Private parking operators in Australia

Hi! I want to recreate my 'challenge your private parking ticket' app for Australian users. The app will let users challenge breach notices, either anonymously (we send an automated email to the operator with the ticket ref. but don't disclose the user's details) or by providing customised templates that the user can send.

What I wanted to know was which operators people most commonly use on your side of the ditch.

So far, I have found the following (who are all members of an industry certification scheme):

Care Park

Secure Parking

Ace Parking

Wilson Parking


Thoughts on any others that are either prevalent or are pretty ticket-heavy?

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  • +4 votes

    What would we achieve from challenging these fake "fines"? Absolutely nothing!

  • +7 votes

    don't quote me on this , but i'm pretty sure iv heard many times that with these private company fines , its best to not make contact with them and ignore them , as legally responding implicates you or something ? so you are basically paying to screw yourself over with this service ?

    • +5 votes

      I used to work for one of the companies listed and yeah it does you more bad than good to challenge the fine. Better off ignoring it

  • +3 votes

    I just write a letter quoting the VCAT ruling against CARE park and they withdraw the fine
    Saying that I do not write to them unless they start chasing me and given in VIC they can no longer access your vic roads data they are unlikely to find me anyways

  • +2 votes

    Private companies can not fine you. They can however issue you an invoice. There is no need to challenge them at all. Simply ignore. (VIC)


    Interesting comments. It depends on how you respond.

    Going through their 'appeals' process might not be a great idea, because you are required to provide your name and contact details. Plus, the whole idea behind the 'appeal' system is that it is based on a contract with the parking firm - and you might be denying that.

    The idea behind my service is that people can deny liability without having to name themselves to the parking company (the denial email comes via us, and doesn't include a name or address for the user).

    Note that parking companies do sometimes engage debt collectors, and we've found since launching (in NZ) recently that our users like to be able to tell the operators, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies that they don't accept the ticket.

    You're right that you could potentially do nothing (particularly in NSW, which doesn't allow operators to search the motor vehicle register) - but my preference would probably be to deny liability rather than risking a debt collector hounding me.

    Plus, I suspect that denying liability would be useful if the parking operator later decided to clamp or tow your vehicle as an enforcement tool.

  • +2 votes

    What do you do when they supboena the drivers details from you?

    • +3 votes

      That's a great question. The app won't retain driver details; once it has sent the email and completed the workflow, the responses are not stored. Users get a copy of the email (BCC) so they have a record, but we won't keep a record.

  • +4 votes

    Best advice is to ignore these notices, the so called fines are unenforceable, you don't need an app for that.


    Why add more risk, when ignoring is fine.

  • +1 vote

    I raked up over $8000 in 'fines' (mostly so called admin fees) 10 years ago from one of the private parking operator. I ignored all their letters and their lawyer eventually sent me a letter of demand and threaten me the next letter would be the notice from the court…

    I'm still waiting for that.


      This guy I knew would drive 5 mins to park in the private car park and get a fine everyday.


        Pretty much. The office building I used to work in did not have any allocated staff parking for us. My boss told me to park in the visitor car park and just ignore any fine.
        On average we got 'fined' every week. Eventually they don't even bother to leave us tickets anymore.

  • +2 votes

    Any service which helps spread the word that these "fines" are not really fines is a good thing. For those of us who already know we won't need it, but many people don't know.

    Listing some state by state (and territory) specific information would be good to include in your material. Not all state laws are the same…


    Wilsons do tow vehicles.
    They even have smaller ute based tow vehicle for smaller underground car parks.
    Where I work they are very tough on fines, they take pictures and place notices on drivers side window as warnings where a person has a number of unpaid tickets, its an outside car park with no boom gates, so just drive in an out.
    I haven't read the T&C's of entry, but I imagine there must be something about being fined if you don't pay the required amount.

    One of the women where I work at had her car towed at the beginning of the week, another managed to stop them and pay over the phone and managed to keep her car from being towed, a few others got lucky as they were not the first few cars getting hooked up and moved on.
    It was kinda funny to see a vehicle get towed, that also had been fined that same day, double whammy..
    It was like watching an episode from Operation Repo etc.

    So good luck not paying the fines and then expecting to use one of their car parks..
    I imagine they could implement a restriction on a vehicles number plate to get into their car parks (where plate recognition exists for entry).

    The thing is, the car park belongs to a business and that business allows you to park for a fee, Wilsons and others control the car parks for the owners or themselves if they own it. They enforce the fee that you agree to when parking, If you don't agree to the fee, then don't park there, if you do, then expect a penalty.

  • +1 vote

    Yeah i'm generally not worried about the fines, more so about being towed.

    • +1 vote

      What baffles me is how a private company isn't allowed to issue fines (or at lest legally enforce them), but how are private tow companies allowed to take your car without permission and charge you to get it back? Is the law even written to allow that?

      Like wheres the line? Couldn't anyone just a tow truck, register a company, and go around towing Ferraris and charging the owners $1000 each to get them back?


        If the car is on private property and you can prove you have the rights to remove vehicles from the private property, i guess it falls on the vehicle owner to pursue the paperwork after the fact.

        Which is why getting towed sucks.


          Does that right extend to all private citizens and companies though? Somebody once parked their bike on the footpath with more than half of it protruding onto my driveway. Even if I can prove they were on my property, surely that doesn't give me the legal right to take their bike away and demand whatever amount of money I want before I return it? That's stealing.

          I really don't get how they are legally allowed to do that.


            @SlavOz: You aren't legally to do it yourself, however if you can prove it's your property and want it removed, registered tow trucks and tow truck drivers with the appropriate accreditation have the power to remove it under your instruction. That is when the relationship changes from the vehicle owner and you, to the vehicle owner and the tow truck company.

            There are legalities to removal of vehicles from private property for eg. Vehicles have to be held in a registered holding yard, as well as the fees are capped to a maximum charge for distance traveled etc.


              @crashloaded: OK, so I get that they are legally entitled to remove your car from their land. It's their property so I fully understand they have the right to dictate what happens on it. But how can the law possibly allow tow trucks to keep your car (YOUR property) until you pay them a fee? There is no other instance in the law where I can imagine someone has the right to hold on to someone else's private property and demand money for it. It makes no sense.

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