Author: Howard Tilney
Published: November 10, 2015
Reading time: 2 minutes
This article is 6 years old.
Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down
This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.
The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.
The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.
Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.
If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.
All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.
Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.
Mr Beavis took action after he was given an £85 ticket for overstaying a two-hour parking limit by almost an hour.
The case of Beavis v ParkingEye hinged on whether the fine charged by parking management company ParkingEye was classed as a penalty, which would make it unlawful as penalties need to bear a relation to an actual loss incurred. In this case the company incurred no loss from the overstay.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that the fine was not a penalty as the charge authorises the company to control access to the car park in the interest of customers and the wider public.
The judgment said fines were beneficial to motorists themselves as they make parking spaces available to them which might otherwise be clogged up by long-stay users. John de Waal QC of Hardwicke Chambers, who acted for Barry Beavis, said the case sets a new test for ‘take it or leave it’ consumer contracts as the law was last considered at this level 100 years ago. He said: ‘Until today, charges which had been agreed in advance, payable on breach of contract, were disallowed as unlawful penalties unless they could be justified as a genuine pre-estimate of loss.
Today’s judgment sweeps away that rule and says that deterrent charges will be allowed if there is some commercial justification for them.’