Myth: Private car park owners can fine you
Private car park owners cannot issue fines, though the document you receive will often be dressed up and worded in such a way that they look like fines. They can in fact only issue invoices, essentially for breach of contract.
This doesn’t mean that private car park owners can’t charge you for parking on their land, or attempt to reclaim money if you fail to pay. It does mean, however, that they cannot legitimately demand money and expect payment through the issuing of the notice alone: contract law means they have to take you to court first.
In practice, private car park owners sometimes fail to bring matters to court, and even when they do their ‘contracts’ are often unenforceable: there is allegedly a high success rate for people who challenge their tickets. We do not endorse this course of action.