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Is the registered keeper legally required to provide driver details to a private parking company?


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I recently received a parking charge notice from Excel Parking in Sheffield saying that my car had apparently being parked in a carpark for 10 minutes longer than the time on the ticket purchased. The date of this was 2 1/2 weeks prior to me receiving the letter from Excel. Several people drive my car and although I know at the time who has it, I don't keep records of who has driven it when, so I'm not able to say who was driving it at a particular time on a given date 2 1/2 weeks ago (who could?!). The car park has an automatic number plate recognition system, so no notice was left on the car at the time. If it had been then the person driving would have known they'd got a ticket but as it is, no-one can remember who had the car at that point in time.

 

I have read the posts here about private parking companies and the various legal aspects of them charging fines for overstaying in a carpark, and I wrote to Excel with the following:

"I acknowledge receipt of the above Parking Charge Notice, dated 14/01/2009. You state that you obtained my details from the DVLA and I confirm that I am the registered keeper of the above vehicle. However although the registered keeper is responsible for any parking contravention charges issued by the police or local authority (under the Road Traffic Act of 1991), you will obviously be aware that this is not the case for parking contravention charges issued by private parking companies and that any contract that you believe to have had is with the driver of this vehicle on the day in question, not with the registered keeper. I do not keep records of who has driven this car on a given day, nor is the registered keeper under any legal obligation to supply you with this information. In sum, I absolutely deny your claim that the amount claimed, or any amount at all, is due to you from me as the registered keeper of the vehicle".

 

Today I received a very longwinded letter back from Excel, the only relevant bit stating: "We acknowledge that you are the registered keeper of the above vehicle, however we further note your claims that you were not the driver on the day in question. We must reiterate the imperative need for the driver details to be forwarded immediately in order to avoid the issuing of proceedings against yourself. As the registered keeper of the vehicle you are required by law to know the whereabouts of your vehicle and in whose responsibility you leave your vehicle while not driving yourself. The payment required is £60 or driver details to be received by our office by 26th February 2009. If we do not receive payment by this date the charge will revert to £100. Failure to comply may result in the issue of court proceedings whereby further costs could be incurred."

 

Can anyone comment on this? The way I see it, I may be required as the registered keeper to know who is driving my car and where it is at the time - but does this mean I am legally obliged to keep records of who was driving it that I can access several weeks later, and am I required by law to provide a private parking company with this information?

If not, can anyone point me in the direction of concrete legal information that I can quote to Excel in my letter back to them? From what I've read on here and on other sites, people seem to think that the registered keeper is under no obligation to provide Excel with information about who was driving the car, however Excel obviously disagree with this so I need to know exactly where I stand legally, if I'm going to argue it.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

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As the registered keeper of the vehicle you are required by law to know the whereabouts of your vehicle and in whose responsibility you leave your vehicle while not driving yourself
They are, of course 100% correct. with this statement

 

but what you are NOT required to do by law is tell them who it was. It is for them to prove not you to tell.

 

The only people that can demand this information is the police/courts under a s172 request. Private parking companies have NO right to demand this.

 

Pesonally I would stop communication with them, ignore any further letters as replying only makes them think they have a chance of getting something from you. If you spend the time arguing with them they will continue to pursue you. If you ignore they they will eventually go away.

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Thanks for that - how do you know that private parking companies don't have the right to demand this information from me though? And is it possible that they could get an s172 request issued on their behalf so I would have to either provide driver info or pay the charge myself?

 

I intend to write back to them with one final letter to reiterate my point that they have no claim against me as the registered keeper and to tell them that I will not respond to any further letters, and I'd like to be able to quote a law or something which specifically states that they cannot take action against me for not providing them with the details of who was driving the car. I don't want to enter into never-ending arguments with them, but I do want them to see that I know what I'm talking about rather than thinking I'm just someone making it up as I go along in the hope I'll get rid of them! I'm reluctant to completely ignore them because although I know I'm in the right, I don't want the hassle of them threatening to take me to court if I can avoid it.

Edited by rosaespanola
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its difficult to point to a statute to say that they DO NOT have the right because there isn't one.

S172 of the Road traffic Act says that the Police DO have the right and there is no legislation granting ppc the same right.

 

take a look at this post

 

Private parking companies: should I appeal my Parking Charge Notice through their appeals procedure? — The Roadside Lawyer

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If your not content to just ignore, you could ask them to identify which statute provisions you to supply information at their demand. Obviously, they wont be able to reference.

Tag on an harassment letter in the event they are unable to provide said information.

 

 
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The payment required is £60 or driver details to be received by our office by 26th February 2009. If we do not receive payment by this date the charge will revert to £100.

 

Hell, why not make it £500? Idiots.

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Related case law:

 

http://www.39essex.co.uk/documents/JB_RDU_Norwich_Pharmacal_paper_060207.pdf

 

 

suggests that they could seek a court order for you to divulge the information. But the burden of proof is high for them to be successful, *and* they would be required to pay for your defence.

 

So for a £60 "fine" they're not going to do that are they!

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S172 of the Road traffic Act says that the Police DO have the right and there is no legislation granting ppc the same right.

 

 

Agree.

 

However, in order to provide a complete answer. |

 

Additional to the above. where parking is not decriminalised, Councils are entitled in law under s.112 of the RTRA 1984 to request the details of the driver when pursuing an ECN.

 

There is no legislation or case law supporting the demand of a private parking company; you are fully entitled to refuse/ignore their demand unless it is backed by a Court Order.

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This is what I'm intending to send them in response - any comments welcome!

 

"I acknowledge receipt of the above letter in response to my letter dated 29th January 2009.

 

To refer back to the point I made in my original letter to Excel Parking regarding my obligation to provide you with details of who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention, you are of course correct in saying that as the registered keeper of vehicle xxxx xxx I am required by law to know the whereabouts of the vehicle and in whose responsibility it is left. However while Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act states that the Police have the right to request driver details from the registered keeper, I am not aware of any legislation granting the same right to private parking companies such as Excel Parking so the onus is therefore on the private parking company to provide evidence of the driver’s identity. If this is not the case, I would be grateful if you could identify the statute which requires me to supply driver details at your demand. Unless you are able to provide this information or alternatively can supply evidence that I was the driver at the time of the alleged contravention, I will consider our correspondence closed and will not respond to any further demands or threats from Excel Parking regarding the above parking charge notice."

 

Comments?

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I disagree. there is no such requirement. please quote statute.

 

I would agree with lamma on this.In the case of a hire car company, they may know WHO is driving one of their cars at a given time, but they cannot possibly know WHERE it is being driven, and I can find no legislation that requires them to know this, other than if it is to go overseas.

 

It therefore follows that a private registered keeper is not legally required to keep information other than who is driving - solely for insurance puposes.

 

If this was a police matter, they would ask the registered keeper for the name of the driver at the time of the offence, and would then pursue the named driver for details of where the car was driven.Why should a PPC expect the registered keeper to do this when the police don't.

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I recently received a parking charge notice from Excel Parking in Sheffield saying that my car had apparently being parked in a carpark for 10 minutes longer than the time on the ticket purchased. The date of this was 2 1/2 weeks prior to me receiving the letter from Excel. Several people drive my car and although I know at the time who has it, I don't keep records of who has driven it when, so I'm not able to say who was driving it at a particular time on a given date 2 1/2 weeks ago (who could?!). The car park has an automatic number plate recognition system, so no notice was left on the car at the time. If it had been then the person driving would have known they'd got a ticket but as it is, no-one can remember who had the car at that point in time.

 

I have read the posts here about private parking companies and the various legal aspects of them charging fines for overstaying in a carpark, and I wrote to Excel with the following:

"I acknowledge receipt of the above Parking Charge Notice, dated 14/01/2009. You state that you obtained my details from the DVLA and I confirm that I am the registered keeper of the above vehicle. However although the registered keeper is responsible for any parking contravention charges issued by the police or local authority (under the Road Traffic Act of 1991), you will obviously be aware that this is not the case for parking contravention charges issued by private parking companies and that any contract that you believe to have had is with the driver of this vehicle on the day in question, not with the registered keeper. I do not keep records of who has driven this car on a given day, nor is the registered keeper under any legal obligation to supply you with this information. In sum, I absolutely deny your claim that the amount claimed, or any amount at all, is due to you from me as the registered keeper of the vehicle".

 

Today I received a very longwinded letter back from Excel, the only relevant bit stating: "We acknowledge that you are the registered keeper of the above vehicle, however we further note your claims that you were not the driver on the day in question. We must reiterate the imperative need for the driver details to be forwarded immediately in order to avoid the issuing of proceedings against yourself. As the registered keeper of the vehicle you are required by law to know the whereabouts of your vehicle and in whose responsibility you leave your vehicle while not driving yourself. The payment required is £60 or driver details to be received by our office by 26th February 2009. If we do not receive payment by this date the charge will revert to £100. Failure to comply may result in the issue of court proceedings whereby further costs could be incurred."

 

Can anyone comment on this? The way I see it, I may be required as the registered keeper to know who is driving my car and where it is at the time - but does this mean I am legally obliged to keep records of who was driving it that I can access several weeks later, and am I required by law to provide a private parking company with this information?

If not, can anyone point me in the direction of concrete legal information that I can quote to Excel in my letter back to them? From what I've read on here and on other sites, people seem to think that the registered keeper is under no obligation to provide Excel with information about who was driving the car, however Excel obviously disagree with this so I need to know exactly where I stand legally, if I'm going to argue it.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

 

Your final response could be something like this -

 

"Thank you for your letter dated XXX. Further to your remarks I would make the following, final, observations.

 

As the keeper I am liable for any and all matters arising within the statutory obligations and responsibilities as laid down by the Road Traffic Act 1991. Futhermore, per the RTA 1988 and Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, I am also obligated to ensure that I am aware of who is using my vehicle, that that party has the necessary insurances and that no offences per 'use, cause, permit' are committed.

 

I note that your invoice is not persuant to action under the Road Traffic Act 1991, nor is your request for information to further an action per the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. To this end I am under no obligation to furnish you with these details, nor have you a right, in law, to request or require the same.

 

I can confirm, as the registered keeper, that I was not the driver at the time. Per UK law a contract may NOT be binding upon a third party as a result of the actions of the first and second party. In this instance there is no vicarious liability. This has been a constant of UK law and I am confident that you or your legal advisors are aware of this position.

 

Consequently you have, and are aware that you have, no cause of action whatsoever against me. Your suggestions of such are criminal and contrary to Section 40 (3) and (4). of the Administration of Justice Act 1970.

 

Furthermore, were there any liability on my part this matter concerns the parking of a motor vehicle on private land. Your claim is very clearly one of breach of contract. Per the same you are entitled, under UK law, to damages only. Were I a party to this agreement, which I deny, or were I obliged to pay per vicarious liability, which I am not, I would contend that the sum you seek is unconscionable and reflective of no actual loss. It is therefore, my contention that this sum is a penalty and irrecoverable at common law (Dunlop v New Garage, Murray v Leisureplay).

 

Furthermore, I understand that you contend that this charge is owed as a result of a breach of condition and that a term of the purported contract entitled you to claim this sum. As this alleged contract is based on what you purport to have been clear signs this is clearly a standard form contract. As such it falls within the concern of the Unfair Terms & Conditions in Consumer COntracts regulations 1999. I would contend that this term causes an imbalance of power within our alleged agreement. Per the OFT's guidance and the statutory guidance issued with the regulations, the term you rely on has this effect. The result is that I regard the term as null and void and that your reliance on the same is flawed and gives you no cause for action.

 

I owe you no money, I will not pay you any money and I do not recognise your recourse to any third parties and would remind you that you do so at your own expense.

 

I have made my position clear and outlined my concerns so that there is no room for debate. I will not pay. As this has been made clear to you and I have supported this position with clear reasons I will view any further contact from you as harassment, both civil and criminal. There can be no possible purpose for your contacting me again save to cause harassment or to illicit payment by intimidation. This will not be stood or. Furthermore, I am not obliged to give you my time freely. In the event you should write to me again for any purpose other than to declare your concern closed or to issue court papers I will initiate a claim for harassment at the county court claiming damages and an injunction. I will further lay information with the local Magistrates' Court claiming an offence has been committed. Your letters will be read at a cost to you of £50 per letter for my time in reading, considering, researching and replying to the letters. Should you write to me other than for the accepted purpose, I will be entitled to understand that you have accepted my charge and issue an invoice. Non payment will be treated seriously and I will initiate action if needs be to recover any incurred debt on your part.

 

Furthermore, your representation that I, as the keeper, am liable for the actions of a thuird party within a private contract is incorrect. As you have made this assertion and been corrected a great many times by consumers in the past it is my contention that any such assertion by you in the future will be an attempt to commit fraud contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 - fraud by misrepresentation. A further information will be placed before the magistrates' clerk in the event you should give cause for the same.

 

Your only recourse is to immediate legal action through the county court. I will tolerate nothing more.

 

This is my final response on the matter."

 

I think that should do it.

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As the registered keeper of the vehicle you are required by law to know the whereabouts of your vehicle and in whose responsibility you leave your vehicle while not driving yourself.

 

I am also obligated to ensure that I am aware of who is using my vehicle, that that party has the necessary insurances and that no offences per 'use, cause, permit' are committed.

 

I'm not sure I agree with what excel have said nor Docs submission that it is 100% correct.

I agree with what Pete has advised to send.

 

Can anyone show me where it is laid down that you have to know the whereabouts of your vehicle?

 

If I lend my son my car to do a touring holiday around the UK, does he have to ring me ever hour to let me know where he is? I don't think so.

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Just to clarify, there is no legal obligation whatsoever on a registered keeper to know either the whereabouts or the driver of the vehicle of which he is RK.

 

If as RK, you receive a proper and lawful s.172 demand from the Police, then you are not obliged to investigate who was driving, but simply inform them of who had charge of the vehicle. That person or entity will receive their own s.172, and so on until the final s.172 is signed by someone admitting to being the driver.

 

If you think about a company car for a moment. The RK will be the leasing company, who will not know who the driver was, only that X company lease the car. X company will get an s.172 and name the person allocated the car. That person will get their own s.172 and may then admit to driving or name some other person (spouse?) - if the latter, then that other person will get their own s.172.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Excellent, thanks to everyone for taking the time to help me out.

Awaiting response from Excel (hopefully there won't be one!).

There will be.

But it will totally ignore everything regarding them and the relevant statutes. They'll just ask for more money. Then you ignore and get on with your life.

Their ANPR systems, certainly on some sites, are dodgy (for want of a better description), they won't be going near any Courts with that problem hanging over them.

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