Geoff Pugh, 52, said he received a £90 penalty charge notice (PCN) from Highview Parking after he took his family to get tested in the car park of Edmonton Green Shopping Centre in Enfield on 7 July.
He told the PA news agency he initially thought it was a genuine fine and was about to pay it, but was “flabbergasted” when he realised where it had happened.
“I think it’s completely ridiculous to charge someone for looking after the health of their family, neighbours and work colleagues,” he told the PA news agency.
“I didn’t even leave the car the whole time I was there.”
Mr Pugh said he was at the testing site with his wife and two children, aged nine and 11, for all of 23 minutes. He followed the directions of the staff during his time there.
Despite not leaving his car, it was detected by a camera using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) which was situated in the car park.
A spokesperson for Highview Parking said any PCNs issued “incorrectly” would be cancelled, adding that on 7 July, the company were only notified the site was used for coronavirus testing “more than a week later”.
“The car park terms and conditions and the pay-for-parking system and tariff are set by our client – we do not have any involvement in setting these rules, or indeed when they do or do not charge for parking,” said the spokesperson.
“We cannot confirm whether or not the car park has been repurposed by Enfield Council, just that we have been asked to suspend enforcement activity on specific days and times where they have agreed to provide space for Covid testing. However the car park is still being used for retail during this time.
“As these are specific dates, we rely on notification of those dates in advance. 7 July was an occasion where we were only notified that the site had been used for Covid testing, more than a week after, and PCNs were already issued.”
Reporting by PA