A Subject Access Request is a simple way of gathering the information you need for your case from the parking company itself. See the ICO page here.
Why do I need to make a Subject Access Request?
If you have received a Claim Form, often and deliberately, it will be missing a lot of detail that you need to prepare a defence. So by sending a Subject Access Request you can get the claimant parking company to provide all the information e.g. copies of the parking charge, copies of the pics, copies of the signs and any other information they have on you. What is of vital importance is that you get these early to allow you to make an informed decision on how you want to deal with claim i.e. pay, challenge or negotiate.
We recommend challenge if it is unfair, or negotiate if there is partial failure on the defendant's part. There is no point in paying the full amount as the claim is padded with all sorts of amounts that are not payable. Ask us if you are unsure.
How long does it take for them to reply?
40 days is the maximum allowed but normally most will reply sooner. They can also charges are up to a maximum of £10 to cover costs. Good value when compared to defending a claim, knowing nothing.
Note: A number of people have not got a reply to their SAR request for the simple reason they forgot to include a £10 cheque. The parking companies will do anything to avoid sending you information so if you do not include payment, or send it to the wrong address (check the ICO site for the address), then they will not reply.
Since court claims can take up to 30 weeks to work their way through the court's administration, the Subject Access Request allows you to gather the information you need in plenty of time for the Witness Statement stage too.
Is there a letter I can use?
Template Letters are available on the Information Commissioner's website such as this one.
[Your full address]
[Name and address of the organisation]
Dear Sir or Madam
Subject access request
Please supply the information about me which I am entitled to under the Data Protection Act 1998 relating to the following information:
(a) All information you hold under my name and/or address and/or any other personal data and/or parameters;
(b) All information you hold under my vehicle registration mark ABCD EFG, such as images of the car or letters sent to me about my car;
(c) All other information you hold about me, including information from or to third parties;
If you need more information from me, please let me know as soon as possible. I attach a cheque for £10.00 covering the maximum cost under the Data Protection Act 1998. Should you not levy a fee for SARs or only a lesser amount I would request you return any surplus amounts when supplying my information.
It may be helpful for you to know that a request for information under the Data Protection Act 1998 should be responded to within 40 days. If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer.
If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you and can be contacted on 0303 123 1113 or at www.ico.gov.uk