Author Topic: How to beat a PCN for not paying airport drop off charge  (Read 813 times)

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Offline Web Admin

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How to beat a PCN for not paying airport drop off charge
« on: 12 December, 2022, 12:16:39 PM »
I was slapped with a £150 fine and threatened after I forgot to pay airport parking charge – here’s how I beat it

Jane Matthews
Published: 13:03, 22 Nov 2022Updated: 13:10, 22 Nov 2022

A LAWYER who was slapped with a £150 fine after he forgot to pay an airport parking charge has revealed how he beat it - and how you can, too.

Edward Levey KC forgot to pay the £5 drop-off fee at Heathrow Airport and found himself being threatened with "further action" if he didn't pay the inflated ticket.

Edward Levey KC took to Twitter to share how he beat a £150 parking ticket

Edward made two entertaining, and educational, threads to help others who may find themselves in the same situation

But, the law expert says he found a way out of coughing up the cash, and has taken to Twitter to share it.

In a number of entertaining and educational threads, Edward shared his triumph against APCOA Parking, who issued the ticket.

He said if people end up in the same situation as he did "you may want to consider not paying it".

The Fountain Court Chambers‘ lawyer said, in his opinion, the £150 fine was “clearly unenforceable” and he had considered legal proceedings against the parking firm.

He claimed there were two reasons the ticket was unenforceable - including that it was unfair under the Consumer Rights Act.

But Edward said he no longer planned to take legal action as the firm decided to waive the fine “as a gesture of goodwill” - after he contacted them with his legal concerns.

Edward said it wasn't long after he dropped his daughter at Heathrow Airport that he realised he'd forgotten to pay the £5 charge.

He says he missed the payment deadline and immediately called APCOA Parking, who told him to wait for the letter, then appeal it.

Edward did exactly that, and said: "The letters were made to look 'official' and they were increasingly threatening in their content and tone."

He went on to say there were two reasons the fine was unenforceable, adding: "But before I explain, it is important to be clear that I am dealing *specifically* here with a situation where you are issued a PCN because you failed to pay a charge within a specified time limit."

Edward said the first reason was: "The relevant contractual term is 'unfair' under section 62 of the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015."

And the second was: "The relevant term is an unlawful penalty and unenforceable at common law."

He explained the rise of the ticket from a £5 fee, because he didn't pay by within the less than 48-hour deadline, is "likely to be treated as unfair because it's a disproportionately high sum in compensation".

Edward added: "Now that doesn't mean it is definitely unfair, but it's a strong indication that a court would treat it as unfair."

He then went on to use a case and legal jargon to explain the second reason, which illustrated how “a court will not enforce a clause if it amounts to a penalty”.

Edward added: "The reality is that the entire system is designed to take advantage of the fact that people with the best intentions in the world simply forget to pay when they get home, as happened to me.

"The system is set up to make it as easy as possible for people to forget."

You can read Edward's Twitter threads here (, and here (

The Sun Online has approached APCOA Parking for comment.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: How to beat a PCN for not paying airport drop off charge
« Reply #1 on: 02 October, 2023, 09:56:49 AM »
The success story continues.   <Owned>  :aplude: :aplude: :aplude: :aplude:


How we beat Gatwick and Heathrow airport drop-off charges

How lawyers helped to overturn one man’s fine for failing to pay a £5 fee at Gatwick when he was collecting his parents

Saturday September 30 2023, 12.01am, The Times

Simon Fullerton, 47, was taken to court for failing to pay Gatwick parking charges

A landmark court ruling could make it easier to contest fines for those who fall foul of costly airport drop-off fees.

“Kiss and fly” charges are now common at airports, charging drivers up to 60p a minute to drop someone off at the terminal.

But the system at Heathrow and Gatwick has been called into question after a £5 drop-off charge spiralled into a £250 demand from debt collectors.

Simon Fullerton, 47, was taken to court for failing to pay the charge at Gatwick. While most airports take payment by cash or card when you leave the drop-off zone, at Gatwick and Heathrow your registration plate is scanned and you have to pay online by midnight the next day. At Gatwick £5 buys you ten minutes and it costs £25 if you stay longer while at Heathrow you pay £5 per drop-off and there is no time limit.

Fullerton, a children’s entertainer from Lewisham in south London, had collected his parents after they flew in from Belfast on October 14, 2021. He went online to make the payment that evening but never got an email receipt.

The following week when he took his parents back to the airport and paid the fee without issue, he called NCP, which operates the parking zone, to ask about his first payment. NCP said that he had missed the cut-off but offered him the chance to pay £15, which he refused. He was issued a penalty notice of £100, which would be reduced to £60 if he paid within 14 days. “I felt I had been hit with this fine through no fault of my own — I had paid the £5. So I put my foot down,” said Fullerton.

When he didn’t pay, the charge was passed to BW Legal, a debt recovery law firm. By the beginning of this month it had risen to £250 and Fullerton was being taken to Bromley county court.

Luckily, he had help from Richard Evans, a partner at the Memery Crystal law firm, and Edward Levey, KC, a commercial barrister, who decided to act for him free of charge after they also received drop-off penalties.

Levey said: “When I told the parking company that I was planning to take the matter to court, they cancelled the ticket without me even asking them to. It seemed unfair to me that so many people in a similar situation were being pressured into paying, which is why I offered on Twitter to act pro bono for anyone taken to court.”

On September 20, the deputy district judge Hannah Brookfield ruled that Fullerton’s parking charge was unfair under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. Fullerton had had no opportunity to consider the terms and conditions of the parking contract before he entered Gatwick’s drop-off zone and became liable for the £5, she said. The debt collectors’ claim was thrown out and the firm’s lawyers were told that an appeal was unlikely to succeed.

While a county court ruling does not set legal precedent, it is hoped that this could give others who fall foul of airport charges hope of a successful appeal.

Private parking firms, which run the drop-off zones at airports as well as thousands of other car parks across the country, issued 9.1 million penalty charges last year and only 20 per cent of motorists appealed against the fines, according to the British Parking Association (BPA), a trade group. More than half those appeals were successful, though.

It is not known how many fines were issued in airport drop-off zones.

“I think most people pay because they don’t think they have any other option,” Levey said. “But if I could just get one court to say it’s unfair, that would at least send a message to the parking companies that the charges may not be enforceable, and it might help others in a similar situation.”

Gatwick and Heathrow, which were visited by almost 100 million people last year, introduced drop-off charges in 2021. The airports made a combined £244.7 million from all parking in 2022.

“It feels completely stacked against the consumer,” Fullerton said. “There are plenty of signs with pound signs on them saying that you have to pay, but they didn’t say the amount or that there was a penalty.

“By the time you can read the terms and conditions you’re in the drop-off zone. You can’t reverse out as it’s a one-way road and you’re not supposed to leave your car. It’s a farce.

“When you get these debt letters, it sounds very serious, I hope people start questioning these letters. You’re a consumer, not a criminal.”

BW Legal and NCP said they were considering whether to appeal.

NCP said: “Gatwick uses a free-flow ANPR system to enable motorists to safely drop passengers off and exit the zone safely with no delays.”

It said that a September 2022 audit by the BPA found its drop-off zone signage was “adequate”.

Apcoa, which runs parking at Heathrow, said: “There is clear and extensive signage prior to entering any forecourt that the drop-off charge is in place, how to comply and where to pay.

“There are options/routes to exit all of our forecourt areas without paying if you mistakenly enter or decide that you no longer want to drop off a passenger — as long as the vehicle does not stop.”

How to challenge a fine

● You have the right to appeal against a penalty notice, whether it is issued by a council or a private firm, and the success rate is good. Include any evidence, for example a screenshot showing that you tried to pay, or photos of confusing signs. You can find sample letters to use online at

● If your appeal to a private firm is rejected, you have 28 days to appeal to the independent service Parking on Private Land Appeals. If you lose at this point, your only option is the small claims court, but this can be expensive. There is a claim fee of about 5 per cent of your claim, a £40 allocation fee and a hearing fee of up to £335.


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