Large retail outlets such as supermarkets, DIY or Furniture Stores are the main private businesses and as such in charge of their car park management. Effectively managing your car park is probably something that comes low down on the list of priorities in the day to day running of a large retail outlet, where profit margins, stock control and staff welfare are likely to be much greater considerations. However, when your car park starts to be frequented by people who are not actually shopping at your store, it can actually have an adverse effect on your profits as it could drive customers away if they can’t find anywhere to park. So, what steps can be taken to ensure only customers using your store actually park there and can you legally impose charges on vehicles that breach parking rules.

Car Parks are usually free to use at large stores as long as you are either making a purchase or perusing the range of products there. One way some stores manage this is to install a ticket machine that needs to be validated in store to ensure you avoid possible charges. Some large outlets such as shopping centres also employ the use of ANPR cameras to help control parking on their premises as these can identify cars by their registration and record how long they have been in situ. Now while it would be nice to think that everyone is a law-abiding citizen who strictly adheres to all the rules, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. So, what powers have you got when a vehicle overstays its allotted time on your property or uses your car park with no intention of using your store.

Can Store Owners Legitimately Issue Parking Charge Notices

When this happens store owners can issue a Parking Charge Notice but are they legally enforceable? If you want to enforce any car parking rules you must display any parking regulations on signs around your car park. On these signs, you must set out the terms of the contract that a driver will enter into when he parks on your property. Once you have done this you can enforce any of the regulations outlined on your notices. There is no legislation around the issue of PCN’s however if you intend to issue then it is prudent to seek membership of an accredited trade association such as the British Parking Association. Many companies will use an accredited operator to issue PCN’s for them and while there is an associated cost it is usually worth it as it removes all the stress that can be caused by rogue parking.

What Options do you Have When it Comes to Issuing Tickets?

There are usually two ways to issue a penalty charge notice, which are either placing the ticket on the windscreen of the offending vehicle or in the case of car parks monitored by ANPR cameras sending the penalty notice through the post. This is where being a member of an accredited association comes in, as unless you are a member you will be unable to request the registered keeper details of the vehicle that has transgressed, leaving you unable to issue the PCN.

Is there an Appeals Procedure for People Receiving PCN’s

The simple answer to this question is yes, so it is imperative that you ensure you follow all relevant procedures when issuing your penalty charge. Appeals are commonly upheld for the following reasons, failure to issue the PCN within the correct timescale, failure to record correct details on the penalty notice or poor signage. This is why it is so important to follow the correct procedure when you issue any notices as failure to do so could cost you money.

So, as you can see you are perfectly entitled to levy charges on cars that park on your property without authorisation just make sure you have all bases covered before you do so.