Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Parking Ticket at Repair Shop?

I just received a notice from the police in the town that I have my repair shop in, saying I have a $50 unpaid parking ticket. We pinpointed the street to be the one adjacent to the shop, and have confirmed (via receipts and CC payments) that it was with them during this time.

Has anyone had an experience like this? Is it up to them to avoid breaking the rules when they have my car, or am I on the hook for $50 because they screwed up?

I would go see the shop owner and request that you be reimbursed for the ticket. The owner should have been up front about the ticket when he returned to car to you.

No shop owner should endorse parking illegally anywhere. My expectation of the business owner is that he stay inside the law, for all purposes. In this case, he always has the option to expand whatever private parking he does have, to avoid instances like this.

I have wondered about this because my shop ONLY parks 'em on the street. I guess I wouldn’t go to my shop if I didn’t have a city and neighborhood sticker. Of course, I am referring to Chicago where it’s the drill to check the zone you are in.

It was actually because of street sweeping (a weekly event,) not a lack of parking sticker, so I think they should know not to park on that street on that day. I’m going there later today to discuss things.

A wise business owner will want to retain your business, and if approached–calmly but forcefully–he should be willing to reimburse you. Just be sure to have all of your evidence, including dates of service, so that there is no question that this happened while the car was in his care.

Bear in mind that the boss may not actually have been aware of the incident!
It is very possible that one of his employees parked the car illegally, and then destroyed the ticket so that the boss would not know how he screwed up. However, under the legal principle of Respondeat Superior, the boss is responsible for the actions of his employees.

If he wants to retain your business, he will reimburse you.
And, if he doesn’t reimburse you, there are other fish in the sea of repair shops.

Just remember, whatever happens with the shop owner, you have to pay the $50.

Who parked the car illegally?

If you left the car parked on the street, you should pay the ticket. If they parked your car illegally, they should pay for the ticket.

You are on the hook for the $50, pay it.

However you can approach the shop owner about reimbursing you for the fine. If this gets you no where and you want to pursue this is a pretty straight forward small claims court matter.

After paying the filing fee for small claims court (something on the order of $35., IIRC), the OP would wind up with so little money in total that it would not be worth the effort.

If you can take time for it, bring the ticket to traffic court along with your car repair receipt and explain to the judge that you did not park the car illegally, the repair people did. If the judge does not dismiss the ticket, then pay. Then you can go to the shop owner and ask for reimbursement.

You can tell him that you tried to get the ticket dismissed. If he will not reimburse you, your next step is small claims court where you can ask for reimbursement without a lawyer. If the shop owner does not show up, you win by default. Perhaps you can make him realize in a gentle way, that you have this option before you go to small claims court to give him one last opportunity to do the right thing.

The above is not the path of least resistance. If it was me, I’d just pay and tell the shop owner what happened and that the person who did this lost a customer for the shop.

PS, if you push too hard on the repair shop owner to reimburse you for the parking ticket, you can forget about any guarantee on the repair work. Even so, I would let it be known to him what had happened.

When you sue someone in small claims court, and the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, the plaintiff can request the court fees be charged to the defendant.

Legally, the shop is on the hook for the ticket because they had full custody of your car and the obligation to keep it secure during that time. However, your name is on the registration and they will come after you and pull you before the judge if its not paid. The practical thing to do is to pay it, and then ask the shop to reimburse you. That way you know its paid and there won’t be a warrent out for you.

Pay the ticket and get a receipt. It might also be handy to have a copy of the ticket so the shop owner will believe you. You can mention it to the shop owner but don’t try to be firm about it. Ask if he wants to help you out somehow, but don’t insist on money. Too many people generate refusals by acting like thay have rights.

Just be glad you weren’t charged with illegal parking on my University campus. I received a notice from our parking service and campus police that my car was parked illegally in a lot where I never would have parked. When I checked the license plate number, it was a car that my son had on a college campus 50 miles away. The make of car recorded was even wrong. I had a terrible time getting out of this ticket.

Another time, my wife’s coworkers had their cars ticketed because they hadn’t parked within the lines. We had had a snow storm and the parking lines weren’t visible. Later that morning, the snow melted and those people whose cars weren’t parked within these lines that weren’t visible when they came in, had parking tickets.