Parking fine in Scotland

By Marcia Brandes
This item appears on page 14 of the September 2019 issue.

About five weeks after my husband, Steve, and I returned home from a June 2018 trip to the Scottish isles (June ’19, pg. 6), we got an unwelcome letter in our mailbox.

While waiting for the ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, we had parked in a pay lot so we could get a bite of lunch. The automated machine used to pay for parking only took coins, so I had to ask a woman in the ferry office if she could change a £5 bill. She did so, handing me ten 50-pence coins.

When I tried to pay the £2 parking fee, the machine asked for the car’s license plate number. However, when I tried to type it in, the machine would not accept the last character. I had already put the coins in, so I gave up and we went to lunch.

The letter we later received informed us that we owed a fine of £100 for not paying the parking meter. The letter said that the fine would be reduced to £60 if it was paid within four weeks of the date on the letter. Of course, by the time the letter had wended its way to us in the US, it was past the 4-week deadline.

There was no phone number on the letterhead, so I went online and lodged a complaint with the parking company, ParkingEye Ltd. (

Eventually, I received a reply saying that although our appeal was “unsuccessful due to the fact that valid/sufficient evidence was not provided to show that the terms and conditions stipulated on the signage were not broken,” they would, “as a gesture of goodwill,” reduce the fine to £20 if we paid it immediately.

Steve was unhappy that we had to pay anything, but I was relieved that the amount was more reasonable, so I paid by credit card. Also, the parking company would have had to get our name and address from the car rental agency, so it was my assumption that if we did not pay the fine, the car rental agency might charge our credit card for the fee amount.

I wanted to warn ITN readers that they may encounter this issue.

Atlanta, GA