Dave Hotchin has defeated Parking Eye at the parking company’s own game.
Mr Hotchin drove around half an hour unsuccessfully looking for a parking spot in the Fistral Beach car park in Newquay, Cornwall before giving up and leaving.
Mr Hotchin then receive a demand for £100 from private parking company Parking Eye two months later. Mr Hotchin was surprised as he recalled clearly that he never parked his car in the car park. But Parking Eye’s automatic number plate reader claimed Mr Hotchin had parked his car in the car park for the half hour period without paying for parking.
Mr Hotchin said he received up to four warning letters from Parking Eye in the following weeks, demanding that he pay the parking charge notice.
Mr Hotchin tried mediation with the parking Eye who steadfastly refused to negoatiate over the matter, “Parking Eye sent us loads of stuff. They questioned our integrity; they even questioned my wife’s eye-sight. They said someone with standard eye-sight should be able to read the signs,” said Mr Hotchin. “The most vulnerable people in society just pay up, but we decided to stick it out because we felt we had a good case.” said Mr Hotchin. However the judge ruled in favour of Mr Hotchin, saying that the 30 his wife spent driving around the car park did not constitute ‘parking’. The judge said that Parking Eye’s automatic number plate recognition evidence only showed the Hotchin’s time of entry and exit to the car park – not the time parked. He added that the signage in the Parking Eye car park only required payment for times parked.