McDonalds Parking Charges And How To Deal With Them

Have you received an unwelcome letter from Met Parking Services demanding a £50 payment because you had exceeded a time limit and triggered a McDonalds parking charge at one of their restaurants?

I returned from a trip abroad to find a very official looking letter complete with photos of our car which Met claimed had infringed the 75 minute parking limit at our local McDonalds.

Read this to find out how I dealt with this unfair McDonalds parking fine.

“What are McDonalds doing fining their customers?”, plus a load of expletives was my first reaction. The next was to find out if the fine was legitimate and to get it cancelled.

I went straight to the manager at the McDonalds and demanded to know what was going on.

He had obviously dealt with quite a few complaints from furious customers and said that he would help get the charge cancelled.

Once he was convinced that I was a bona fide customer, he phoned Met parking customer services with my parking charge notice number and said that I would be phoning them also to challenge the charge.

Met parking cancelled the parking charge notice straight away once the McDonalds manager had spoken to them. When I rang a few minutes later, Met confirmed that the charge had been wiped off their system.

So if you get a Met parking charge when at McDonalds this is what to do – assuming that you are actually a bona fide customer and are not abusing their parking (which is what caused McDonalds to get Met Parking involved).

  1. Go and speak to the McDonalds Manager and explain that you are a regular customer and hadn’t seen the signs in the car park, or the kids were playing in the play area. It is important that you are honest, polite and reasonable and to show that you were not abusing their car park.
  2. If he agrees to help, the Manager can phone or email Met Parking to request that the charge is cancelled. It seems that Met Parking will take the Manager’s word and cancel it straight, as happened to me.
  3. If you know that you are going to stay at a McDonalds longer than the stated time limit then give your registration and make of car to the supervisor or Manager. They can go onto a Met Parking web site to register your registration number so that Met Parking do not charge you.

It seems that McDonalds have been forced to adopt these Draconian parking policies and do not like upsetting their bona fide customers, which is why the managers will help you out as long as you can show that you are a customer of theirs and are not tieing up one of their parking spaces whilst doing non McDonalds business.

The Manager at my local McDonalds must be applauded for the way in which he dealt with my complaint, however there is a lot information on the Internet about the scare tactics that Met Parking Services use.

Hopefully this information will help you if you find yourself in the same situation.

Added 27 August 2010

I heard this morning about two women who have received the threatening letters from MET Parking Services after visiting McDonalds. Apparently both had popped into the restaurant, on different occasions, and then returned an hour later to buy something else. That contravenes the McDonalds terms and conditions, apparently, (I guess that they don’t want repeat business from their customers!) and that triggered action by Met.

Sadly both ladies paid up the £50. It really makes me wonder how many other people are being intimidated by these “parking fines” and just paying up. Met must be making a fortune and I’m surprised that McDonalds is retaining its customers with the way in which it is treating them.

Update 14th September 2016

I can’t believe that this post was written six years ago, but these parking problems with McDonalds still persist.

Other companies have jumped onto this bandwagon. Have you ever over stayed your time in an airport car park, or driven into one by mistake, but triggered a non-payment fine just for turning around? It’s not pretty!

It’s problems like these and a myriad of other issues that has convinced me to publish a very detailed step-by-step guide called “Complain to Win”.

Its a long post published on this website that shows you the tactics that I use when complaining to large companies. I have received over £10,000 in refunds and compensation over the years, and I am delighted to pass on my knowledge to you to help you when you run into difficulties with large companies.

Update 3 April 2017

This parking fiasco with McDonalds is still continuing, and it doesn’t look like they are going to change their policy. I have just noticed that they have published a page on their website to explain why McDonalds have parking restrictions at some restaurants.

I suggest that you read that page and notice this statement :

We appreciate that some visits such as birthday parties or large group visits might take longer and the parking restrictions are not intended to inhibit this. If customers anticipate their stay will exceed the stated maximum parking time, we would encourage them to speak to the restaurant manager in advance.

If you receive a parking fine and feel that it is unjustified speak to the restaurant manager. Be very polite, but firm and explain clearly what happened. Let us all know how you get on in the comments!

Update 28th April 2017

We were recently contacted by a reader who asked us to help with a parking charge notice she had received from Care Parking, who manage the parking at a McDonalds restaurant in St Helen’s.

Her circumstances convinced us that we should try and help her.

Whilst looking into her problem, I came across a situation that may be causing some of these parking charge issues. As I found out, it may not always be down to restrictions imposed by the McDonalds restaurants.


  1. December 2021 my Missus took the car to pick up her sister and kids to go to mcdonalds Ollerton Notts. It was during lockdown and was when restrictoons changed regarding family “bubbles” Evidently the whole county had the same idea as the place was gridlocked.

    They spent aproximatley 2 hours inching around the carpark, going through the drivethrough, parking, eating and trying to exit. A month later a letter arrives with a fine for 90 Quid for an overstay cought by the anpr. My name on the letter.
    My missus contacted the manager and complained and he said not to worry about it as they were aware.
    Forgot all about it then 6 months later the chasing letters started. I wrote/emailed back stating i wasnt happy they had access to my data, i wasnt the driver, i explained the sequence of events and that as far as i was concearned the matter was dealt with.

    Roll on to last month When in get the ccj warning letter with the means test pages attached. I went on moneysavingexpert and followed the advice not to fill it in and ask for a data request first (this suposedly causes a months pause in proceedings)
    No data has been supplied to me thus far an this morning i received a letter from dcblegal stating that a ccj has been entered against me and have 1 month to pay before forwarding to the bailiffs.
    i havent recieved any comunications from any court thusfar so im not sure what to do next.

  2. Hi , the problem continues, went to McDonald’s, Road, Tadcaster, Bilbrough, York YO23 3PP on A 65 road for 10 minutes before i went to filey beach. Went i returned i went back to that mc donalds and drove straight to driveway and ask dor a coffee and went home now i received a fine asking to pay £170 .unbelievable

  3. This is a complete scam by MET Parking – I received a “final” letter demanding payment of £100, stating I had missed the opportunity to appeal an earlier £50 fine for an overstay in a McDonald’s car park – the initial letter was never received and it seems to be their MO to disallow any opportunity to appeal. I was a genuine customer at the McDonald’s drive through (but will never visit a McDonald’s again).

  4. Just been fine £170 for going to mcdonald’s twice. I was picking someone up from Stansted airport. I had an mcdonald’s before I picked them up and after I picked them up they wanted an mcdonald’s . I was timed from the first time enter to the second time I left . 3 hours . I missed the original letters and time to appeal and had to pay debt recovery. Any advice on how to get my money back please ?

  5. I recently drove through a McDonalds car park, at Two Rivers in Staines. At no time was I stationary. I then returned about 2.5 hours later and did the exact same manoeuvre. I have now received a Parking Notice claiming that I had overstayed the 90 minute limit!. They kindly provided photographs of my first entry and second exit, but not the first exit or second entry.
    The reason for driving through, was to ensure a safe manoeuvre, instead of turning round in the busy road.. There is nowhere else to safely turn round.
    I imagine that the drive through facility was put in place precisely to accommodate the manoeuvre which I executed, at the insistence of the local highways authority.
    I have submitted an appeal to MET, but McDonalds Customer Services were useless and I received no response to emails sent to the Staines store.

  6. This is a parking charge notice indirectly regarding McDonald’s but nonetheless a complete SCAM by euro car parks.
    Received a notice 10/8/22 (41 minutes stay) at Texaco (Angel,London).
    Here’s the SCAM,you have to enter&exit the petrol station forecourt (not sure if it’s a 20 or 30 min stay allowed) to access/enter the McDonald’s property to the rear with a 90minute stay allowed.
    Yes there is only one way in & out of this McDonald’s from the road & that is via the petrol station forecourt!
    This notice will obviously not be paid & will be challenged in the correct way,to the court if that is how europarks wish to proceed (I doubt if they have the barefaced cheek to take it that far).

  7. My son recieved a parking ticket at McDonalds in Swansea. He informed the manager who sent an e mail to cancel the parking ticket. He then recieved another fine for a larger penalty as he didn’t pay the first time as he assumed it was cancelled. He again went to see another manager who repeated the cancellation by e mail. Still no joy,recieved a larger penalty,went again,new e mail sent,now he has recieved a letter from a debt collection agency for £170. He has a copy of the emails sent cancelling the initial charge and confirmation from the manager of McDonalds. We await the outcome.

  8. If all of us will give 1 star review to McDonalds in popular review sites like Google, Trustpilot etc as we’ve been ripped off by their parking management, maybe they will have a rethink.

  9. I have just been charged £170 for over staying at the local McDonald’s, my girlfriend went to pick us a McDonald’s up but broke down so I went to her assistance and fixed her car then sat and ate the cold McDonald’s, I’m appalled and won’t be going again

  10. I have also just recieved a £100 MET parking fine for a trip to Mcdonalds – two young children in tow following a long journey home. Getting kids out of the car, toilet trips, a long wait for food (seem to deal with Uber deliveries before customers in the restaurant) resulted in us overstaying by 16 minutes. It was a 60 minute limit which I don’t think is long. Contacted Mcdonalds, manager didn’t want to know saying there are signs up in the car park. Didn’t even occur to us that we had a time limit. The restaurant was in the middle of nowhere and you would never park there if not going to eat there. Absolutely disgusting. Ive appealed but doubt I will get anywhere. Will never go back and always now look for signage. Utter disgrace these companies are getting away with this.

    • Hi James. Thank you for sharing your all too familar story. I hope you win your appeal, but I share your doubts about being successful.

      The message from these experiences is clear – ALWAYS look for restriction signs in any car park. Unfortunately, it has to become a habit.

  11. Not true in my experience. I was in McDonald’s for just over an hour and half and charged £100 for the privilege, £50 if I pay quick without appealing. The manager said it was signposted and I have to pay up. Customer services were unhelpful and would not help. They would not even give me a free burger. Utterly disgusting on every level, think I will be making homemade burgers from now on. The word McDonald just leaves a bad taste in my mouth!

    • I wrote this article about 11 years ago, when these parking charges were just starting, and the McDonalds manager I dealt with was sympathetic to their genuine customers.

      Now, it has just become a racket that generates millions in revenue for these car parking companies, and the companies such as McDonalds and Tescos (be careful with some of their car parks – we were fined recently using one and their customer service wern’t interested in helping out at all) don’t seem to care.

      I think you are doing the right thing – vote with your wallet and don’t use these companies that support fining their paying customers with parking fines.

      The government has given these companies access to the DVLA licence plate database so that they can use computerised systems and cameras to impose these so-called fines. I don’t know why the government supports this use (or mis-use) of our data to allow these companies to prey on motorists like this.

      All I can advise, is to be ultra careful when you use these car parks, be it with McDonalds, Tesco or out of town retail parks. Always look for parking restriction signs and abide by their rules. Find alternatives wherever possible where you are not at risk of falling prey to these money grabbing parking companies.

  12. I’m currently deciding whether to fight a £50 charge, or just bite the bullet.
    Had absolutely no idea about time, and return limits in Maccy D’s car parks, so never in a million years would it have occurred to me to check signage! Just expected the usual “Customer Parking Only” etc.
    It was late evening on a Sunday, and I was 12 minutes over the time limit leaving. It’s made me apprehensive about using their restaurants now, especially after reading some of the other people’s stories.

    It’s not convenient for me to return to the restaurant in question, as it’s about an hour and a half away, so I rang the restaurant, and was advised to email the Business Manager, which I did. They were polite, and sympathetic, but said they were unable to help.

    Everyone, should be loudly shaming them for this. The only people who seem to fall foul of the charges, are bona fide customers!

    • Hi Zoe. Thank you for your comment. I totally agree with you that bona fide customers are being penalised for using these restaurants.

      My wife has just received a similar fine for inadvertently over-staying at a Tesco’s car park. She was doing a mega shop for our daughter starting University and spent more than three hours in the car park (without knowing about the time restrictions). Two weeks later a £70 fine arrived, which I am now battling to get reversed. So it is not just McDonalds who are penalising their customers. It is Tescos too!! This is a racket that must be stopped.

  13. I recently received a “Letter Of Claim” from DCB legal who claim to represent UK Parking Control Ltd. They instruct me to pay £480 for three overstay offences at a McDonald’s in Chippenham on 3 consecutive days in January 2019. This is the first I know of this claim. Should I speak to the restaurant manager at all after so long. I don’t even know what their restrictions were so long ago and as I never received a ticket of any kind, why would I have even known I had “overstayed?”

    • Thank you for sharing your situation. I have just looked at the website of the law firm you mentioned, and they seem to be a legitimate firm specialising in debt recovery. I think you need to take the claim from them seriously. We cannot give legal advice but I would certainly talk to the restaurant manager as soon as possible. I would also try and think back to January 2019 and try and remember if you parked there for three consecutive days. You probably need to seek legal advice about this, particularly if you know that this claim is based on false information. I hope this works out well for you.

  14. I can confirm this parking area is managed by an independent company who are responsible for monitoring the car park and taking details of registration numbers. The regulations and signs at the restaurant clearly state our policy and the relevant charges.

  15. Back in October, We went to Gatwick airport McDonalds for coffee and something to eat while waiting
    for friends to arrive at the pick up point. We were there for 65 mins.
    I’ve just received a Parking Charge Notice “Reminder” from Met Parking for overstaying, with a due amount for £100 ?? I have never received any letter from them or any photo evidence before this.

    The ticket machine was not working (we were told this when we asked how to get into the car park
    Any receipt for the food and drink will have gone through the shedder weeks ago.

    Any advice on what to do next ??

  16. I am a disabled car driver and i went to ASDA car park in South Ruislip parked up in a disabled bay
    I displayed my blue badge on the dashboard of the car but failed to see it fall into the drivers side foot well of the car, Later coming back from my shopping experience I noticed it on the floor of the vehicle, and reported it to Asda customer services department in the south Ruislip store.
    I was told it will be ok and i have nothing to worry about.
    two weeks later I received a fine for £100.
    I have tried taking it up with ASDA and they cant help me.
    I have written to Met parking services explaining my mitigating circumstances but they only reply with a demand for payment.
    what should i do ?

    • Thanks for sharing your bad experience. I’m not a lawyer and so can’t offer legal advice, however I think you should go back to Asda customer services and tell them what happened and that they reassured you that it would be OK. I hope this works out well for you. Please let us know how you get on.

  17. Hi this is still going on I have had a ticket from met parking after visiting the drive through at colchester McDonalds on my way to work I bought my food then took it with me and ate it at work before I started. I then later on visited the same mcdonalds after work to purchase a coffee for the way home using the drive thru again. Met parking are trying to tell me I arrived at 18.39pm and I left at 23.25pm the thing is I was driving a lorry that night and I have my tachograph printout that proves I was working at that time do you think this will be enough proof to show I wasnt there?

    • Hi. We are not lawyers and so cannot offer legal advice, however I would have thought that tachograph evidence would be enough to prove your case. If this was me, I’d be questioning whether I want to go back to that same McDonalds again.

    • I received a parking ticket from Met Parking recently and I was so worried and stressed about the ordeal. I had visited my local Mcdonalds with my children and after we had eaten, we thought we were within the time required.
      However, 3 weeks later, I received a parking ticket. I read some comments here and did more research, I found this website and I used their appeal letter thingy to write one. Apparently, if a ticket is issued after 14 days, its not valid, I wasn’t sure if it was true but I went ahead and wrote my appeal. Out of the blue, I received confirmation that the appeal was cancelled as a gesture of good will! Yea right!!!!!! I would recommend you try and give it a go, it was free for me to use 🙂

  18. I met my mum at McDonald’s Tankersley as a half way point for us both. She lives in Manchester and I live in Nottingham. I hadn’t seen her since February. Her partner is vulnerable and I work at school. I left before her. She must have been there over 90 mins as she has received a parking fine. We had coffees and sat in the restaurant. I never saw any signs. Is there anything she can do.

    • I’m sorry to hear this. As stated before, start by speaking to a manager of that McDonalds (by phone if necessary). Politely explain the situation and see if there is anything that he/she can do to cancel the parking fine. If that fails, then you’ll have to appeal. I hope you succeed. By the way, the parking signs will be displayed in the car park and are very unlikely to be displayed inside the restaurants themselves.

  19. I am happy that this topic is still alive. 15.09.20 I received letter from MET, telling that I have been at McDonalds for 140min at 01.09. Town Sleaford, Lincolnshire. I was there for 20 minutes. I back after 2 hours to buy ice creams.
    I sent appeal with demand to provide full footage from my visit as a proof that I was there for long time, and provide all personal data they keep.

    Check comments because I will back to you with news 🙂 They have 35 days to answer.

  20. Whilst on holiday in Ablethorpe I visited McDonalds in Skegness. It was a Monday 17th August and the place was so full there was a long queue outside waitibg for a table. It took an hour and half to reach the start of the queue and get a table. It took 40 mins for food to arrive. Not one member of staff came out to enquire if we used parking spaces. There was no sign of the window. A week or so later after spending 2 hours at carephone warehouse, I was asked for my registration number so the manager could ensure I wasn’t given a parking invoice. Why couldn’t the manager at McDonalds do this? I followed government rules, the branch rules and recieved a parking invoice. I emailed customer services who have decided I have to pay. This seems very unfair.

    • These are NOT a parking ticket. They are INVOICES and not legally enforceable as a parking ticket is. ONLY THE POLICE OR A COUNCIL CAN ISSUE A PARKING TICKET. FACT.
      I would suggest no one panics if you get one. Just ignore it and DON’T contact them, thats what they want you to do so they have your phone number and they will harras you on the phone all the time. They’ll probably send you other offers to pay with different amounts if you pay now etc and even threaten you.
      Just ignore everything and eventually they will stop. I’ve done this several times and they ALWAYS stop and leave you alone eventually.
      Please ignore them.

      • I’ve ignored them. Now after 2 year’s I’ve received letter from Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd. demanding £160. Should I take legal action, as I was told by McDonald’s manager that they cancelled my parking fine?

        • I’m sorry to hear about this. We can’t give you legal advice, so I suggest that you speak to a lawyer to see how/if you can fight this.

      • Hi my granddaughter has received a letter from MET for £50 I have wrote to them explaining the reason why she was over the time they have replied saying to send proof within 7days of the letter dated 29th Oct we received the letter on the 7th Nov that 9 days from the date I have told my granddaughter to put it in the bin these people are not the law they hold know authority they are not the police’s and the bin is the best place for the letter I would rather go to court than pay them £50 I think McDonald’s should seriously start looking into there parking situation

        • Thank you for sharing this. You will probably receive a barage of threatening letters from them, but it will be interesting if they are prepared to go to court over £50.

          My nephew received a so-called parking fine in 2018 and has been resisting payment ever since, even though he has received a file full of threatenng letters. Action has not been taken against him so far, but this doesn’t mean that these parking companies won’t take you to court.

  21. Hi on 19/02 /2020 I parked at macdonalds car parking and got a fine ticket now I have to pay 100£ how can I clear this fine I think the car parking is free

  22. So many instances of McDonalds ripping off their customers , yet nothing is being done. It’s time McDonalds were called out and shamed over this. I just received a ticket from met parking for parking in a McD at 13.52 without being in the restaurant. That’s pretty much the charge as printed on the ticket . Not in restaurant immediately prior to 13.52.
    McDonalds own cctv and my bank records prove that between 13.45 and 13.57 I was …………..can you guess ………in the restaurant ordering my food ! Met of course rejected my appeal , directing me to another website (POPLA ?) where I could appeal again . Of course , this website doesn’t even work , just crashes when you try to use it .
    I’ll be dead in my grave before I pay these clowns a penny , and I’ll never as long as I live set foot inside a McDonalds again.
    But again , this scam needs to be stopped. McDonalds are just sending out tickets randomly hoping people will be frightened enough to pay. They claim they take no money from Met parking’s fines , and fine people to make sure there is always space for their customers to park. A total out and out lie. We live in an age where bullying in any form is unacceptable. This is just another form of bullying at must be stamped out. I’m investigating further.

  23. Hi, I have just got a fraudulent parking on a mcdonalds Stourbridge car park. The time they say I arrived is incorrect and I can prove it.

    Sadly I contacted the store manager and I was told its not my problem.

    They have now lost my custom forever. I spend quite alot of money there. I’ll take my money elsewhere I guess.

    McDonald’s should look after there customers.

  24. hi i got a ticket from mcdonalds rope walk Lincoln January 15th 2020 ,while working for uber eats delivering food for mcdonalds ,the staff had forgot to turn the machine on that takes orders ,meaning i sat there in my car for over 90mins without an order ,i have spoken to all mangers in this branch and they say they cannot help they only have a certain amount of times they can exercise the cancelling fee ,i did appeal before seeing this page and they say i now have 14 days to pay before its risers to £100 recoverable from there debt recovery agents is this even possible please help

  25. This may help
    Tickets issued by private companies

    Private companies can issue tickets to drivers parked on their property, but the rules are not the same as local authorities.

    If you receive a ticket in a private car park, such as a supermarket car park, or private multi-story car park, remember that it is not criminal law, but contract law that applies. The driver enters into a contract with the landowner when they driver into the car park.

    This means that it is only the driver that can be subject to a ticket from a private company. If they do not know who the driver was, they cannot claim a penalty. They have no legal right to demand that you identify the driver.

    If you are approached by a member of staff inside a private car park there is no obligation for you to assist them in any way

    If the company wish to pursue a claim in the small claims court, they have to prove that you were the driver of the car. Any comments that you make may assist them in this aim, so best to say nothing.

    If you refuse to pay, the private company has to pursue you through the small claims court. It is up to them to prove a breach of contract so look at the terms carefully. These are usually printed on a sign at the entrance to the car park.

    Additionally, you may be able to reduce any fine issued by a private company. Under contract law, they can only claim for any loss they have suffered because of your offence. They may try to claim a penalty of, say, £100, but in law they may only be entitled to any revenue they had lost. So, if you pay £2 to park for one hour, but stay for three hours, they can only claim for two hours of lost revenue, which is £4.

    [ comment: Please check with your legal adviser before following this advice]

  26. Apparently I outstayed my welcome at your Weston Favell branch on the 11th November 2019.
    I was in charge of my grandchildren aged 2 and 4 and my daughter was at the doctors as she is in the last week of pregnancy.
    As Weston Favell is equipped with childrens play equipment and they virtually live on McDonalds food whenever they get the chance it was a good place (or not) to meet my daughter to hand them back.
    We had food and when my daughter arrived she ordered more food and drink.
    Now I find that I am being ordered to pay £100 fine because we outstayed our welcome .
    This is not aceptable as we were paying customers.
    I note that the evidence provided is by photographs which do not actually show the time and date and that these details seem to have been added separately
    I telephoned your branch manager complained but was told that McDonalds did not own the car park. Knowing some history of the site development I find it hard to believe that McDonalds do not own the site considering the planning application resulted in a reduced access to Weston Favell shopping Centre (via roundabout) because McDonalds insisted on using the whole of the land available.
    I await your comments .
    Nigel Belford.

  27. Hi, On 18th July. I went to McDonalds Gatwick airport (South). Purchased food using my debit card, went to get my ticket stamped for exiting car park.
    I inserted the ticket and barrier did not raise, so pressed the button. Barrier raised. After few weeks received parking fine letter for using the car park. I did send them email with proof of purchase and explained all. Their response was I was I admitted to not validating my ticket and pressed the button therefore need to pay fine. I refused this and went onto Popla. I submitted my response and above statement, MET Parking Services sent Popla all information including images and the initial statement I sent to MET Parking services. Within my initial statement to MET parking, I never stated the words “I admitted not to validating the ticket”, I asked POPLA check my verbiage. POPLA agreed I never did state those words however POPLA state with the image evidence sent shows I never inserted the ticket only press barrier button and left.
    This is not true. Met Parking Services clearly sent selected images which they felt were necessary to show I am at fault. Why they did not send all images? If POPLA had seen all images not selected images would see the truth. Why POPLA not ask MET Parking services to send entire video of the recording? This is matter of principle. These parking companies are getting away with such crime in charging honest people hard earned money..

    • Hi Amit. It sounds like you did everything correctly. I’ve seen the signs at that Gatwick McDonalds which state that you have to get the ticket validated and that you mustn’t press the button on that barrier. The fact that you inserted your validated ticket and the barrier didn’t work isn’t your fault and you shouldn’t be subjected to the fine and all this stress.

      I know it’s too late for you, however when that ticket didn’t raise the barrier, I think you should have left your car at the barrier, and gone straight back into the restaurant to explain the situation to them. Pressing that button is what has caused all this for you. But why should all this be happening to someone who paid McDonalds for their food and needed to park their car in their car park?

      It seems really odd that a bona fide paying customer, who followed the complex procedures just to get out of the car park, is now facing this issue. I cannot advise what you should do – I guess it depends who strongly you feel about this – but I can suggest to people who are thinking about visiting that McDonalds near Gatwick South terminal to be really careful, or even, not risk going there at all.

  28. Hi wondering you you could help or advise please.
    Pulled in to McDonnalds Gatwick drive through for lunch, was busy so asked to wait in car park. All spaces were full , except the disabled spaces. As the staff said wouldn’t be long, and would bring out to me, pulled in to wait. Got a letter from MET ( which to start with thought was a joke!) now a letter from Zenith collections threatening £170 fine and court !! just for waiting for a meal, how can this be right?
    Do you really think they will take me to court for waiting in this space?

    • Hi Richard. As I am not a lawyer, I really can’t advise what you should do.

      I am very sorry to hear about yet another parking issue at McDonalds, particularly that one near Gatwick. With all these horror stories from bona fide customers, I just hope that people start to recognise the very sad fact that there is a real risk of inadvertently being fined when they use a McDonalds car park.

      The problem is that most prospective customers don’t understand, or know about these risks, and only find this page when it is too late and they have suddenly been hit with a fine, completely out of the blue, just for being a paying customer and having accidentally made some small mistake that is then pounced upon by these parking companies.

      I hope that people who read these comments tell their friends and families to be really careful with these car parks, or go somewhere else that isn’t going to hit you with a fine.

  29. On the 11 Sep 2019 my wife and I stopped at the Gatwick airport MacDonald’s, in order to have our Breakfast, after we had finished we drove to the north terminal to pick up two elderly, 80 and 76 year old relatives who had just arrived from Canada (One of them is disabled and needs a disability scooter for anything other than a short distance) after we picked them up we asked if the required breakfast before we set out on our journey, they said they would so we suggested MacDonald’s and they agreed that would be fine.

    We then drove back to MacDonald’s where we enjoyed another breakfast, everything was good and we where very happy customers, until we came home today to find a letter from MET parking asking me to pay £100 as I had returned within an hour, I had no idea that there was any such rule and that I could be heavily penalised for bringing my business to MacDonald’s.

    We are loyal MacDonald’s customers and feel disgusted that we have been treated this way, we feel like we have just been mugged of £100.

    My wife and I are both in our seventies and just living on our pensions so this is a lot of money for us to be robbed of. We did absolutely nothing wrong, if we had known that we could not return we would have taken our business somewhere else.

    • Hello Leonard. Thank you very much for sharing your story. I really hope that you complain to McDonalds about this, and that they sort this out for you. I’d be grateful if you could let us know if you are succeed in getting this fine revoked.

  30. Hello would like to say thank you my daughter received a parking ticket from MET parking as she was as McDonald’s. She was distraught but after reading your page my husband took her to the mcdonalds in question spoke with the manager privately and politely and they got the ticket overturned. Thanks again so much.

    • Hi Donna That is great news. Thanks for letting us know. It shows that talking to the right person at McDonalds does work, at least occasionally!

  31. Started a new hashtag on twitter please support #McDonaldsUnfairParking
    I have been stung by overstay of 30 minutes. Was a genuine customer, family of 3 adults and 2 kids had a great time for two hours, cost £238. Dont have time to complain to UKPC before it goes to higher. McDonalds no help at all.

  32. Hi,

    I had received a fine for staying in the Brentford McDonald’s for too long. I had been in for lunch and when returning to the car my car immobiliser would not work so I couldn’t start the car. I went into the store to explain my issue and that I need to find somewhere to replace my car key battery and they said that it would be fine. I later received a fine. I have appealed but they want to see proof of my £2.50 purchase (didn’t even get a receipt as wasn’t expecting to have to justify it) I have now received a letter from their dept collection company that work on behalf of MET saying I now owe £160 and that if I do not pay they will recommend court action. Is that likely to happen?

  33. I am a private hire driver, and use the Gatwick McDonald’s on a regular basis. I sometimes park up, but mostly drive through, and go round to the long stay car park to eat my food, and wait for pick up. On the 12th July, I went through the drive through, ordered my food, and was told that food would be a few minutes, and to go back round and park up in the waiting bay. I did this, however all the bays were full, so I parked in front of one of the cars.

    The lady came out of McDonalds, with lots of orders, and started going around the cars giving out the food. I was blocking the through route, so she signalled for me to pull into the disabled bay to let the other cars through. She then brought me my food and I drove off.

    I have now been sent a parking charge for parking in the disabled bay. The picture shows I am only half in the bay, to allow cars to pass by me, I certainly was not parked. I have phoned McDonald’s head office, and am waiting for them to look into this and come back to me.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Janet. I really hope that McDonalds see sense and accept that you were not to blame. Please let us know how this goes.

  34. I’ve also received a £100 penalty letter today for staying longer than 90 minutes at McDonalds Fosse Park. I went back in to speak to the management, was very polite, had receipt to prove I was there for lunch but was told there is nothing that can be done at a store level! I can understand them wanting to keep the car park for McDonalds customers only, but penalising genuine customers (and at such high amounts) seems ridiculous. I also note that there are no signs up inside the store to alert customers, seems after so many complaints that they should be doing more to protect their customers from unwarranted fines!

    • Hi Kerry. I’m sorry to hear that you are yet another victim. If the McDonald’s is nearby, I would either phone them, or go back and try and speak to a different manager/supervisor and don’t take no for an answer. Good luck

    • Hi Kerry, I’ve just had the exact same thing happen to me at MdDs in Fosse Park, spoke to a manager which was like speaking to a brick wall. Did you have any success speaking to anyone else? Did you pay it, or take any other action. Please let us know thanks , Mark

  35. Received a parking charge from a debt recovery service for UK Parking Control LTD for the sum of £160. I’ve not received anything before this. Date is for June 2018. I do remember using the McDonalds restaurant when I took a trip up to Nottingham. We visited the restaurant at night before hitting the motorway back home. I think its absolutely disgusting. How is anyone supposed to know the car park belongs to someone else? You just park up to buy food and drink? They should state it on the wall next to the till on a large sign like they do their food – that way people would see it. I would have seen it. I will not ever be eating at their restaurants ever again…

    • Thanks for telling us about your McDonalds parking problem, T.L. I can’t believe that they are chasing you for a fine they issued without your knowledge back in June 2018. I am not a lawyer but if it was me, I would first phone the Nottingham McDonalds you visited, and speak to a manager, or better, ask for the name of the regional manager. If that fails, I would consider appealing against the fine. I hope this works out well for you. Please let us know what happens.

  36. I received a letter from Met Parking this week regarding a visit I made to McDonalds Boreham Interchange over the April (2019) half term with my kids. They had (un)happy meals, and ice cream after. Then they played in the play area thing.
    I had no idea there was a time limit there. It’s not as if it is in town or near a shopping centre.
    I went back in today and politely asked to speak to the manager. I explained I had visited a couple of weeks ago with my kids, and did not know there was a time limit etc.
    She didn’t want to know. Said something like, we can’t do anything anymore.
    There is nothing in store as far as I know to highlight the time limit. It’s as if they want you to be fined to make money for met parking (probably part of the contract that they can’t treat their customers with respect and warn you in the restaurant).
    I’m off to get legal advice, and tell my kids they can never go to McDonalds again. ☹

    • Hi. Thanks for posting your comment, and I am sorry to hear that the manager at the Boreham McDonalds in Chelmsford was not prepared to help you. As you probably know, they are always very busy there and she probably couldn’t be bothered, whch has now resulted in you rightly being really unhappy with them.

      What I recommend, and do, in these situations is follow my tried and tested complaints procedure, which basically means that you escalate your complaint. If the manager says there is nothing they can do, then ask for their bosses name and contact details and say that you will discuss this complaint with them. I won’t explain more here, as it is a bit detailed, however I do recommend reading the article I linked to in this comment and trying the procedure out for yourself. I have never failed to win a complaint using these techniques, but it can take a lot of effort and determination.

    • It’s probably too late now but I was told by McDonald’s call staff to request to speak to a certain manager when I went back in store (sorry can’t remember the exact title) but basically it is a person on site who has the most control and won’t be on the shop floor. You get so many mixed messages from McDonald’s- the regional manager and staff in store were more than happy to cancel the fine and seemed to suggest that just letting the staff know was enough if you ever wish to overstay. However, I had previously emailed the store before I went back in and they responded by saying there was nothing they could do and that that it was not in their power to cancel the fine which is obviously an absolute lie! If it is any help to you I have the email address of the regional manager who helped me if it would help

  37. I called and spoke to the McDonald’s restaurant manager today asking if they could help me. I was very polite and explained how I’d come for a lunchtime meeting with a colleague. I gave her my parking charge notice number and registration and she cancelled the fine there and then. She went onto explain that when next coming in tell the manager that you plan to stay longer than 90 minutes and they will put your car registration number on the system to prevent getting another parking charge.

  38. I had a parking ticket for overstaying McDonald’s in Chelmsford. Speaking to them on the phone and by email they stated that there was nothing they could do but when I actually went into store they were able to cancel the ticket as I could prove I was a genuine customer who just hadn’t seen the signs! It is in their power to do it but I think it depends if you get a ‘jobs worth’ or not!

    • That’s great news, Sarah. Well done! It was the McDonalds in Boreham, near Chelmsford, that issued our fine all those years ago (and which initiated this article and discussion). Maybe they have some understanding managers at that particular branch. I wish all McDonalds managers were as understanding to their genuine customers.

      • No it was the McDonald’s at Westway the other side of Chelmsford. I had realised I had overstayed on the day and told a manager who took my reg and said he could sort it but I still received a ticket. I tried phoning and emailing and in the end decided to go back as luckily I live relatively close. Luckily the regional manager was there and he cancelled it straight away and said if I want to overstay just let the duty manager know but there’s no chance I’d do that again!!

        • Thanks for updating us, Sarah. It’s good that someone in the McDonalds team could resolve this for you.

  39. Hi
    On the 31/3 I had an early morning flight from Gatwick. We drove very early there and stop we got take away coffee at 1:47 we stayed max 20 min. But we got a parking fine claiming that we stayed for 76min with the max allowed time at 60min. It says that we left at 3:03. Definitely we will appeal as we didn’t stay that long and we believe that there was an issue with the cameras clock and the BST change. Not sure how to prove it. I don’t know if i’ll manage to get something as a proof from the airport. Any advice? Thanks

  40. McDonald’s do Jack S**t with regards to sorting the penalty. One of our vans went for a drive through breakfast and then a coffee later the same day. We also have trackers on our vehicles. MET issued the first arrival as the beginning of the visit and the photo of him leaving the drive through after his second visit as the leaving photo.

    • If you have documentary proof from the tracker on the van, did you raise this with the company that is issuing the fine? At face value it seems that you would have strong grounds to challenge the fine.

  41. I’d like to know what genius in McDonalds Customer Alienation Department came up with this.
    You will have people that have been spending £15 or £20 or £25 a week for years that will eventually, inevitably go over 90 minutes or whatever and get a ticket. Not a polite letter saying “please don’t do this again” but an actual ticket. McDonalds then engages “Lie To The Customer” mode telling the victim they can not help when they actually have the authority to cancel the fine. McDonalds dishonest partner company then threatens the victim, who pays up. McDonalds get a cut but loses their £20 a week customer. I’d love to know who thought it up so I can make sure I never ever employ the pillock.

  42. Just received a £100 for exceeding 90 minutes by 25 minutes at McDonald’s Bassetts Pole, Sutton Coldfield. I have visited McDonald’s regular for as long as they commenced trading in the Uk and often with my family. I was not aware of any parking restrictions and obviously oblivious to any signs. If McDonald’s want to enforce such draconian measures that’s their business, though I think they could make it more transparent by adding these parking restrictions to their receipts for example to raise awareness.

    I have read several posts and it appears that if you receive a fine, basically there is very little you can do, so I will pay the fine earlier to save myself £50. What I can confidently say though is that I shall be boycotting McDonald’s for life, that I can promise. Tomorrow I will also be conveying this to McDonald’s head office. If everyone took such affirmation action, who knows they may sit up and listen.

    I will make sure I get my £50 back and in the long term so, so, so much more.

    • Thanks for sharing this sorry tale, Richard. It sounds like McDonalds have hardened their stance with parking infringements. It is staggering that they treat their bona fide customers this way, but as you rightly say – it’s their choice.

      Camera/ANPR based parking enforcement is now prevalent in many car parks (not just McDonalds), presumably because it is a very profitable revenue generator. I personally take great care to look for cameras when driving into any car park and also to look out for, and carefully check, parking restriction signs.

      It’s sad that it has come to this, particularly if you are a genuine paying customer, but these systems are here to stay and we, the motorist, must take care not to become their victim.

  43. We have just been caught out by this at McDonalds on Bilbrough Top on the A64 near York.
    We were 11 minutes over the 90 minutes and hadn’t spotted the parking limit signs (who does when trying to find a parking spot in a busy car park).
    So, as per your article I called and spoke to the manager, he advised me to call UKPC, speak to them and they would call the McDonalds branch manager to cancel the charge – yeah right!
    I spent 40 minutes in a queue only to be told that “they do this all the time” and that, although I could appeal, it would only delay the inevitable!
    McDonalds will lose out in the end, we spent £45 there, we won’t be going there (or to any other McDonalds again).

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Ken. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve joined the many who’ve been caught out by these parking fines at McDonalds.

      As you can see from my article, when I complained to the manager about the parking charge notice that I had received in the post, it was the McDonalds manager who phoned Met Parking straight away. Met parking then cancelled the charge there and then.

      This was a long time ago, now though. I wrote this article in 2010 and matters have only got worse since then, as you can see from all these comments.

      I would ask the manager of the McDonalds to phone Met Parking and request that the charge is cancelled. I would show the Manager my receipt as proof that you were a bona fide customer when you inadvertently over-stayed your time limit in their car park (or, if the restaurant is far from you, ask to email it to him). Be polite, be firm and keep your fingers crossed that you have caught him/her on a good day!

      This is a bad situation that seems to punish bona fide customers. I think you are right in not using McDonalds again, if you are at risk of receiving a parking fine for being one of their customers and using their car park!

  44. I recently received a demand for £100 for a claimed stay of 348 minutes in the McDonald’s car park at Milton Heights. I have appealed as this is wholly incorrect – I did not stay in excess of the 90 mins allowed.
    I actually used the car park twice linked to buying breakfast in the morning then going in may car to a business meeting and parking in a free car park in Didcot during the day and then visiting McDonalds again on the way home. So this adds up to 2 x 10 mins in the car park. Both me and my car were seen in the free car park during the day and have also provided receipts for purchases within the appeal letter.
    Let’s see what happens.

    • Thanks for this, Mark. It sounds like your parking fine is wholly unjustified so as you have proof that your car wasn’t in the car park during the times stated, you should win your argument. Fingers crossed. Please let un know what happens.

  45. Kelvin Exall 9 December 2018
    I have just received a notification from MET informing me that I had overstayed the 90 minute alloted free parking time and wanted me to pay a £100 fine!
    My wife is a care worker in the Northampton area, she works a 14 hour day and I meet her most days at Weston Favel McDonald’s for lunch. She also spends her coffee breaks there during the day ,along with her work colleagues . This must amount to quite a few pounds by the end of the week. We are now looking for somewhere else to take our breaks !!!

    • Hello Kevin. Have you spoken to the manager at that McDonald’s to explain the situation? It must be worth explaining how much business you are giving them and if they really want to fine their loyal customers for eating there, then it is definitely better to find another place to eat in future.

  46. Received a parking notice from UKPC. They have a company name (the registered keeper) but no drivers name. They have camera pics of the number-plate but nothing else. Plus this letter is dated 45 days after the event.
    Where do i stand?

    • An interesting comment. If they have the company name, but no drivers name then how did UKPC send the parking notice to you?

      Your point about the 45 day delay between the PCN letter and the event is also interesting. I have found this information which may help you.

  47. Despite checking with McDonalds’ staff regarding the parking charge notices to which I was informed they are not applicable as it is part of Fosse park I have now received £100 parking fine for exceeding the time limit. Not happy at all. Rang duty manager at store who informed me the signs are clear despite my saying I checked with a staff member. Looks like my only opt-in is to pay discounted £50 fine. 🙁

  48. Dear Chris,

    My partner and her friend have just received a Parking Eye one, each – as they both met at one of our local McDonald’s with our respective children to have some quality time together after school and the Mum’s to catch-up.

    They had eaten in the Restaurant itself, where they were in no way aware of such draconian parking rules on private property that they were already paying to be in attendance at through the food bill. Additionally, they were certainly not warned as part of the Sales Assistants introduction and taking their order over the counter, which would have helped knowing there was a specific 90 minutes limit if one has parked in any of their parking bays on-site.

    We won’t be appealing, either to the local McDonalds Manager and nor will we be paying Parking Eye Ltd.

    However, I’d be interested in your thoughts on the fact that DVLA are seemingly sharing our Personally Identifiable Information (PII), being a Registration Number that can be directly linked to Registered Keepers Name and Address and which again, is PII and to Private Companies who are in no way a Government department such as Emergency Services, which would be acceptable.

    However, we have in no way ‘Consented’ (there are of course other lawful basis than just Consent but it will be interesting to find out which one both McDonald’s, Parking Eye and DVLA are choosing here) under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to have our data shared in such a way, so I am going to seek this clarification from the Information Commissioners Office by registering a complaint to them, about McDonald’s and Parking Eye with the above thinking and see what comes back.

    “What does the GDPR say?

    According to a Data Protection officer, personal data is defined in the GDPR as:

    “‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person”.

    This means personal data has to be information that relates to an individual. That individual must be identified or identifiable either directly or indirectly from one or more identifiers or from factors specific to the individual. ”

    Therefore, I’m wondering if there could be a possibility of a class action lawsuit against such private companies as McDonald’s (Car Park Owner – CPO) and their Private Parking Company (PPC) who they enter into a contract with, to allegedly monitor said car park(s) for CPO’s and regarding their use or possible breaches of the newly now enforceable GDPR?

    I will contact the Information Commissioner’s Office anyway for now and seek their position on DVLA, sharing of Registration Plates through ANPR to Private Car Park company’s and whom the car owner has not consented to their personal data (name and address) being shared with and see what they say.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Colin. You’ve raised some very interesting points.

      Unfortunately Parliament has allowed DVLA to sell our personal details to licensed parking enforcement operators, thus enabling the use of these technologies and to cause the sort of issues that are being experienced by so many people.

      It will be very interesting to see what the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) say about this, as the use of our personal data in this way does seem in breach of GDPR legislation. I would be very interested to hear how you get on.

      • Although you say Parliament has allowed DVLA to sell our personal details to 3rd parties but in order for them to do so DVLA must ask our permission under GDPR.

        • An interesting point. Here is a link to the way that DVLA holds and processes personal data.

          This is the relevant part:

          DVLA manages a vast amount of data to help keep motorists moving safely and legally. DVLA provides information to the police, local authorities and third parties where we are allowed to by law. When releasing personal data, DVLA acts responsibly and in accordance with data protection law at all times.

          Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulation 2002 covers the release of information from DVLA’s vehicle register to private and public sector organisations providing they can demonstrate reasonable cause to receive it. Reasonable cause is not defined in law but the government’s policy is that it should relate to the vehicle or its use, following incidents where there may be liability on the driver’s part.

  49. Hi folks, I’ve just had one from UKPC. If some are being waved by McD’s already, isn’t a precedent being set that none with similar circumstances should be binding In law?


  50. Hi Chris,

    I have read the above and a number of your references – its so frustrating that the McDonalds management at Stansted aren’t willing to help. They said that still need to contact MET. We had a similar situation on going above the “60” minutes – however physically only staying there and sitting there. I had already paid for actual parking at the airport to drop my daughter off.

    As I was hungry I stopped at McDonalds to grab some food – where at this time my sister who had just lost her husband and going through a difficult time had called me. Obviously I did not realise that there I was there over 60 minutes. Clearly from other posts they can see if a person is there – which is even more frustrating.

    I understand that other people abuse the car park, but its frustrating when you are physically there and just there for food that you get charged. Some places I have read mention that you should not go down the appeal route but complaint route – as the appeal route solidifies this as a valid ticket. What would your suggestion be – as its ridiculous that just a coffee and food would cost me so much in the end!

    • Thank you for your comment, Dav. It never ceases to amaze me that McDonalds punishes their legitimate customers like this, and that the management at that branch were so unhelpful. As I am not a lawyer, I cannot give you advice about the best course of action to follow, so I am sorry that I can’t make any suggestions.

      All I can say is that we motorists have to realise that we are prey to these car park enforcement companies, so we must all check for enforcement signs whenever we use car parks.

      I always check whenever I park anywhere. We shouldn’t have to do this, especially when we are legitimate customers and are not abusing the parking facilities, however, unfortunately, the law allows these parking companies to issue penalties and we must therefore be very vigilant not to become their prey.

      Although I have not helped you, Dav, I wish you well with your appeal or complaint. Please update us with what happens, as you could help others in this bad situation.

  51. HI Chris,
    My wife is registered as blind. Today I got a parking charge notice about payment of 100 pounds for met parking services. There is a parking lot with limited free stay period in the car park next to mcdonald at stansted airport. (60min). I have exceeded this time by 29 minutes due to my ill wife or you think that this is a fer for people with disabilities. Just as healthy people have the same time limit as disabled people ?? Should I pay this penalty or write appeals? Please help me …
    Kind Regards
    Jerzy Wojciechowski

    • Hello Jerzy. Thank you for sharing your sad story with us. I am not a lawyer and so cannot give you legal advice of any sort.

      However, I urge you to phone the manager at the McDonalds in Stansted and explain your story to them. Please do this straight away and appeal to his/her best nature.

      If the manager isn’t available ask to speak to an assistant manager and make sure you ask for the names of the manager and the assistant manager (if you speak to one). People tend to take a bit more ownership of problems when you know their names and they are no longer anonymous.

      I wish you all the best with this. Please update me with the outcome. Kind regards, Chris

  52. I contacted the McDonalds manager who said that if they were to ask for it to be cancelled they would get charged £50 which i feel is a bold faced lie

  53. I have received a final notice by a debt collecting agency for fine I didn’t know I had. Apparently because it is now with recovery and not with the company that issue the fines initially I cannot appeal this charge. They have acknowledged that the original letters of a parking charge (in mcdonalds for 14 minutes too long) were not received by myself as they had been sent to my previous address and I was completely unaware of these, however when it was passed to a collection company they managed to gain the correct address to chase me. This all stems back to when I purchased my new car and the dealership had registered my car to my old address that I did not live at at the time of purchase and all my other documents were all addressed correctly, hence why i didn’t receive the first letters to contest at the time. I have CCTV that I was in mcdonalds the entire time. I have issued a complaint with Fords but I am not getting anywhere with that and now I’m being threatened with court action for refusing to pay. what can i do????

    • Thanks for your comment and this harrowing story.

      I would go and talk to your nearest Citizens’ Advice Bureau as soon as possible. Please let us know how you get on and I hope this works out well for you.

  54. Hi Chris,
    Today I received a letter with pic of my arrival and departure at a McDonald’s car park claiming a £50 charge.

    I met a friend for coffee at 11-40 and then my wife joined us at 12-40 when we had some lunch.

    I have receipt for my lunch purchase at 12-44 but my friend paid for the first drinks at 11-40.Apparently the signs about parking have been up here for about 6 weeks now,as I’ve used this place many times I wasn’t looking for parking signs so just went in as normal.

    I contacted the manager by phone and was told the appeal details are on reverse of letter follow them.( told me she’d had loads of complaints recently)

    I find it hard to believe that people have to check about parking when they want to purchase food etc.something must be done.

    What do you advise regard my claim,many thanks.

    • Hi Brian. Thank you for sharing your experience and I’m sorry to hear about this parking fine when you were obviously a legitimate customer.

      As you know, I am not a lawyer and so cannot give you legal advice. However, it sounds like this restaurant is reasonably close to where you live, so I would go in and see the manager personally.

      Politely and calmly explain to him/her that you were a legitimate customer and show the receipts to prove. Appeal to their better judgement.

      I hope it works. If it doesn’t then perhaps you should decide that there are better places to meet up without inadvertently incurring a parking fine.

      My fingers are crossed for you. Please let us know what happens.

  55. I am currently battling with MET about a McDonalds parking charge.

    I visited the Boreham Essex McDonalds and was doing some work whilst having something to eat. I was asked on 2 occasions by staff members if i wanted to extend my stay and there were numerous signs in the premises stating that your stay could be extended by speaking with a staff member.

    I gave my registration to a staff member (whose name I noted) and carried on with my day. Shortly after I received a penalty notice from MET.

    I immediately spoke with the restaurant who subsequently noted that the employee had incorrectly entered my registration in their log. The restaurant subsequently stated that the charge would be nullified. I appealed the MET charge assuming that once speaking with McDonalds this would be resolved. Subsequently I have received a further communication from MET stating they can find no evidence that my registration was recorded and that the charge was still in force.

    I will update with further information in due course.

    • Hi Chris. Thank you for sharing your McDonalds parking woes.

      Funnily enough, this whole situation started for us at McDonalds in Boreham outside Chelmsford, but it was way back in 2010. When I received the parking notice, the manager at that restaurant was really helpful and phoned MET straight away to cancel the charge, which is what I wrote about in this post all those years ago.

      I appreciate that times have changed, and this has all become a far bigger issue than it was then, but have you asked the manager at that McDonalds to phone MET and explain the situation? He/she has already said that it was their fault.

      I would go back to the restaurant (if you can), ask to speak to the manager and then ask them to phone MET while you are actually there. if you don’t live near Boreham, then it will be more difficult, but in that case I think you should put pressure on the manager at McDonalds to resolve the situation.

      Follow the tactics that I use to complain and win by reading this long post. In essence you should find out who the manager reports to and politely say that you will be contacting him and whoever else is further up the reporting chain until someone takes ownership and gets this resolved for you.

      This approach seriously works wonders.

      Only a month ago, I received a full refund for a persistently faulty laptop from Dell 18 months after buying it. It took some effort, but I successfully used these tactics yet again.

      I hope you resolve this soon. Please let us know how you get on.

  56. Hi. Well just to add fuel to this growing Fire. I and a work colleague met in October at McDonald’s in Wolverhampton for our regular breakfast business catch up. I have been using this McDonald’s socially and for business in excess of 20 years.

    We both received a fine as we were in for well over the 90 mins. We hadn’t seen the signs well you wouldn’t when its been free for years would you. I contacted the Manager to be told they had had the cameras fitted in September and she was sorry but couldn’t help so we both appealed stating the above as reasons.

    Well as you might guess standard letter back , enough signs, you should have seen them, cough up. I am appalled and was going to pay but I was contemplating a petition or similar when I found this site.

    I would be more than willing to take part in action like Rip off Britain if its on the cards. Any help or advice would also be welcome.

    • Hi David. Thanks for sharing your all too familiar story. I recently heard of someone who legally challenged a fine like this and insisted on taking them to court.

      However he is a Barrister so represented himself and slaughtered the parking company in front of the judge, easily winning the case and costs etc. Apparently the solicitor for the parking company went pale when he realised he was up against a barrister.

      So why am I saying this? Because there are very likely to be legal loop holes that a good lawyer could find and exploit on your behalf, but it depends on how badly you feel about it and want to risk a court case, and the consequences of a possible loss.

      Of course, you might win and be able to claim costs and damages, but this is all up to you.

      Whenever I, or my wife, park in any public car park, we are ultra careful to look for cameras and parking enforcement signs.

      It is a travesty that private companies can access the DVLA systems to use our number plates to fine us in this way. Unfortunately, the only way to get the law changed to prevent this is by lobbying Members of Parliament.

    • Received 3 parking charge notices so far from the Penn Road McDonalds Wolverhhampton. All of them are double dip attempts where UKPC turn two separate sub 90 minute visits into a single over 90 minutes visit and charge £100 / £50. Two were cancelled on my appeals probably because they failed the POFA time limit for sending their payment requests but the third was ignored by myself for various reasons and now I’m getting debt collection agency requests for £160.

      Apparently (and strangely) a lot of regular customers have had a similar experience at that particular McDonald’s. UKPC were recently banned by the DVLA from getting registered keeper info from the DVLA – March 2018.

      The UKPC signage on the site should probably have planning permission but chances are that it hasn’t so the signs are probably illegal. Its possible that the McDonalds in question doesn’t have planning permission to charge for parking or to allow any other entity to charge for parking on the site. This means that its possible that both UKPC and the McDonalds franchise directors may be in theory committing criminal offences and that any individual who has had their details given to UKPC by the DVLA could sue for Data Protection Act contravention compensation of up to £1000 approx for each Data Protection Act contravention.
      [Please note that the views and information expressed in this comment are those of one of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of]

      • A bit more about the McDonalds UKPC ANPR parking fines received by the forum user.

        If the notice to keeper quotes POFA stuff so that the parking company can chase the registered keeper – not the driver, then the notice to keeper should be received by the recipient within 14 days of the event, if it isn’t received within the time limit then its invalid. If the NTK doesn’t quote POFA stuff then the registered keeper is not liable and doesn’t have to reveal who the driver was and the parking company would need some solid evidence of who the driver was which they probably won’t have so in that case the claim is invalid.

        There are loads of other reasons that would invalidate the parking companies claim but its safe to say that the signage on that site is inadequate for lots of reasons especially if its dark and if the customer is a regular customer and it was dark then common sense would suggest an appeal should be allowed simply on the basis that the customer would simply not have realised until they were actively informed of the parking arrangements change. Also the car park would probably have been at least no more than half full at the time, I think the main reason parking charges have been introduced on that site is to prevent some fairly serious missuse of the car park especially at busy times.

        There are lots of websites that can help, some of the most used are Pepipoo, MoneySavingExpert, Parking-Prankster, LegalBeagles, ParkingCowboys and for some very interesting, sometimes useful and humourous stuff google Howard Bigot-Johnson’s NightmareWorld of Parking Fines.

        One of the basic rules for anyone receiving a parking charge payment request from a private parking company is that for most situations they should not state who the driver was and should also not make any statement about whether the recipient of the charge was, or was not, the driver at anytime, especially in an online forum where they state their real name.

  57. I visited Mcdonalds in Dunstable in June. I was totally unaware of the parking restriction. I got a letter from MET parking services 6 weeks after the visit. It tells me overstayed but not by how long nor what times and no photo evidence. Yet the letter states ‘on the date and time detailed above’.

    I phoned them initially and they said i need to apply in writing but said the address on the reverse was incorrect and gave me another address. It all seemed a bit suspect to me and wishy washy. To be honest i have done nothing about it and received to further letters. None which state times of parking or overstay. Watch this space?

    • Hello Susannah. Thank you for your comment. The fact that MET can’t tell you how long you over-stayed, and even on what date, doesn’t seem to present them with a strong case.

      I am not a lawyer, but lets hope that common sense prevails and MET quietly drops this. Let us know what happens. Good luck!

  58. My son went into mc one day then the next thing they said hes been parked up for 18 hour lol now that will take some beating a not happy about number plate clarity going out ether but how do you prove he was in work? Nuts, as its going in the bin.

  59. Private car park notices are not fines, just penalty notices. They also have to have planning permission for the notice signs and cameras. Also to take you to court, there has to be a dispute to move a case forward through the courts.

    By appealing you are causing joiner therefore a dispute. Do not attempt to can’t act these people and put this nasty fear tactic notices into your bin.

  60. Hello Chris, may I have some advice? This morning I received a letter concerning MET Parking Services limited. Following the court case that went in their favour, they are clawing back past cases and I had a situation I refused to pay for as I was a paying member of the Virgin gym (entitled to use all their centres) and no one told me that particular parking was under a restriction time.

    I was issued a fine for 10 minutes over (I only realised when I went to fetch more towels from reception and overheard a member asking about parking limits). I dealt with the manager who said if there was an issue, to get in touch. There was a back and forth with no resolve.

    This was in 2014. Now the threatening letter has come and I need to prepare my case. Is there any advice and should I involve a solicitor? Thank you in advance for comments or help with this.

    I hope anyone who received letters since this court case for past incidents can share their experiences especially from MET Parking Services -they are a nasty organisation and I stopped membership with Virgin Active due to their lack of help.

    • Hi Penny

      Thank you for your comment. I am very sorry to hear about this situation with MET parking.

      I an not a lawyer, so I cannot give you advice, however I would contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau straight away. If you are under time constraints from this new notice, then tell them that it is urgent.

      Have you contacted POPLA? If not, do so straight away too. You must surely have good reasons to appeal based on an inadvertent over stay by 10 minutes back in 2014, however I wouldn’t bank on it.

      I hope that you resolve this situation very soon.

      • Thank you Chris for your reply. I will contact POPLA – I will certainly look at the communication and seek advice.

  61. I have just received a fine yesterday, my partner took my 4 kids there and with the 3 boys aged 4-8 and my 7month old daughter wanting to play, feed and change the baby they were there for 113mins and had not noticed the signs saying the limit was 90mins, I phoned the Mc Donalds in question and asked them about it only to be told it is nothing to do with them and I’d have to deal with met parking, I cannot seem to find a number that will allow me to speak to someone, the only options seem to be pay or dispute in writing.

    • Thanks for mentioning this, Daniel.

      I can’t believe some of the stories that are emerging about the heartless approach of McDonalds and their willingness to damage their reputation over a few minutes of parking from legitimate customers. I don’t know if you have found the Met Parking website, but there are two phone numbers on there: 0207 118 8003 and 0845 370 8001

      • Just to add to my previous comment.

        This may not have anything to do with the McDonalds restaurant they could be leasing their premises from a landlord. The landlord may be retaining control of the parking around the restaurant and could well have outsourced the parking management to Met Parking.
        Read this article for more information.

  62. hi going through the same thing although not overstayed but visiting twice within a hour and a half period just for coffee and they have images of me going in on my first visit and exiting on my second which amounts to 133 mins in a 90 min stay , as I didn’t even park as I used drive through I was proberly on site no more than 10 mins both visits ,I appealed the first letter and had to provide more evidence which I sent of the 2 receipts for the 2 transaction but have just got response back saying not deemed sufficient I proving that I did infact leave the car park , as I was taking my daughter to college on the way and her friend I ertainly was nowhere near mcdonalds inbetween these visits, just a nightmare £100 fine for 2 coffees and I didn’t even park

    • Hi Teresa

      This is terrible. Did you complain to the manager at that McDonalds manager and explain what happened before appealing to MET?

      If you haven’t yet paid that fine, I would strongly recommend trying to talk to the manager and make sure he knows what happened and how these actions against bona fide customers are damaging their reputation. I hope that this is resolved favourably for you soon.

      • Dear Chris,
        Thank you for your sharing about talking to McDonald’s manager about the parking fine £50 pounds. However, extremely sad to share with you it’s not work now. I talked to the manager and he said no problem will deal with UKPC which we so delighted. After 14 days , the reminder letter arrived, I went back to the shop and they said the company changed and they could do nothing on it anymore. I appealed and tried POPLAR too, nothing can do, I wrote to Mcdonald talked about this case and the customer service manager Joe Cuffaro confirmed nothing can do on it. If they told me same thing when I first approached them I will pay that £50 instead of now have to pay £100.
        Just want to share it and let other people know don’t trust those said who will help you in Mcdonald shop to deal it for you.
        Best regards

        • Hi Virginia

          Many thanks for sharing your experience with us, and for advising us that talking to the restaurant manager no longer works. I wonder if it is down to individual managers?

          I have been in touch with a couple of researchers from BBC’s “Rip off Britain” recently so I might contact them about this issue to see if it would be of interest to them for a forthcoming programme.

          • My daughter and her friend both have £50 tickets for staying 15 minutes over the limit (they weren’t aware there was a limit) in McDonalds in Mansfield. 3 of them ate their, ordering several times each. The manager initially said he would get the fines cancelled if they produced evidence that they had eaten there, then changed his mind when they actually did so and told them there was nothing he could do. They have both appealed to the MET and immediately had their appeal declined. What on earth do they do now?

  63. I received a ticket through post and i appeal but they didnt bother produce the details i was after, they just rejected it. After a few days I received a letter saying it has gone up to £100 then some days later they sent another one saying it’s gone down to £50 and I should pay within 14 days. As i rang this morning i offered to pay and gave a customer service person from MET my bank detaisl and after that i started asking questions whether i can still appeal and he started raising his voice then put the phone down on me after he took my bank details and it was a disgrace and i want my money back now so i can appeal. Where could i report this disgusting behaviour

  64. Visited mc donalds stanstead 28dec having driven through the night for à very early flight. Met up with freinds and we both have 50pound fines….we all ate in Mac donalds!!

  65. McDonals Brighton Marina – 2 separate visits within a 3 hour period, but MET parking have use the entry photo of the FIRST visit and the exit photo of the SECOND visit – consequently I’ve been hit with a £100 fine and I have no way of disproving their claim

    • My boyfriend has the same problem – McDonalds in Weston Favell, Northants got his order wrong and he had to go back to pick the rest of it up later on and they got him going in the first time and coming out the second as evidence of him overstaying. Will be emailing them today to tell them to check their cameras and they will see this. He will not be paying a penny to these charlatans.

    • Hi John, just got the same as you ! Two visits , 2 hours apart with the first and last visit photo being used used to make a parking charge notice !! I will not be paying this, it’s totally out of order by those money grabbers !!

  66. Thanks for these comments about this continuing problem with McDonalds and MET.

    It is amazing that McDonalds are still subjecting their customers to these fines when they are causing so much damage to their reputation.

  67. I have just had one of these ‘penalty charge notices’ after I spent over £50 in 3 shifts feeding children at McDonalds Eltham. I complained to the customer services department but they sent me a routine response with some patronising drivel and suggested I contact MET direct, fully knowing that would be a frustrating waste of my time.

    I’m writing directly to the UK Managing Director, Mr Paul Pomroy, to complain and will be disputing the charge all the way to POPLA.

    I wish I could tell McDonalds where to go but as a divorced father forced to live away from his children I have precious few other options to go to.

  68. i got one of these parking charges just told them i was not going to pay it and i would not be going to their so called fast food outlets again.and to stick it

  69. I went into mcdonalds with my family for lunch after swimming. Our car was parked only for the twenty minutes that we were in there. While we were eating, the met guy came on his bike. Came inside and asked for my reg. number. He looked into his book and told me my car was ok. A few days ago I received a met parking fine on behalf of mcdonalds.
    I went straight to see the manager and asked him to look at the CCTV camera which would prove it all.
    The manager said he will phone them. I hope he does.
    I will not pay and I am fed up with companies trying to rip the public off.

    • hi all i just had one of these notices come though work , i use mcdonalds alot to hold and meet clients we buy food and drinks on that morning myself and my client most had spent over £15.00 on drinks and food
      as soon as i had the email from my company asking for £100 went stright round to the macdonalds and ask the manager to do the above he refused and said that it was none of his business , it was all done by MET parking , the manager was rude and not help fully again , will not be using the macdonalds on all saints way west bromwich again if this is how they treat there customers .

      i am so angry with macdonalds charging people for eating. I WILL NOT BE PAYING

  70. Hi there, just like to say thanks for the advice. I’ve just received a UKPC charge notice(£50.00) for an overstay (2hrs 1min) in a MacDonalds car park. I called the MacDonalds manager and explained that I never saw the parking notices and that I was eating in their premises. I did fess up that I was a regular customer and that I was using their wi fi to send business emails. The manager was very helpful, took my reg and charge ref no and has offered to email the UKPC and instruct them to cancel the charge and any follow up letters!!! Happy days!!

  71. My fiancee went to a Macs in Newcastle upon tyne and parked the car in the carpark. She read the notice that if anyone was over staying a 90 minute period they had to inform the staff. They had probs with their laptop and decided to try and address it. she informed a member of staff twice that she was staying over the limited time and they stated that it was fine. When they got a parking charge for 60 pound they realised it wasnt fine. They contacted Macs and the lady member of staff who had stated fine {was the correct word?} said she would contact the company issuing the fine and cancel it. Two weeks on another letter arrives demanding a hundred pounds with threats of court action!! The lady at Macs was contacted again and said she would try and contact them. My partner is stressed out as she has no criminal convictions whatsoever as they threatened her with the words -we will put your name on a blacklist with companies you deal with!!! The parking firm is based in liverpool ! chancers!!!

  72. I won my POPLA appeal against MET Parking. The charge was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore not enforceable,

    The Parking Prankster has written about my case in his blog which can be found here:

    Met Parking are just cowboys out to make a living from scaring drivers into paying. Challenge them. They won’t win. Appeal to the Parking Company, they will refuse the appeal, then you can appeal to POPLA. The good thing about that is that it costs you nothing and costs the parking company around £30. If you use the wording that the charge is “not a genuine pre-estimate of loss”, the POPLA arbitrator will throw it out.

    • I have just read the POPLA Annual Report. I noted that between October 2012 and March 2013, MET Parking submitted 40 evidence packs to POPLA in respect of customers who’d appealed against parking charges. In 35 of those 40 cases (87%) POPLA agreed with the motorist rather than MET Parking and the charge was cancelled.

  73. My 80 yr old father was taken ill in McDonalds so he overstayed the 1 hr maximum stay by 16 minutes.

    He received a £100 PCN which is not going to be paid. It’s been referred to POPA (which costs Met Parking £30) and will very likely be cancelled by them. I’ve also written to Jill McDonald, the Chief Executive Officer at McDonalds UK to ask for her views that Met Parking is so unsympathetic to elderly, disabled and unwell customers.

  74. Just received a Charge Notice from UKPC, Mc Donalds parking enforcers in Scotland. It seems they are the only restaurant in Scotland that operates parking fines. After reading other articles it seems this restaurant upsets it customers –

    After reading the above comments I will not be paying

  75. I recently received a £100 charge notice from MET for overstating my welcome by 15 minutes at McDonald’s Milton Heights Service Area, Didcot. I normally meet my business partner at the restaurant for lunch. On this occasion my partner was delayed but we had lunch as normal. I was not aware that there were any restriction on the length of stay and I was totally surprised to receive a parking notice. I sent in an appeal via the MET website but it has been rejected on the grounds that there were signs present. What a way for McDonald’s to conduct their business. I will speak with the manager next and if that fails they can take me to court although from what I have read here the will eventually go away. The fine is totally disproportionate and unnecessary it is merely a scam to make money out of their own customers. Do Not Pay and boycott all McDonalds, spread the word

  76. Same story, met a friend (we are both retired) equal distance to travel and meet up at Macdonalds in all Saints way West Bromwich. Didn’t think signs which are not visible until you are well inside car park applied to “paying” customers. Admit I didn’t read the small print as I didn’t think it applied to me!! we both got PCN’s a few weeks later, so I went back to see Duty Manager, couldn’t help. Mailed Customer Services got a similar response to others, just told me there is an appeal process to follow. We are both law abiding citizens and thus far have not responded to MET. Should we now appeal (we all know the outcome). Someone please offer some realistic advice.

  77. Same story for me today. McDonalds in Eltham on A205 SE London.

    I visited with #1 son and had a sat down meal. Then drove to watch #2 son play in his football game which I actually refereed so I could not be in 2 places at same time.

    Re-visited the same McDonalds with son #2 via the DriveThru so didn’t even park there and left.

    Cameras claim I was there for 159minutes but there is no record mentioned of the first time I left or the second time I arrived.


    I am writing an appeal to this Met Parking Services company, the McDonalds Manager, Lewisham Borough Council as well as to Boris Johnson the London Mayor to highlight these absurd practices being used to fleece money from people.

    I would recommend people view the Watchdog link from above as these letters hold no legal weight and not worth the paper they are written on:

    • Thanks for posting the link to the Watchdog video, Paul.

      I like the way that the traffic consultant showed how to deal with the threatening letter from MET Parking – he made a paper plane out of it!

  78. I to have just received two fines today. I work away at Gatwick Airport for extended periods of time. I use the Mcdonalds at the South terminal roundabout on a regular basis, up to two times a day. When I got back home after a months work I found two of these tickets waiting for me. Upon return to Gatwick I approached the manager at the site explaining my frequent use of the site and the fact I was ten minutes over the time, given in a nice and polite manner but was refused any help at all saying ‘if I do yours then I would have to do everyone’s.’ Your advice has failed completely to work as I am sure it has done for many other people. Don’t think I will paying any fine’s though after reading what other people have said.

  79. my daughter works at mcdonalds in tankersley sheffield and they now say that staff can not park in the car park and if they do they will be fined they now have to park in tankersley manor car park. my daughter hates the dark and woks odd hours eg 10pm to 6am / 9pm to 4am i dont think its safe for her to have to walk all that way in dark on her own

  80. Sara,

    Just put the letters in the bin, and try to forget about it.

    You shouldn’t make contact,they want you to write to them, the result wanted is not to pay, its been almost a year now, with no more letters.

    And lost weight, my big mac days are over.

  81. I just received a fine today! I can not believe a restaurant can fine its customers for eating in its restaurant! Had i not had the fine in front of me right now I would have thought it impossible! I have just sent off a message via their website saying i think it is ridiculous as I am (was) a genuine customer with two young children and I feel I am being punished for ordering ice cream and teas after the meal. There is also a climbing frame and slide outside the restaurant which surely encourages children to stay longer after their meal as they are not able to play on it whilst eating. I am so angry but my email to them was very polite and to the point. We shall see now if they will waive it. If they do not I am going straight to the store tomorrow to ask the manager to waive the fine. If he does not I will call for everyone’s (customers) attention in the restaurant and politley tell them that I have been fined £50 for eating there on my 3 years old son’s birthday and the manager seems to think this is acceptable. I will then contact the local paper and the make sure everyone in Solihull knows about the fines. I will then completely ignore all the letters and I nor my family will ever eat in any Mcdonalds restaurant anywhere in the world again! Will let you know how I get on 🙂

  82. met parking wish to preserve annonymity by hiding behind the protection of po box numbers.however,i have found that one of their directors has a connection in the “harrow” area.exactly what this is i am unable to remember,but from memory it cold have something to do with either ,their actual trading address,his home address,or another company that he is associated with.

  83. I overstayed 17 minutes at the Stansted McDonalds and was “fined”.
    I sent them £50 (their concession for early payment) and I objected on the grounds that I overstayed because I felt unwell. (I am 68 and am suffering the after effects of blood cancer.)
    They returned my cheque. I thought it over, I thought they had used their discretion.
    Now I have a letter demanding £100 with the threat of costs.

    My view is that they were after the full “fine” all along.

  84. It was the same for me, Andy after a few months the letters stop.

    Its all a distant memory, never received a phone call or anyone knocking at the door, just ride the wave.

    My big mac days are now a thing of the past.

    Dont park at Mcdonalds anymore, ive heard they can clamp you there, as its there property.



  85. I travelled 200 miles to pick up my nephew and his new wife from Gatwick in June< parked in mc donalds at Gatwick to have 2 breakfasts and received met parking fine for overstaying the limit. THE CAR PARK WAS FULL OF POSH TAXIS AT 7AM IN MORNING
    Looked through sites like these and also the watchdog interview when I got my first fixed penalty notice which helped me decide not to pay!
    My wife has left the decision in my hands whether to pay or not….
    I have just received my 3rd legal notice and payment is now due of £125 and even though I am a little twitchy I am going to stand firm –

  86. Good advice for Sarah,

    9 months now since ive had any letters now, keep your cool.

    All the letters are on, so you will have no unexpected letters.

  87. i have recieved a fine i have also spoke to the manager of mcdonalds and he was very rude saying they couldnt do anything about it, some of you are sayin ignore it they cant do anything some of you are sayin write a email to mcdonalds head off , please advise me what i should do as i am a single parent and cant afford this £125 to be bigger many thanks

    • Sarah ignore letters to date and those that will follow over the coming months. Do not reply to them or respond to any phone calls -assuming you are in the tel. directory. They try to wear you down and frighten you into paying. Their business model is a percentage game clawing a bit of money at each letter. Bottom line is that, even assuming that you admitted to being the driver, they can not risk going to the county court as any award would be pitance (a DJ on the ball would kick the claim into touch being as their charge is in effect a penalty and strictly unenforceable at law) and they would have to bear their own costs ( as the case is flawed by virtue of the attempt to extract a penalty) . So why would they risk going to court? Game plan blown out of the water and the internet would roast them. Any probs just post and I’ll answer.

      PS Check my post of 13.4.2012.

  88. I think my fine went up to about 200, then started to come down again,on the last letter. Its been 5 months without a word from them.

    Can understand why you sent them a fifty to get them off your back.

    But there was no reason to worry. They cant do anything. The law isn’t on there side.

    On the moneysavingexpert site shows you all the letters you will receive, so no surprises when opening your post.

  89. My wife and me have just got caught up in this neverending story. We were sent a “fine” of £125 by Ukpc for staying 23 minutes too long at Mcdonald’s at Tankersley nr Sheffield. After an angry email from me saying we knew nothing about the maximum stay policy they reduced the charge to fifty quid.
    Still unhappy I referred the matter to Mcdonald’s Customer Service Manager in London and got a typical up yours reply.
    Rather than see an escalation of the fee followed by threats , I have paid up but told both Mcdonald’s and Ukpc that I will recover the money by not using Mcdonald’s for the rest of year.
    I propose to list details of meals eaten elsewhere and send to Mcdonald’s in January in the form of a disloyalty card.

  90. Its been months since ive had any letters, they do give up in the end.

    Ive not eaten Mcdonalds since, must have spent 200pounds a year there, no more.

  91. I work for a company that has 8 “charges” on the go for vehicles over staying their welcome at McDonalds from MET. MET’s letters are a legal joke and it can be fun to respond sometimes just to see what excuses and threats they come up with, though usually they are just ignored.

  92. Not anymore! I have just got a 50 pounds fine from McDonalds in Boreham Interchange and the manager refuses to call or email the MET. I was in Mc Donalds restaurant and play area for 2 hours with my children and wasn’t aware of the 90 minutes limit for maximum stay. It is a complete rip off. All the store manager did was to hand me a appeal form to send to MET and hope for the best! It is very wrong indeed.

  93. OK, we’ve had a result. We send a firm but polite email to the McDonalds Customer Service Dept manager, and within 24 hours an email was received telling us that ‘on this occasion’ they would contact MET Parking Services and waive the ‘fine’.

    I would suggest that you do the following if you receive one of these Parking Charge Notices from MET…
    1. Go straight up to (or phone) the restaurant where you received the ticket and have a word with the manager there. In our case they gave us the business card of the Franchise Manager. These are his details for you…

    Steve Bennett
    Telephone: 08705 244 622
    Address: 11-59 High Road, East Finchley, London, N2 8AW.

    2. If the restaurant manager can’t/won’t do anything, send a straight but polite email to Steve Bennett. Like I said, he seems a good chap and we got sorted within 24 hours.

    3. If in your case you do not get anywhere with step 2, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for legal information

    If I did not get anywhere and was told that I had no option to pay, I would not have paid. There are too may people online and people I’ve spoken to about this say that it is a national con. These people scare you into paying out your hard earned cash for nothing. I am sure that if you literally ignore everything from these crooks they will eventually go away, but I was well prepared to go to court over this. I quote article 12 of the Universal Code for Human Rights…
    Article 12.
    ‘No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.’

    The letter that we received back was this…

    ‘Thank you for your email regarding a parking charge which you received after visiting our restaurant situated in Coldfield Drive Redditch. I have noted your comments and welcome the opportunity to confirm our policy on this matter.

    As a company, putting in place enforcements within our car parks is only done after careful consideration and very much as a last resort. Primarily, we use parking measures to ensure there are spaces available for our customers’ vehicles, as well as to deter unwarranted or unreasonably prolonged usage of the facility.

    I can confirm this parking area is managed by an independent company who are responsible for monitoring the car park and taking details of registration numbers. The regulations and signs at the restaurant clearly state our policy and the relevant charges.

    We have a large number of regular customers that visit the restaurant frequently and for prolonged visits, our aim is to ensure that they are able to find a parking space and that their visit is an enjoyable one. I believe that members of the management team at the restaurant have explained that if a customer is planning on an extended visit we can enter their details on to our system to ensure that they are exempt from any charges at the time of that visit or any subsequent visit within a two hour period.

    On this occasion I can confirm that I have contacted MET Parking and requested that your charge be cancelled there is no need for you to take any further action.

    Finally I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us and allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns and apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused. I can assure you that we are monitoring customer feedback along with comments from local residents and the police to determine if the scheme is a success.’

    Yours sincerely

    Steve Bennett
    Franchisee Supervisor

    So there you go. I lost a night sleep over these people. Not through worry, but frustration and anger. Suddenly the Big Mac doesn’t seem too appealing anymore! But at least we know that the Hamburgler is still at large in the form of MET Parking Services. A group that prefer to threaten and rob people than do a good honest days work. A week before Christmas too! What a bunch of a**h*les!

    • The driver and not the registered owner is liable.

      MET are relying on a contract being entered into when you entered the car park.

      For this contract to be upheld a notice must be clearly displayed and be legible.

      If you write back on appeal and refuse to name the driver then MET have no one to sue.

      This is a civil matter and you are under no obligation or liability whatsoever to voluntarily name and/or shame the driver.

      MET will write back denying the appeal and asking you to name the driver and threaten to obtain a court order to make you disclose your 1. insurance policy and/or a 2. disclosure order to name the driver and possibly at a later date a 3. Norwich Pharmacal Order to name the driver.

      1. The Court will not agree to.

      2. The Court is unlikely to issue in a civil case of this order.

      3. Not applicable [only applies to unlawful acts].

      If in the unlikely event that the matter proceeds to the County Court for judgement the Court will hold that the charge is not proportionate to the loss suffered and thus unenforceable “as is” under the contract.

      It therefor will be at the discretion of the Court whether the entire Contract is held null and void* or whether to apply a charge proportionate in the circumstances that reflects the loss suffered by MET.

      *A DJ on the ball will hold the charge to be a penalty and dismiss the case out of hand.

      MET have to prove loss. McDonalds Boreham is a free car park and generally is underpopulated during the week days [though on car auction days the car park can be abused].

      Technically MET suffer no loss as the Boreham car park exclusively serves McDonalds. Whatever, assuming that MET are bona fide agents of McDonalds then the loss of profit suffered by McDonalds Boreham-assuming that you have infact deprived someone of a parking space- is minimal. Say the average person spends £10 then the profit lost/loss is say £2. Add to this the £2.50 MET paid to get your details from the DVLA and perhaps £10 admin [everything is computerised and costs pennies to send]. Oh yes the car park is a free one. For the sums involved it would be a very very foolish company to proceed to Court under such circumstances.

      MET rely on peeps ignorance of the law and attempt to grind you down with a barrage of letters. They play a percentage game.

      If the matter goes to Court then in your response to the summons demand that MET make a disclosure of parked traffic [as opposed to drive thru] on that particular day [then count the spaces in the car park] . If they refuse they will lose in Court. If they provide the information then-in the case of Boreham Services- they will lose as they will themselves demonstrate no loss.

  94. I received one of these letters this morning. My wife had a business meeting in the Oakenshaw Redditch restaurant a week ago, and stayed over the ‘allotted’ time. I phoned the branch and talked to the manager who said that she would deal with it. When I got there (10 mins later) she had gone home. Another manager gave me a card to contact the head office, so we have sent them an email. I have no intentions of paying this ‘fine’.
    The only thing is that there doesn’t seem to be any info on if these robbin’ b******ds have any legal power to enforce this demand of money. We all need to know if we have the right to refuse payment before more weak willed people keep handing over their hard earned cash for nothing.
    If anyone has some solid evidence rather than just ‘they can’t do that’ I would appreciate it!:-)

  95. I have just this morning received a parking ticket from McDonald’s i checked the date and time and i was sat in there restaurant the whole time! I first rang the head office with the most stupid of managers when i said i was in there the whole time having coffees and food and a chit chat he said ” well there is a time limit” I replied so theres a time on how fast ”I HAVE TO EAT MY FOOD AND DRINK MY DRINKS” He said ”Yes” So i said so if i want to order more drinks or a desert and its gone over this time i can’t ? He said yes that’s right. I couldn’t believe it i said do you here what you are saying he said yes he dose! So im now changing to frankie & bennys! And they offer ” FREE ” coffee refiles all day long! I will also be canceling my sons birthday book there next month! I will gladly go to court i am not being bullied into paying this when i was sat inside spending money on there items!

    • I’m sorry to hear about how unreceptive the McDonalds head office manager was. Have you spoken to the manager at the restaurant where you received the parking ticket?

      I would speak to the duty manager there in a polite way and explain that you were not abusing their parking spaces by shopping elsewhere etc., and that you were a bona fide customer who was buying their food, hence inadvertently staying longer than you intended.

      Ask him to cancel your parking ticket with MET. If you approach it in the right way then I am sure he will agree to that. They get a lot of stick from irate customers about their draconian and damaging parking policies.

    • Great video. Its a clip from a BBC Watchdog programme that covers the issue of parking tickets at McDonalds and the MET threats of legal action and credit rating damage.

      Recommended viewing for those who receive parking tickets from MET.

      Thanks for posting the link.

  96. Just got a ticket, Macdonalds E14, spoke to manager, nice guy, said write into head office. He thought I wasnt taking advantage of the parking, only 17 minutes over. But did say Met Parking, were a big company and should pay if it comes to it. So maybe he isnt as nice as I first thought.

    All websites say just put the letters in the cupboard, and forget about it, I will try, not easy.

    I spend about three hundred a year on Big Mac Meals, no longer, if this isnt sorted quickly.

  97. I to recieved a parking charge from MET after parking at a McDonalds in Solihull. I have been searching for information on others who have had the same letter. Unfortunately the advice that makes the most sense i.e. returning to see the manager and having a sensible chat about the reasons for the parking contravention is flawed. The restaurant is over 150 miles away so a visit would invlove a 300 mile round trip. This would mean the only benefit would be to pay money for diesel and waste time assuming the manager is reasonable and cancels the charge. You could end up still having the parking charge, the cost of diesel + wasted time and the possiblity of picking up another fine if your discussion with the manager takes too long.
    My course of action is going to be this:
    Pay the charge! ( This avoids any unecessary accumulation of the amount in question)
    Contact McDonalds in writing to the complaints dept.
    In this complaint letter you must stipulate that there is an administation fee for the letter. This you have to cap at £12.50 due to financial regulations. You must also advise that if no reply is recieved within 14 days a reminder will be issued carrying the same administration charge. If no reply is recieved after this further letters will be issued at seven day intervals with accruing charges. Any unpaid charges relating to these correspondance will be subject to interest charges set at 7% + bank base rate.

    Never use a Mcdonalds again and advise all friends and family members to do the same. This is the only real power the consumer has in cases against devolved responsibility such as this.

    • Andy, thanks for your comment, but why don’t you phone the Manager at the McDonalds in Solihull?

      It’s what I did first, when I received the “fine”. I then went to see him, only because it was round the corner from where we live.

      Phone him, be reasonable and polite and then you won’t have to pay the charge!

      You can find the telephone number by searching for Solihull on this page:

      You can use this restaurant locator to find the telephone number of any McDonalds in the UK, it seems.

  98. Hi I to have recd on 07.05.11 a fine from MET for allegedly staying 169mins at my local mcdonalds
    However the photos attached as apparent evidence actually show my car ENTERING on 2 different occasions They even show the road markings that indicate i was driving INTO the car park
    I too was absolutly livid with this and went to speak to the Staff and also took the opportunity to ask other customers to verify that there is only 1 way in to the car park. As others have said the staff are most helpful but i was not prepared to leave the original copy of the fine with them so i went away to get a copy the took it back to the Duty Manager who said he would send an email for me. I did say i didnt want another fine for coming back with the document
    I still intend taking this further as mcdonalds have a duty to ensure their customers are not harrased by third parties
    We shall see what happens next

  99. Just received a MET parking services penalty charge notice for parking in mac donalds from 20. 37 to 22. 17 !!!

    I was in there getting something to eat and drink with my son!!!! we sat in the car .

    I dont intend paying the “fine” and will welcome any advice. Needless to say this is the LAST time I will ever use mac donalds !!

    • I would go and ask to see the Manager at that McDonalds and politely ask him to rescind the “fine”, which he can do by phoning MET up. If that McDonalds is too far away to visit, phone them up and ask to speak to the Manager.

      As long as you are polite and explain that you were not abusing their car parking space then I would be confident that you will get the fine cancelled, as I did.

      The impression that I got from the Manager I spoke to was that this had been forced upon the restuarants by central office and that they were getting an earful from annoyed, previously loyal customers. As a consequence as long as you have a valid reason for spending more than the alloted time in their car park, they would be pleased to try and cancel the penalty for you.

  100. My wife got a demand for £100.She was a regular customer in school holidays with neighbours and children and had no idea about the new restrictions.

    We are refusing to pay, and are happy to go to Court (if they dare) and will argue that no contract existed on the basis it was unreasonable to see the signs, and McDonalds made no efforts to tell customers inside the restaurant. I have taken photos of the entrance in evidence.

    These are not fines, they are invoices which can only be enforced by the County Court which you can defend.

    We sent Met parking Services an exclusion notice telling them that can no longer contact us unless via the Court or they will be in breach of contract. They have ignored this and sent and invoice for £150. I will shortly be sending them an invoice for breach on contract for £500.

    Bring it on!

  101. I visited Mc Donalds Marl Road Wandsworth on 25 Oct this year. Bought a big mac and ate it in my car. At no time did I see any signs large enough to make it clear there was a time restriction.
    Received the Penalty notice this morning 4th November.
    No more Mc donalds for me.

  102. we have have been fined find by mcdonald car parks .it was un fair ,the parking comany are liars
    and thieves and run a mickey mouse operation.after years of being a customer i am now finished
    with them. thay make it as hard as thay can to paye the fine so thay can charge you more.there web
    site dos not work properly. BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO.

  103. Well I’ve tried to do all of this, and to no avail. No discretional derogation here; just “put it in writing to MET, sir”.

    I must say, I’m livid. My visit was bona fide, and their treatment of a (formerly) regular customer is atrocious. Talk about a stone-walling – it’s worse than dealing with a local government! MacDonalds and MET should be ashamed of themselves.

    The first I knew of these charges was when I received their Parking Charge Notice – I went back to the restaurant, and yes, the signs are there – the biggest one (still rather small print) was right by the entrance from a busy roundabout. There were multiple smaller signs with the same information, but none you’d be able to read, or would notice from a car.

    So it’s £50 flushed down the drain – I’m so upset with them, I’ve resolved to share this irksome experience on-line. I think I’d rather do that than engage in their paper chase.

    • This is the second time that I have received a ‘Parking notice’ letter from a parking company. I bought food and a coffee and spent about 80 minutes in McDonalds while completing some work.

      This is what happened:
      1) About two months later I received the first letter containing photographic evidence of my vehicle
      entering and leaving the premises – threat £60
      2) Three weeks later I received another letter without photographic evidence – threat £80
      3) Then every fortnight I received a letter with words “INVITE you to declare whether you were the
      driver, this account will be passed to our litigation team and legal action MAY commence, the case
      MAY be referred…. – the fine was increased to £120
      4) After 4 threatening letters, I started to receive a letter every week, for 2 weeks, containing the
      words – NOTICE OF PROPOSED LITiGATION in bold letters.

      5) The final letter I received included the following
      Current Amount outstanding – £150
      Solicitors Fee for letter – £50
      Court Fee for issue of claim form – £30
      Solicitors cost for getting judgement – £25
      Predicted amount outstanding – £255
      Current balance / Total amount due if paid within 7 days: £150

      Within the letter there were also phrases like ” avoiding payment, will be referred to our client who MAY give their approval to apply for a County Court Judgement against you. IF legal action is necessary , the amount MAY increase.
      Notice the use of the words MAY, IF.

      6) I did not respond to this final letter and the letters have now stopped.

      However, I do understand that some people misuse the parking at McDonalds, and therefore honest customers are sometimes treated unfairly. I would suggest a system where paying customers can notify McDonalds of their number plate details inside the restaurant, to avoid situations like this in the future. Some hospitals and other food chains use this system effectively.

    • I got stung by McDonald’s and met parking in pencoed , s. Wales. After my car suffered a flat battery. The manager was practically useless and did nothing.
      I have never visited mcdonalds since, no coffee, breakfast or rubbish burgers since and our office now use a healthy alternative. I have lost 5 kilos and will never go there again. Karma is my philosophy. It’s rubbish cheap food made to rip you off. Good luck to all of you on your appeals too.

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