PARKING charge notices issued to motorists on private land are enforced differently to fines from public parking spaces.

Parking bays and car parks in town centres are often be council owned and therefore on public land - but, to be sure, read the signs before parking.

The most common type of parking ticket is a Penalty Charge Notice issued by local authorities for public land parking.

Private companies can issue parking tickets and may call them Parking Charge Notices but this is not the same as the Penalty Charge Notice because these are not backed up by law. They are invoices for a breach of contract. If the car park operator wants to force the person to pay, they will need to take them to the civil court

If the operator takes someone to court and wins, that person must pay court costs plus the original charge.

On private land, a parking charge notice will either be put on the vehicle or it will have been clocked by Automatic Number Plate Recognition and a ticket sent by post to the vehicle's registered owner.

Landowners have a right to charge for and enforce parking so those who have been fined should pay up if they've broken the rules unless they believe the ticket is exorbitant or disproportionate or there was inadequate signposting.