Drivers Fined At Petrol Station For Spending Too Long On It’s Services

Mon 25th Nov 2019

Motorists at busy petrol stations beware, a new policy on parking could cost you £100 if you spend too long on the forecourt.

Customers who fill up at BP and Shell garages could be fined for spending as little as 20 minutes, with maximum stays being enforced at a growing number of garages.

One busy BP garage in South London has caught out plenty of customers, especially those who use the services of the shop and the car wash, only to find they have exceeded the allowed 30 minutes.

Gareth Hughes was hit with threatening legal letters and a £100 fine after spending more than half an hour at the garage - the demand coming from MET Parking Services. Speaking to The Guardian Hughes said: “After I filled the car, I went in to pay. I decided while paying to also use the car wash, and having paid for that returned to the car. There were perhaps six cars in front of me waiting to use the wash. I certainly didn’t see any signs warning of the 30 minute limit.” Hughes had spent 47 minutes on the petrol station’s premises and had missed an opportunity to have his fine reduced to £60 after his wife didn’t open the first letter from MET.

Guy Clapperton was another to receive the £100 fine after deciding to do some shopping at the service’s M&S Shop. A decision which took his stay beyond the maximum stay. He told The Guardian: “When I arrived there was a bit of a queue for the petrol pump. There is a Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food shop on the premises, so I stopped to buy a few bits. There was quite a wait for the till. After I had vacuumed the car and waited to use the car wash I’d been on the site 42 minutes and was sent the same £100 demand.”

A MET spokesman says of the BP garage: “The 30 minute maximum is clearly signposted throughout the site. We would encourage any motorist who believes they were issued with a charge notice incorrectly to appeal using our BPA audited appeals process. Motorists have the right to appeal to the independent appeals service, Popla, which is a free and easy to use service.”

It is believed that the measures are being introduced at a number of petrol stations across the UK with the aim of stamping out vehicles which park on the sites all-day rather than paying for parking elsewhere.