How to get out of a parking fine

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Tips for keeping that cash in your pocket

Chances are you know the feeling…..you return to your parked car to see the dreaded paper slip tucked under your windscreen wipers. A parking fine. Ugh.

Not only is a parking fine a blow to your budget, it often means kissing goodbye to a stack of cash for no real reason. As if your car doesn’t cost you enough to keep on the road as it is!

Here’s some top tips for fighting that parking fine

A picture tells a thousand words

  • If you do receive the fine under your windscreen wipers when you return to your parked car, take as many pics as possible.
  • Capture the exact position of your vehicle, particularly in relation to any relevant signage. Look for missing, damaged, obstructed or unclear signage.
  • Where relevant, snap a shot of the faulty parking meter, and take a short video that demonstrates how it is malfunctioning.

Look for errors

  • Go through your parking fine with a fine toothed comb. Check every little detail and look for a mistake that will get you out of that pesky fine.
  • Examine details such as the time and date the ticket was issued, your rego details, the code of the offence.
  • Hopefully you’ll find something you can pick fault with!

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from

  • Sure, you might be from out of town or not know the area at all. Perhaps it was pitch black dark or pouring with rain when you parked, so that you couldn’t see the signs.
  • Doesn’t matter. These excuses are unlikely to get you out of your ticket. You’re gonna have to come up with a stronger case than that.
  • Think along the lines of a perhaps a medical emergency, or a broken down car. Just remember that you’re going to have to be able to prove your claims.

Time is money

  • Be prepared to invest a little time in the fight against your fine. You may be put through some hoops in your quest to have it quashed.
  • You’ll need to prepare and submit your appeal with supporting photos and evidence. This could include medical certificates or towing and mechanical repair records.
  • If your written appeal fails, are you willing to front up in court to challenge things further?
  • This means taking time out of your usual schedule and the potential you’ll have to pay costs if the court doesn’t find in your favour.
  • You’ll need to have the time to put into this, along with high confidence in winning!

Private carparks

  • Some private carpark operators have been in the firing line lately for their ‘dodgy’ fining practices.
  • If you do receive a fine from a private carpark operator and you want to contest it, write to them and state your case.
  • If they ignore you or won’t budge on the fine, get in touch with the consumer protection agency in your State or Territory and ask them for some advice.

Worth the fight

So if you do get a pesky parking fine, the key is to present as much convincing evidence as possible, and to be willing to put a little time into your fight.

But with some reports indicating up to 40% of people who contest a parking fine being successful in having it waived – it’s a war that just could be worth waging.

Good luck!