Putting the fun back into Parking

POPLA Referrals


When a parking company wants to take you to court, usually the most cost efficient way to settle the dispute is to use the independent appeals service, POPLA. This is free to the motorist and costs the parking company £27. In addition, the process is evidence based and does not require time off work or expensive lawyers - both parties write in with their case, which is then heard by an assessor.

This therefore saves time and money for both parties, and also saves the courts a lot of time. 

However, trying to get a parking company to use POPLA once a case has been filed can be like getting blood out of a stone. Why is this? The simple fact is that parking cases have only recently been hitting the courts in numbers and as a result few judges have experience of parking cases. Parking cases typically explore complex areas of law, resulting in 500 or more pages of documentation on both sides and hearings of between 3 hours and a day, all for a £100 parking charge. Many judges do not have the time to research all the issues and as a result decisions vary wildly from court to court and day to day.

Contrast this with POPLA, where the assessors only deal with parking cases and therefore have detailed knowledge of the law surrounding these areas.

The parking companies know that they will lose at POPLA, because it is impossible to run a business for substantial profit from charges levied to make good a loss. They therefore prefer to chance their arm at court.

Some judges have realised it would be far better for everyone concerned to refer the case back to POPLA. There have been no known cases where this happened where the issue had to go back to the courts for resolution. This can therefore be seen as a success for all parties (as costs are kept down) and also for the court, whose precious time is not wasted in a hearing.

This page documents those cases, which can be used as a reference to try and persuade other cases to be treated in a similar manner.

​[unknown] Premier Park Limited v Mr R. Premier Park did not obey the correct POPLA procedure for two parking charges, and therefore Exeter court stayed the case until both were completed. POPLA upheld both appeals by May 2014.

3JD00719 ParkingEye v Mr O. DJ Major, Croyden, referred the case to POPLA. ParkingEye did not submit any evidence to POPLA and therefore the appeal was upheld in early 2014.

3JD05448 ParkingEye v Gilmartin. ParkingEye obtained a default judgment which was contested and the case referred to POPLA in the first instance. ParkingEye did not show there was any initial loss to the landowner, so the appeal was upheld on 28/03/2014.

Bolton County Court referred a case to POPLA as recorded here. Unfortunately the defendant had settled a day earlier.

3JD10502 ParkingEye v Mrs P, Blackburn County Court. DDJ Buckley sitting at Accrington County Court read the papers and referred the case to POPLA.

A0JD4266 ParkingEye v Mr X, Sheffield County Court. Deputy District Judge Baddeley ordered a stay of the case for POPLA and failing resolution a further stay pending the Court of Appeal outcome of ParkingEye v Beavis