Got a parking ticket with a van rental? Here’s what to do

Things happen. Good things, bad things, and irritating things like finding a parking ticket on your rental car. But don’t worry if this happens to you. A rental car parking ticket is easy to take care of and, better yet, easy to avoid, as long as you know what to look out for.

Whether you rent a car or reserve a spacious passenger van for your trip, getting clear on parking regulations can save you a potential headache down the line. To guide you in the process, we’ve put together a handy guide for parking violations that includes everything you need to know: what they are, how to avoid them, and what to do when you can’t.

So, read up, take notes, and get ready to hit the road for a hassle-free holiday!

Understanding parking regulations

First, it’s crucial to understand exactly what a parking regulation is and what the consequences are, should you receive one. The following points apply to vehicles of all kinds, both owned and rented.

What are parking regulations, and why are they important?

Parking regulations are rules defined by local authorities regarding where you can park and for what length of time. These guidelines serve several purposes, including:

  • Avoiding congestion to maintain a smooth flow of traffic, thus avoiding overcrowding or accidents
  • Maximizing capacity available for parked vehicles
  • Ensuring accessible parking for the disabled, elderly, and pregnant 
  • Saving space for fire lanes and zones for emergency vehicles to stop quickly
  • Regulating public transportation routes and loading areas

Rules like these keep traffic moving, enable timely public transportation, and contribute to the overall safety of everyone.

How do parking regulations differ in different cities and on different streets?

Parking regulations can vary greatly in different cities and even on different streets within the same city. It depends heavily on population size, street width, whether you’re in a residential or school zone, and the street’s proximity to emergency services like hospitals or fire stations. 

Some cities like New York and San Francisco have alternate side parking regulations to enable street cleaning. Suburban neighborhoods are often designated as residential parking zones for safety reasons. You may find parking hours change seasonally in beach towns like the Outer Banks or New England. All it takes is a quick Google search to clarify the parking rules in your destination. Do your research before you go so you can park properly in your final destination.

What are the consequences of violating parking regulations?

The consequences of violating parking regulations range from a straightforward fine to impoundment of the vehicle. Generally speaking, if you’re not a repeat offender and haven’t parked in a marked emergency vehicle lane or handicap spot, you’ll find a ticket on your vehicle, which can be paid online. 

However, if you have a record of unpaid fines or more significant violations, the car may be impounded.

There are also locations where the vehicle could receive a boot. Denver, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco are especially known for employing wheel clamping for repeat violators. You can avoid this by checking your violation history and making sure there is nothing pending on your file.

Rental agreement and responsibility

Always read the rental agreement documents before reserving a car or passenger van to know what to expect in the event of a parking violation. Because fines are generally given to the vehicle and not the driver, the rental company will be notified directly if you fail to pay a rental car parking ticket. How the company handles fines and late fees is outlined in the rental agreement.

How does a rental agreement factor into parking violations?

A rental agreement will determine how the ticket is to be paid, by whom, and within what time frame. Some companies will charge the credit card on file for the amount of the ticket and pay the violation from the corporate account. Others, like Avis and Budget, might tack on an additional administrative fee, which will increase the cost of the fine.

Who is responsible for paying parking tickets when renting a van?

When renting a passenger van, minivan, or camper van of any kind, the driver is responsible for paying the ticket as soon as possible.

What should you do if you receive a parking ticket while driving a rental van?

If you receive a parking ticket in a rental van or car, pay the ticket online or through a parking app. 

If you’re renting with Greenvans and aren’t sure how to do it, contact us and we can assist you with the payment process.

Adam Griffith on Unsplash

Dealing with parking tickets

Parking tickets become a headache only when you don’t pay them promptly. If you deal with the matter quickly and efficiently, it will feel like it never happened at all. But if you have extenuating circumstances and have questions about what happens if you get a parking ticket in a rental car or van, the answers below will guide you.

How should you respond to a parking ticket received with a van rental?

If you receive a parking ticket with a van rental, you should pay it right away to avoid incurred fees. 

In the event you are unable or unwilling to pay it for a specific reason, first refer to your rental agreement. Next, call your rental company. The staff at Greenvans is on call for emergencies and available during regular business hours for matters like these. 

If you receive a boot or the vehicle is impounded, contact the rental company’s 24/7 assistance line as soon as possible.

How can you contest a parking ticket if you believe it was unjust?

In the instance of a wrongly issued rental car parking ticket, there are ways to contest it. On the ticket will be a phone number to call if it was issued incorrectly. File a complaint within the allotted time frame, which is usually around 20 days after receiving the fine. 

Don’t forget to take photos of signs or parking meters for evidence to support your case. If possible, request an in-person hearing to plead your case before a judge. 

Finally, inform your rental company of the situation immediately and discuss how you intend to handle it and what steps should be taken to avoid future issues with the vehicle.

What are the consequences of not paying a parking ticket received with a rental van?

When a rental van or car company is notified of the pending violation, they will likely charge your card on file for the cost of the ticket as well as late fees or administration fees. This can result in a much higher price tag than the original fine.

Other companies will take care of the fine right away and seek payment from you separately. If you fail to pay, the company may take legal action.

Failure to pay a parking ticket can result in increased fines, points on your driver’s license, and in extreme cases a court summons could be issued. 

Can a rental company charge additional fees for parking violations?

Yes, a rental company can charge administrative fees on top of the cost of the ticket when a client fails to pay.

In the case of an unjust parking ticket, you have a legal right to contest it as long as you follow the indicated procedures of the jurisdiction in which you received it. 

Alternatively, if you find an error on the ticket or feel the signage was misleading and can prove it to be so, you are free to consult a legal professional for further guidance. Rental companies are unable to provide this type of assistance, yet should be informed by you, regardless. 

Consider the costs you are willing to incur to fight the ticket. Most of the time, it’s in your best financial interest to pay and move on. Lawyer fees and days off work to make a court appearance may tip the balance scale, leaving you with a much bigger bill than the original violation.

If you’d still like to proceed, hire a reputable lawyer to assist you in your case.

Communication and documentation

Have the phone number of your rental company, the rental agreement, and your driver’s license and proof of insurance handy at all times, especially if you find a parking ticket on your rental car or van. In addition to these documents, follow the outline below:

What information should you gather when receiving a parking ticket with a rental van?

So, you and your crew are walking back to the rental van and you see the dreaded white piece of paper fluttering in the wind. Instead of stressing out, take a deep breath and run through the following checklist:

  • Check the ticket carefully: Make sure everything is accurate, including the date, time, license plate number, and make and model of the van. Any inconsistencies are enough to contest the violation.
  • Check the parking area carefully: Look for any unclear signs or confusing markings. Take pictures of anything misleading.
  • Read through your rental agreement: Clarify the steps you must take with your rental company when you find a parking ticket on a rental car or van.
  • Contact your rental company: Even if you pay the violation on the spot, let them know what happened, where it happened, and whether you’ve taken care of it already or plan to contest it.
  • Reach out to the issuing authority: If you’ve decided the violation is unjust, contact the local issuing authority to file a complaint and find out next steps to drop the charge.

How should you communicate with the rental company and parking authorities regarding the ticket?

If you need to communicate with the rental company and parking authority for any reason, pick up the phone and call. Speak to an agent as quickly as you can to be clear on payment deadlines to avoid fees.

Samuel Regan Asante on Unsplash

Tips and recommendations

Working your way around parking violations doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are a handful of tips and recommendations to make the process easier, especially when driving a rental van.

How can you minimize the risk of receiving parking tickets when renting a van?

As with any vehicle, you’ll want to know the following:

  • Time limits: How long can you park in this area?
  • Hourly fees: What’s the cost per hour?
  • Zone restrictions: Are you in a legal spot or a loading, residential, or handicap zone?
  • Payment types: Do you pay in a machine or on an app? Parking payment apps are useful as you can extend the time limit on your smartphone without having to return to the vehicle. You’ll also receive notifications when your limit is about to expire.
  • Size limitations: Are there restrictions to parking a van in this zone? If you’re renting from Greenvans, check out the dimensions of our vans and follow the parking signs carefully.
  • Pin your parking spot: You can mark the location of your vehicle on a virtual map when you park. That way you don’t risk going over the allotted time searching for your vehicle. 

When everything checks out, pay the required amount and go explore!

Are there any resources or online services that can help you navigate parking regulations?

Official city and town websites should have the most up-to-date parking regulations on hand. Twitter, now known as X, is a great resource for real-time traffic situations that also relate to parking.

Apps like Pay to Park, ParkMobile, and Waze can notify you of illegal parking spots or time restrictions. Find out which parking apps are used in the destinations you’re traveling to and download them ahead of time. Upon arrival, you’ll know where you can and can’t leave your van.

What are some best practices for dealing with parking tickets and rental vehicles?

Best practices for dealing with parking tickets on rental vehicles are pretty straightforward. Make sure the ticket is for you, check for errors, pay the fine online or by phone, and let your rental van company know.

Greenvans policies when you rent with us

To avoid any fees when renting a passenger van with Greenvans, we suggest paying any violations immediately. If it’s unpaid, the ticket will be mailed to us after about 30 days, along with additional late fees from the city, which can run between $10 and $25. At this point, Greenvans will pay the ticket and charge your card on file for the ticket, the late fees, and a $25 processing fee.

Frequently asked questions on getting a parking ticket with a van rental

To summarize everything we’ve listed above, here are a few FAQs about parking tickets on rental cars or van rentals.

What happens if you get a parking ticket in a rental car?

If you get a parking ticket on a rental car, the rental company will be notified. 

How do you pay a rental car parking ticket?

You pay a rental car parking ticket in the same way you’d pay any parking ticket – either online or by phone as soon as possible.

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket on a rental car or van?

When the rental company is notified of the outstanding cost, they will request payment from you along with additional late fees and administration costs. Some companies will charge your card on file directly.

Can you contest a parking ticket on a rental car or van?

Everyone has the right to contest an unjust ticket. Let the rental company know of your plans and follow the guidelines to contest the violation in that particular jurisdiction. The guidelines can be obtained on the ticket itself, online, or by calling the listed phone number.

Now that you know the parking rules, get your complimentary rental van quote now!


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