Steer clear of an unfair private parking ticket

The Consumer Council’s top tips

The Consumer Council is advising drivers in Northern Ireland how to avoid penalties whilst parking on private land or in a car park which is operated by a private organisation, such as a retail park.

Philippa McKeown-Brown, Head of Consumer Empowerment and Protection at The Consumer Council, said: “Receiving a Parking Charge Notice can be frustrating and costly, especially on the run up to Christmas, which is already an expensive time of year. It is also when car parks get busier and we spend longer shopping. Here are some simple tips to avoid getting a charge:

  • Read the signs – Be sure to look for signage which confirms the length of time you are allowed to park, and other terms and conditions;
  • Park correctly – Parking Charge Notices are not just for over-staying. You can be ticketed for parking over the white lines; 
  • Show your permits – If you are a permit-holder, or blue badge carrier, ensure it is clearly visible; 
  • Check your registration – Ensure you enter the correct car registration in Pay and Display machines. Failure to do so will lead to a Parking Charge Notice even if you have paid the correct amount; 
  • Do not use blue badge or permit holder spaces – Unless you have the permits to do so, parking in spaces for blue badge or permit holders may result in clamping as well as a Penalty Charge Notice; and 
  • Always keep your ticket – Just in case you receive a parking charge notice. 

Philippa added: “We would encourage anyone who has received what they believe to be an unfair Parking Charge Notice to get in touch with us in the first instance. In the last 12 months, we have overturned 333 private parking fines, saving consumers almost £40,000.” 

If you have received an unfair private parking ticket, please contact The Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or you can download our Unfair Private Parking Penalty Tickets/Fines Factsheet from

Last updated 5 months 4 weeks ago by Eoin McShane