I left our car parked at Bergerac Airport in February intending to return within a few weeks to go back to our second home in the area.
Obviously COVID-19 scuppered those plans and I have not been to retrieve the car.
My concern is that it is now racking up unnecessary and considerable parking charges which we have been powerless to do anything about!
I have found the contact person, who is Eric Godin ( contactable through the airport website) in charge of parking at Bergerac Airport and will be writing to him.
My personal feeling is that in the exceptional circumstances whereby people have not been able to get to their cars due to circumstances completely beyond their own control then the parking fees should not be enforced and waived.
I would urge, if I may, as many as possible people in the same circumstances to consider contacting him with the same. The more people that raise this now the better think.
When I was late picking up a car from Bordeaux Airport (for reasons beyond my control) I had to pay and they were deaf to my reasoning.
As devil’s advocate - if you owned a car park that was full of cars that had overstayed for whatever reason and this then blocked spaces that others could not use and therefore they could not charge for spaces as they were full… Just trying to see it from the car park owners side.
I understand your point Mat, but given that Bergerac Airport itself has been actually completely closed at far as I understand it and that given in all my time (10 years) of owning the house there I have never seen a time where parking space capacity was ever near being exceeded at this car park…and that indeed it used to actually be free … and that we’ve never had a situation before (e.g a global pandemic) precluding people from retrieving their cars, it does seem a little ‘rich’ to be taking advantage of the crisis to enrich the car park’s coffers?
I think whilst your car is parked on the airport carpark, it is insured through the car park owner. The insurance companies arent going to give the car park owner any lenience. I could be wrong though. Also when you parked the car, by accepting the ticket and parking your car is in effect a contract between you and the CP owner to abide by the T & C’s.
Looking at it from the CP owner’s perspective, I think you will struggle to successfully claim force majeure1 on your part of the obligation to meet the conditions of the contract to pay the fee you agreed when you parked the car (if the condition exists in the CP contract).
It was always in your control to reduce your liability by sending off the key to some trusted person to recover the car (when it became clear you would not be able to return in a timely manner to collect it) and keep it for you in a less costly way. 1 A " force majeure " clause (French for "superior force ") is a contract provision that relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible.
Derin, At the end of February I tried to book a car into a Nice airport carpark for all of March. I’d left it a bit late and there was no space available onsite for that length of time. So, I had to use an independent valet parking service. When flights were subsequently cancelled I came back early by ferry but the car was stranded until the May 11th. They only charged me €75 for the extra six weeks, which I thought was fair enough. The charge for the original month was about €250 I think.
I was about to write to Eric Godin explaining the situation. However, I tend to just go on a whim every few weeks whenever I fancy and can get a cheap flight. I retired early so I’m not constrained by holiday times or even days of the week. So, the problem is I didn’t have a specific ticket booked when I left it and the lockdown came.
I guess few of us knew how long it would last.
My place is about 35km south of the airport, quite rural and so I feel it would a bit of an imposition to ask my older neighbours to fetch the car.
I still write to Monsieur Godin and see what happens.
I live a fair way from the nearest airport but an lucky that I can use public transport to get from there to my local station, a 40 minute walk from my house.
It’s also worth pointing out that car hire from a local supermarket can work out very cheap, useful for people who could do with a car occasionally while they are in France.