The parking company that fined a couple for the time their car spent in a parking space after it was stolen has backed down and will not force them to pay.

But Chris Ashforth and Jess Winterbottom say Tournament Parking now intends to seek payment of the $210 infringement notice from their insurance company, AMI.

At the start of last month, the English couple's Subaru Impreza was stolen from Parnell. The thief left it, badly damaged, in a Tournament Parking building.

A week later, the couple received letters from Tournament telling them they had to pay for three of the four days their car was parked there.

The couple contested the fees, but Tournament insisted they pay and threatened to hand the debt to Baycorp debt collectors.

The couple's situation was then reported in the Herald.

Mr Ashforth said Tournament told them yesterday afternoon it would no longer pursue them for payment of the fine.

"However [they] made it clear that they will be negotiating with AMI to recover the lost revenue," he said.

But AMI has told the Herald its policies do not cover such infringements.

Mr Ashforth said he would never again park in a Tournament building after all the trouble he and Ms Winterbottom had been through.

Lawyer Elizabeth Paton-Simpson said that Tournament had no legal basis to claim any money from the couple.

She said the only person who could be liable was the thief who parked the car.

"The lesson for the public is not to be intimidated by companies threatening to bring in debt collectors.

"If an alleged debt is in dispute, then debt collection action cannot be taken."

Tournament Parking general manager Dale Clements did not return the Herald's calls last night.