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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IAS?

The Independent Appeals Service is a Certified Alternative Dispute Resolution provider accredited by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute pursuant to the European Directive on ADR which came into force on the 9th July 2015.

Appeals are considered by a team of Adjudicators and a Lead Adjudicator. The Lead Adjudicator's role is to oversee the independence and integrity of the service and to assume collective responsibility for all adjudications and Adjudicators within the IAS. The Lead Adjudicator is required to be a solicitor or barrister and it is an express term of their appointment that they retain and exercise their professional obligations of independence.

All other Adjudicators are required to be practicing solicitors or barristers and hold a current practising certificate from their regulatory body. This is to guarantee their own independence and competence as their identities are anonymised to protect them from unreasonable adverse attention.

The IAS is administered by the International Parking Community (IPC). The IPC is a trade body representing the interests of private parking operators. Further information about the IPC can be found at www.theipc.info.

The IAS operates on an automated web-based platform which requires no human involvement other than by the parties to an appeal and the Adjudicator that considers it.

Can I Appeal?

You should also have received notification of the parking charge from the operator that issued it. Details of your ability to appeal to them and whether they will engage with the IAS or another ADR provider should be included on that correspondence.

Whether you are able to appeal, the process that you will need to follow in order to engage with the service and the effect of resulting decision depends on a number of features. This Can I Appeal flow chart gives a brief overview of the process.

[b]The IAS [u]will not[/u] consider appeals in the following circumstances:[/b]
  1. Where you have not attempted to resolve the dispute directly with the Operator.
  2. Where another ADR entity or a court has already begun to deal with the matter.
  3. Where the appeal is considered to be vexatious.
  4. Where dealing with such a type of dispute would seriously impair the effective operation of the IAS.
  5. Where the parking charge was imposed more than 12 months ago.

Please refer to the flow chart which summarises the process and conditions of ADR.

Appeals (at all stages) will only be conducted in writing and in the English language.

Is there a Cost to Appeal and is it Binding on Me?

If you have already appealed directly to the operator after following their own internal appeals procedures, and that appeal has been rejected, then you may use the IAS service FREE of charge providing you lodge your appeal within 21 days of the rejection and the result is not binding upon you.

Where you are able to use the Non-Standard Appeal Procedure; you may appeal upon payment of a non-refundable, nominal fee of £15 and you will have to agree to the result of the appeal being binding upon you.

How Do I Appeal?

If you have appealed to an operator and they have rejected your appeal then they will have informed you as to whether you have the ability to appeal that decision to the IAS. Where that have provided this ability then they will pre-register certain details onto the IAS system which will then allow you to access the service.

You should have been directed to www.theIAS.org where you can submit your appeal online. You can appeal by entering the parking charge reference number and the vehicle registration number into the IAS online portal.

If your details are not being accepted, please contact the operator as they will have the information to help you.

You may also appeal by post. If you wish to appeal by post then you will need to use the correct forms during the appeals process. Please refer to the Appealing by Post page for more information.

What is the Appeals Process?

Once you have entered your registration number and parking charge reference number, you will need to register all of your details. Make sure that you provide all of the information that is requested of you along with your correct contact details.

Once you have registered your details, your appeal will follow this procedure:

    Once you have registered your details, your Initial Complaint is activated by identifying the parking charge that you want to appeal against by entering the Parking Charge reference number and your vehicle registration number. You can then upload any evidence that you wish to rely upon and make any representations.

    Your appeal will then have started and you will be sent an email confirming the same. You will need to monitor developments with your appeal as once the Operator has uploaded their evidence, you will be given the opportunity to respond with further representations and evidence. Please note that there are deadlines during the appeals process - at each stage parties are given 5 working days to respond. If you miss a deadline then it may adversely affect your appeal. 

    The parking operator is notified by email of your appeal and is provided with 5 working days to provide details of a Prima Facie case in support of their assertion that a charge is payable by you.

    A 'Prima Facie' case means sufficient evidence to show that there is, on the face of it, an enforceable charge in law.

    You will be sent an email confirming when this has been submitted by them.

    You will be able to log into the system to view the operator's response and view any evidence that has been uploaded. You have 5 working days to submit your written representations and upload all evidence supporting your appeal.  

    An email will be sent to you confirming submission of your evidence.

    The operator is provided with 5 working days to provide written representations and evidence in support of their response to you. You will be notified by email when this has been submitted and the case will then be placed before an adjudicator for a decision to be made.

    Please note, you are not able to respond to these submissions but you can view them by logging into the system.

    All evidence and any representations are submitted and stored on the system awaiting adjudication. Appeals are dealt with in order of submission via on online queuing system. An independent Adjudicator determines the appeal by logging in remotely, reviewing the evidence and providing the reasons in support of their findings.

Once a decision is made you will notified by email of the result.

What evidence do I need to send to the IAS?

You should send all the documents, photographs and comments that you intend to rely on. If you make a statement in your appeal then you should provide any evidence that you have to support it. Typical evidence might be:
  1. A crime reference number, if for example your vehicle has been cloned or was stolen.
  2. Photographs
  3. Pay and display voucher
  4. Signed witness statements
Evidence will not be returned to you. Please provide the IAS with clear copies of the evidence you rely on.

Will further enquiries be made when I submit my appeal form?

Only by the operator who will provide their own evidence in reply to your appeal. The Adjudicator will not look beyond the evidence that they receive from you and the operator and will not follow up the appeal by contacting witnesses. The onus is on you and the operator to be clear, transparent and honest in your approach to the appeal. Where there is evidence of dishonesty by either the operator or by you then this may be taken into account by the adjudicator and the matter may be reported to the police.

Can I appeal outside the 21 day time limit without having to pay?

Only when you can show that there are exceptional circumstances for missing the deadline and where you act promptly to extend the time limit.

To do this you must provide evidence that there are exceptional reasons for appealing after the 21 days has passed since the operator rejected your appeal. For example, if you were out of the country for the entire 21 days then this may be a reason but you will need provide evidence that you were out of the country for that period. A copy of holiday tickets or date stamped passport would normally be sufficient.

You may submit an application to extend the 21 day period by using the enquiry form to let us know of your exceptional circumstances. Enquiries can be made here. Please be sure to quote your PCN number and vehicle registration for your request to be processed.

Will my parking charge increase if I appeal and lose?

No. The IAS will not alter the value of the charge.

However, it is likely that the operator will not permit you to pay the reduced rate as the time for making payment at the reduced rate will have passed.

Additionally, if a charge remains unpaid then the operator may incur additional costs in enforcing the debt which they may try and recover from you.

How do I know the independent adjudicator is actually independent?

The IAS is a certified ADR provider. Accreditation includes strict requirements as to the independence of ADR providers which the IAS have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Certified Trading Standards Institute.

None of the adjudicators are employed by the IPC or any connected company. They are all self-employed barristers or solicitors who are appointed simply to make a decision on the law. They receive the same remuneration regardless of who wins the appeal and they cannot be swayed by anyone at the IPC. Barristers and solicitors have a professional duty to act independently and to uphold the rule of law.

The Lead Adjudicator oversees the independence and the integrity of the IAS, you can see the Lead Adjudicator's profile here: Lead Adjudicator.

Do I have to name the Driver?

If your appeal relaters to a parking charge issued in England or Wales then you do not have to name the driver. This is because the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 creates an ability for operators to recover unpaid parking charges from the keeper of a vehicle when certain pre-conditions are met. Providing you are the person that the operator suggests is liable for the charge then you can appeal.

However, you should be aware that the Parking Operator may pursue you for a charge on the assumption that you were the driver and/or that you are responsible for the charge because you are the keeper of the vehicle. You will have to consider both of these scenarios when appealing.

Where a parking charge was issued outside of England and Wales then only the driver has the ability to appeal.

On what grounds can I appeal?

The Independent Adjudicator is only allowed to consider the lawfulness of the charge. They cannot cancel charges on grounds which amount purely to mitigation. That is, something that amounts to a reason for incurring the charge, but does not remove your legal liability for it.

You may appeal on any ground which undermines the lawfulness of the charge or which otherwise affects the suggestion that you are liable for it. 

Who can complete the Appeal?

The person who is appealing against the charge should normally complete the form so as to ensure that the information that is provided is complete and accurate.

However, you may appoint a representative to deal with the appeal on your behalf at any point in the process.

Where a representative is appointed then they will need to register their details as well as you so that they can be properly identified and you will have to complete a declaration confirming that they have your express authority to deal with matters on your behalf.

Should I Pay My Charge Before I Appeal?

No. If you are appealing then you are claiming the charge is unlawful and you do not owe the money. If you pay the charge then you cannot appeal.

Why do I have to confirm that I was the ‘Driver’ or the ‘Keeper’ at the time of the parking event as I am entitled not to incriminate myself?

The purpose of Alternative Dispute Resolution is to resolve issues between consumers and traders relating to the provision of goods or services. If goods are purchased from a store and are faulty, then it is the person who bought the goods who has the legal right to raise the matter with the store (and to issue court proceedings against them if the grievance remains unresolved).

Although the purchaser may appoint a solicitor or some other person to represent them during the process, the legal relationship is still between the store and the person who bought the goods (and no one else).

In the case of a parking charge; it is the driver who is liable for the charge in the first instance and in certain circumstances the keeper can become liable.

In identifying yourself as either the keeper or the driver, you are not incriminating yourself.  You still have the ability to contest the charge on any point that renders the charge invalid and you are simply confirming that it is you that has that legal relationship with the parking operator.

Furthermore, you have the freedom to choose whether or not to use the Independent Appeals Service at all.  If you do not want to identify yourself as being party to the arbitration proceedings, you are at liberty not to use the IAS Appeals Service and to insist that the parking operator enforces the charge against you through the courts.

What is the difference between On-Street and Off-Street Parking?

Parking on public roads (and in some other areas which are covered by local bylaws), is usually monitored and enforced by public authorities who are able to issue fines for contraventions.

Parking on private land is different, charges that are imposed by parking operators are usually based in contract (either as damages or consideration) or on the law of trespass.

Because of this, the law surrounding the enforcement of private parking charges is very different to the law that covers parking fines. If you park on land which is privately owned then the land owner or a person acting with their authority may place signs on the land for the attention of those that use it. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with any parking conditions as, by parking your vehicle there, you may be taken as having agreed to those conditions.

How can a private company get my private details?

The law allows anybody with 'reasonable cause' to do so to apply to the DVLA for the details of the registered keeper of a vehicle. Parking Operators are able to apply for such details in order to recover unpaid parking charges.

The DVLA take their responsibilities very seriously and will only release this information to Parking Operators if they can demonstrate their case for needing it and if they are a member of an Accredited Trade Association.

If you would like to learn more about data release, please visit the DVLA website.

Can the IAS give me any legal advice?

No. The IAS are not able to provide legal advice to motorists. If you need help you should seek your own independent legal advice.

If you need a solicitor you can visit the Law Society website.
Appeal your parking charge.