• How to Appeal Parking Tickets - Council & Private PCN Tips & Tricks

    How to Appeal Parking Tickets – Council & Private PCN Tips & Tricks

    Did you know that back in 2022, nearly 20,000 penalty charge notices were being handed out each day across the UK? And that’s just council parking tickets! Also in 2022, private parking companies issued 8.6m parking charge notices to motorists that broke the terms and conditions of their car park – that’s over 23,000 a day!

    Regardless of what kind of parking ticket you’ve received, it can still be a pretty stressful time. Whether you’re worried about what the ticket means for your personal record, or you simply can’t afford to pay out a large sum of money like that, you’re not alone. In fact, you can actually successfully appeal a ticket, which means you won’t have to pay at all. Read on for more information to help you appeal parking tickets or find ways to make this period easier for you.

    How do I appeal a parking ticket?

    Firstly, the type of parking ticket you’ve been issued will affect how you pay. Unfortunately, this is where it can be a little bit complicated because the acronyms for both parking tickets are the same. It’s thought that this was purposefully put in place by private car park operators, but we’ll delve further into that later. 

    You will need to identify what kind of parking ticket you’ve been issued:

    1. Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) – these are tickets that are issued by the local council for parking on public land. They are legally enforceable, so it’s best not to ignore it when you’re issued one.
    2. Parking Charge Notice (PCN) – these are essentially invoices issued by landowners or private car park operators for breaking rules when parkin on private land. These are not enforceable unless you’re taken to court and a judge rules you need to pay, but more on that later.

    One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that if you’re planning on appealing your parking ticket, then you shouldn’t pay the ticket just yet. Paying your ticket is essentially an admission of guilt, and it shows the issuer that you’re guilty and are paying the ticket as a result of that. Think about it, if you weren’t in the wrong, why pay up?

    However, there are time frames you need to stick to to ensure that your appeal is accepted and prevent yourself from being landed with a hefty charge on top of your parking ticket. If you’re not sure what that means for your personal case, contact the authority that issued the ticket; they’ll walk you through the appeals process and talk about time frames you need to stick to.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    How do I appeal a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

    When it comes to appealing a penalty charge notice (PCN), there are a few steps you can take to appeal it.

    Informal appeal

    The first kind of appeal you’ll make is an informal appeal. It’s important to keep in mind that you can only make an informal appeal if the PCN was handed to you or left on your vehicle. If you are going to make an informal appeal, you’ll need to do this within 14 days of the PCN being handed to you or left on your vehicle.

    You’ll need to write them a letter detailing why you’re appealing the parking ticket. You’ll need to include relevant information to prove that you shouldn’t be liable to pay the parking charge notice. This information should include:

    1. Your pay and display ticket, if applicable. Your ticket must also be valid.
    2. Evidence that you could not make it back to your vehicle in time, or even move it from the parking spot. This could be a hospital note or even a repair bill from your mechanic.
    3. Witness statements from the person or people that were with you to explain what happened and why you couldn’t get back to your vehicle or move it from the parking spot.
    4. Evidence such as unclear signage, insufficient road markings, or even proof of a broken parking ticket machine.
    5. The PCN number (this will be on the PCN itself)
    6. Your vehicle registration number
    7. Your full name and address
    8. The date, time, and location where you received your PCN.

    We have a handy parking ticket appeal letter template that will help you successfully write your appeals letter. If your appeal is successful, the local council will let you know that it’s been cancelled and you’re no longer liable to pay.

    Formal appeal

    If for some reason your informal appeal wasn’t accepted, don’t worry! You still have the chance to reopen your appeal with a formal appeal. It’s important to remember that you have 28 days to make a formal appeal from the date stated on your PCN. Alternatively, if you’ve received a notice to owner because more time has passed, you’ll get an additional 28 days.

    With a formal appeal, you’ll need to write another letter to explain why you disagree with the decision made against your informal appeal. Again, we advise that you use our free parking appeal letter template to help you make your case.

    This stage might seem pretty daunting, but it’s not as scary as you might think! You’ll need to write what’s known as a representation letter. This is pretty much the same as the letter you wrote for your informal appeal. Make sure you include all of the evidence you can gather, as well as a good reason for appealing, along with your address, vehicle registration number, and the PCN number too.

    There are lots of great reasons to appeal a PCN, so make sure you know those before paying for a parking ticket you don’t agree with!

    Source: Money Saving Expert

    Tribunal appeal

    The local council and Transport for London have 56 days to review, consider, and make a decision of your appeal and let you know the outcome. If your appeal was successful, your penalty charge notice will be cancelled and you don’t have to take any further action.

    If your formal appeal is rejected, you’ll receive what’s known as a notice of rejection. You can challenge this, but you’ll now need to do this through a tribunal. It’s free, and you don’t actually need to attend. But, you will need to give your valid reason and all of the evidence you’ve collected to appeal it.

    If this is unsuccessful, you’ll have to pay your PCN. you’ll be given a further 28 days to pay. If you don’t pay, your fine will increase by 50% on top of the original fine.

    If you still don’t pay, the council can choose to take you to court. If a judge sides with the council, you’ll be given a court order to pay, which could negatively affect your credit score if you fail to make payments or miss them altogether.

    Essentially, it’s never a good idea to ignore a penalty charge notice. You’re better off appealing, or simply paying the fine if you agree with it. Remember that if you pay the fine within 14 days, you’ll receive a 50% discount on the overall cost!

    How do I appeal a Parking Charge Notice (PCN)?

    One thing that’s important to remember is that a parking charge notice is not the same as a penalty charge notice. While the acronyms are the same, parking charge notices are not legally enforceable unless you’re taken to court. It’s better to think of a parking charge notice as an invoice for breaking rules when parking on private land.

    It’s actually believed that private parking companies chose to use PCN as their acronym to fool people into thinking their parking fines are legally enforceable.

    Don’t use unaccredited parking companies – IMPORTANT TO KNOW

    Another thing to keep in mind when using private parking is that you shouldn’t use parking companies that aren’t members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA). Parking companies that aren’t members of an ATA cannot legally request your address from the DVLA, so if you have had a PCN left on your windshield, they cannot contact you at your home address, which means you’ll never hear from them again.

    You can easily check if a parking company is a member of an ATA by calling the International Parking Community (IPC) or the British Parking Association (BPA).

    Essentially, if the company isn’t a member of an ATA, don’t make contact with them.

    How to appeal a Parking Charge Notice

    The first thing you’ll need to do when appealing a parking charge notice is get in touch with the authority that issued the ticket. This might be the landowner or a parking management company in charge of the land. You’ll need to give your reasons and evidence for appealing the ticket, and ask them to cancel the fine. This is an informal appeal.

    Much like penalty charge notices, you’ll need to make sure you provide them with as much evidence as you can gather, such as unclear signage, proof you sold your vehicle before the date on the ticket, or even unclear markings within said carp park.

    You can modify our free parking ticket appeal template to help you make your case.

    Once you’ve submitted your appeal, the private parking management company or landowner has 56 days to review your appeal and make a decision. If it’s accepted, your parking charge notice will be cancelled and you don’t need to take any further action.

    NOTE: if you don’t hear back after 56 days, you automatically win your case!

    What if my appeal is rejected?

    If your appeal is rejected, don’t worry! If you want to appeal your case further, this is where a formal appeal comes into play. You’ll need to ask an independent tribunal to look at your case. There are two independent groups you can use:

    1. Independent Appeals Service (IAS)
    2. Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA)

    The independent group you end up using will depend which ATA the private parking company is a member of:

    1. You’ll use the Independent Appeals Service (IAS) if the company is a member of the International Parking Community.
    2. You’ll use Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) if the company is a member of the British Parking Association.

    What happens if I get clamped?

    The first thing you’ll need to do if your vehicle is clamped, is check the authority that clamped your vehicle. This might be the council, the DVLA, the police or a private parking management company.

    Do not attempt to remove the clamp yourself. This is seen as criminal damage, and you may end up in court because of it.

    If you’ve been clamped by the council or a private parking management company, you need to get in touch with them to have it removed. This information should be on the clamp itself.

    You should also look up the process of having a clamp removed from the police or the DVLA too, just in case there’s a particular process you need to follow.

    What can I do if I can’t afford my parking ticket?

    You might be in a situation where you’ve exhausted all avenues and have to pay your ticket. Alternatively, you might be choosing to simply pay the ticket to make the problem go away. Either way, what are your options if you can’t afford to pay it?

    It’s important to understand that a parking ticket is seen as a priority debt, so it’s important to pay it as soon as possible. However, whether it’s the council or a private parking management company that’s issued your parking ticket, you can still call and explain your circumstances.

    It’s not guaranteed, but if you explain your financial circumstances, they may agree to come to a more affordable way for you to pay without incurring any extra charges. However, this is on a case by case basis, and may not be something that’s offered to you. But, it’s definitely worth trying if you are struggling to pay your parking ticket!

    Remember that we have a free parking ticket appeal letter that you can use to help fight your case! Simply follow the instructions in the document to create an airtight appeal against parking tickets!

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

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