more visit the British Parking Association website where the revised rules can be found in full. 

Have you been a victim of a parking fine as a result of a typo? Let us know via our social media channels.

Other CarCliq articles that might interest you:

Don’t Be Caught Out By Yellow Box Junctions

UK’s Top Penalty Point Hotspots Revealed

How To Avoid Or Reduce Parking Ticket Fines

Know Your Rights – Traffic Wardens 

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