Nicholas Danton, 42, received a £60 penalty charge notice after visiting the seaside town of Margate in August. He was on a family day out with his wife and daughters and decided to leave his car in a private car park.
After initially paying for four hours of parking, the family decided to extend their stay to watch the carnival that was happening on the day.
Mr Danton made sure he bought another hour of parking at the facility.
However, he was shocked to receive a £60 penalty charge notice in the post a few weeks later, KentLive reported.
Drivers were previously afforded a ten-minute ‘grace period’ to leave a car park after their ticket had ran out under the Private Parking Code of Practice.
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“This means they’re counting the time that you enter the car park before you’ve paid – people going there for the day probably don’t realise they’re being charged as soon as they go into the park.
“It was the middle of the summer, so you can’t find a parking space straight away. I used the RingGo app to pay, which takes time to set up your bank details and so on.”
Mr Danton added the charge had spoiled what was a pleasant day out for his family.
After his appeal was rejected by Smart Parking, he has now progressed to the independent appeals body POPLA but runs the risk of his fine increasing from £60 to £100.
POPLA have extended the 14-day deadline for the fine escalation while they look into his case.
He says his experience has put him off visiting Margate again. At a time when the cost of living is on the rise, having to pay the PCN is a concern to him and his family.
Mr Danton said: “I only earn just above the minimum wage so it will be a big cost if I have to pay it. I’ll have to cut down on something to afford it.
“The main cost for us is food, so we’d have to cut out luxuries there. The bills are enough as they are because everything’s going up.”
Nicholas has also contacted Dreamland and Thanet Council without response.
Express.co.uk has contacted Smart Parking for comment.