A real parking ticket war has broken out in an Aldi parking lot in Monheim am Rhein. The discounter has leased its parking lot to a private company. Since then, strict parking rules have been in place – with consequences. The city is taking a confrontational approach. Now Aldi Süd is also reacting.

Aldi Süd confirmed the case to FOCUS online. However, the discounter emphasized that it is in discussions with the city of Monheim “in order to find a good solution for everyone involved.” It still seems unlikely that the discounter will refrain from monitoring the parking lot. It is possible that special regulations could apply to employees of the neighboring authorities and the daycare center.

The short-term parking was “contractually agreed upon by both parties in the past.” This also includes the city of Monheim. Mayor Daniel Zimmermann had threatened to sue the discounter for his actions.

The reason for this was a flood of parking tickets that occurred after the discounter switched to parking surveillance. In the branch in the Baumberg district and on Geschwister-Scholl-Straße, the operator now automatically records the license plate numbers when entering and leaving. An approach that is now being followed by many retailers. Anyone driving into the Aldi car park can then park for a maximum of 90 minutes between midnight and 3 p.m. Between 3 p.m. and midnight, and all day at the weekend, the maximum parking time is 180 minutes. If a vehicle stays in the car park for longer, a contractual penalty of 25 euros is due.

The service provider Parkraum Service issued almost 60 parking tickets per day. The discounter did not want to say how many people were affected by the flood of parking tickets. Nor did it say how many branches are currently being monitored by third-party companies. Only this much is known: the number of parking tickets was too much for the city of Monheim.

“That’s not how it works,” said the mayor angrily, and called on Aldi Süd to stop monitoring parking spaces. The discounter was thus violating the city’s contractual requirements. However, the city does not seem to be completely opposed to monitoring. Apparently, the city of Monheim has offered the discounter Aldi Süd to take over the monitoring itself. FOCUS online learned this from people close to the branch. Instead of strict controls using license plate recognition, a parking disc regulation should apply.

Meanwhile, the mayor strongly advises those affected “not to comply with the payment requests.” He goes on to say: “The company is requested to immediately reverse the current regulation and withdraw the fines that have been sent.”

The city provides a corresponding form to those suspected of parking violations in the Aldi parking lot. Payments already made can only be contested by those affected in court.

It’s worth a try. If you want to object, you should do so in writing and use photos to prove that, for example, the terms of use were not sufficiently mentioned. In cases of doubt, you can also try asking the operator for a generous solution. After all, “supermarkets should also have an interest in not scaring away their customers,” says the consumer advice center.

When using the parking lot, drivers automatically enter into a contract with the operator – and accept the conditions. However, the applicable conditions must be clearly visible, for example by means of signs, in the parking lot. These must also indicate the consequences of any violations, informs the Lower Saxony Consumer Advice Center.

FOCUS online advises: Before you park at Aldi Süd, Lidl, Rewe or Edeka, you should always look out for the relevant signs. According to consumer advocates, the amounts demanded are not automatically illegal. It is also advisable to check the ticket in good time and pay it accordingly on time. Otherwise, high collection costs can follow.

In principle, the penalty must be proportionate to the parking violation. In case of doubt, a court can examine this. Hidden notices, unclear conditions or signs overgrown by bushes could be a reason to object to the payment request.