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I'd really appreciate some advice on my situation:
I parked in a shopping centre car park in Scotland a few months ago and overstayed my time by 6 hours. Stupid, I know, but I genuinely didn't realise there was a time limit. I park there quite a lot for shorter times, and I just never thought to check the parking info signs.
It was a free car park, and I have been back to check since and there are indeed signs at the entrance, and in the car park saying there is a time limit. I did leave the shopping centre for much of the time, going elsewhere to meet friends, but I did make a small purchase there too. It was just cheap, but technically I did spend money there, I just can't find the receipt.
I got a letter a few days later with a picture of my car coming and leaving. I've had a few letters since, and had been happy to ignore, as that seemed to be the advice generally given on most websites.
I've just been told about this site and have had a look at the chain letters I can expect. I thought I might have seen the last of it, but it looks like the next one may well be from the courts, which I wasn't expecting.

My worry is that, generally on these forums people have only overstayed by short amounts, will it be worse for me that I overstayed by so much?
It was a free car park though, so it isn't like the parking company actually lost out on any money. I have been trying to look this up in legal terms, and for breach of contract, one of the remedies that might apply looks to be liquidated damages, where companies try to recover a sum that was agreed upon for a breach when making the contract. I think by me parking there it will be claimed that I accepted the contract.
BUT, as in the case of Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres Ltd v New garage and Motor Co. (1915) they "set down guidelines to distinguish between liquidated damages and penalties. The court was of the view that the sum will be a penalty where: it is extravagant and unconscionable;"
and apparently penalties aren't inforced by the court, so I might be able to argue myself out of that? Has anyone tried that before?
Also, over £100 is def. extravagant for a car park that is normally free.
To be honest, if they'd just asked for £10, I'm pretty sure most people would just pay it, but asking for so much seems far too unreasonable!!

I thought of contacting the shopping centre, but not sure how I would defend being there so long without having to admit leaving the centre, they probably wouldn't like that too much.

Also, the parking company is based in England, but I'm in Scotland, would I have to go there to defend my case, if it came to it, or do I just put it writing? There aren't any county court judgements in Scotland, so if I was to loose, does anyone know what I could expect to happen? Would I be best just to pay up?

I've never been in this situation before, so am a bit nervous of what to expect, so any advise would be hugely appreciated.
As you are in Scotland you are probably best to just ignore this bunch.

Forget that the parking company is in England.
You're in Scotland where the Protection of Freedoms Act doesn't apply.
This means that they can't bring a claim against the registered keeper if they can't identify the driver

As they can only identify the driver if you it for them, don't take the risk of giving them any information that can't be used against you.

In other words, continue to ignore everything short of genuine court papers
''Would I be best just to pay up?'' NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

''I thought I might have seen the last of it, but it looks like the next one may well be from the courts, which I wasn't expecting.''

Not expecting the 'Spanish Inquisition'?! aka the latest Debt Recovery Plus threatogram I presume? So what?

Here's one of DOZENS of recent threads about those letters, this one with links to LOADS of others just like yours:

In the absence of real Court papers (which will not come, it's as rare as a lottery fortune!) you should not contact them AT ALL. It marks you out as a victim IMHO, you'd be raising your head above the parapet and confirming the latest letters are hitting home and worrying you - and your planned response also confirms to them that you are not anyone to worry about (sorry!), i.e. not a barrister/Chief Inspector/MP and are just 'fair game' to a PPC, waving at them to notice you after all these months. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

Whereas right now your data is just among THOUSANDS of unconfirmed names and addresses festering in the debt collector's computers from months/years of unpaid fake PCNs issued all over the UK - and in Scotland they wouldn't have the first clue how to make a court claim (which would be at YOUR local court). Please stop getting twitchy! You are not suddenly going to find a CCJ against you and this will not affect your credit rating. Read this which confirms that nothing can happen when you are JUST getting the usual threatograms:

In Scotland, ignoring this until it fizzles out is a no-brainer, just like ignoring and deleting a series of phishing emails. The debt collector letters are NOTHING, they are laughable, I carry mine in my handbag to laugh at and show friends & colleagues how to ignore a fake PCN.

Thanks so much for the advice. I really grudge the idea of having to pay so much, and although I felt I really was doing the right thing by ignoring it, I had a bit of a worried moment this morning.
I think I just needed someone to tell me to stop being so stupid! biggrin.gif
Thanks very much for the quick replies, really appreciate it!
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