• How Long Does it Take For The Council to Respond to a PCN Appeal

    How Long Does it Take For The Council to Respond to a PCN Appeal?

    When you’ve decided to appeal a penalty charge notice, it can leave you full of different thoughts and feelings about what comes next. The main one is wondering how long it takes for the council to actually make a decision in regards to your appeal. Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

    Getting a penalty charge notice can be stressful enough by itself, and when you’ve gone through with an appeal, there might be other questions that pop into your head about your PCN. Today we’re going to cover as many of those questions as possible and clear up any confusion you may have about your penalty charge notice. 

    Do you have to pay a penalty charge notice? 

    Yes. A penalty charge notice is a legally enforceable fine, so there’s no use in ignoring it. If you do decide to ignore your penalty charge notice, the issuing authority can then send you what’s called a charge certificate. This will give you an extra 14 days to pay, but not without consequence! You’ll also have 50% of the original fine on top to pay as well!

    That means that if you originally owed £50 for your penalty charge notice, you’ll now have to pay £75!

    If you choose to further ignore your PCN, the issuing council can take you to court and ask a judge to give you a court order to pay the fine. Alternatively, they might ask permission to have the fine registered as a debt and move to using enforcement techniques like bailiffs.

    And, the last thing you want is for bailiffs to turn up at your home. Not only can it be embarrassing and intimidating, but they add their own fees onto the top too!

    So, your best bet is to either pay or start an appeal against the penalty charge notice you’ve received.

    How can I pay my PCN Council Parking Fine?

    You may realise that the PCN was rightfully issued due to a simple mistake, but don’t worry, we all make mistakes sometimes! Paying a penalty charge notice is really simple, as most councils have an online portal where you can make a quick and easy payment.

    However, you don’t have to pay online if you can’t or simply don’t want to. There will be a list of the different ways you can pay on the PCN.

    What happens if I ignore a penalty charge notice?

    You might think that playing ignorant is the easy route when it comes to your penalty charge notice, but this isn’t the case. The issuing authority are very unlikely to stop chasing you for the fine. And, as mentioned above, it could end up in you going to court or bailiffs turning up at your door!

    One other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re chased by bailiffs, your credit report will also be negatively affected. This is because you’ll have been issued a CCJ, and if you don’t pay it within 30 days, it will stay on your credit report for six years! This means you may struggle taking out any new credit in that time!

    Is a Penalty Charge Notice a criminal offence?

    In short, no. 

    Penalty Charge notices are issued when motorists commit a minor driving offence. This means that normally, they won’t result in a criminal conviction. They won’t appear on your criminal record unless a court convicts you because of one, but this would be in extreme circumstances.

    Will a Penalty Charge Notice affect my credit score?

    Credit reference companies don’t store this type of information, so it’s very unlikely that it will affect your credit score. 

    The only time it might, is if the local council takes you to court for not paying and you refuse to pay or miss payments. When this happens, it could be on your credit report for six years.

    How can I appeal a penalty charge notice?

    If you believe your PCN was issued incorrectly, you can appeal to the local council that gave it. If your appeal is successful, the fine will be canceled. You must appeal within 28 days of the PCN date.

    It’s important to know which council issued the PCN. For instance, if you got the PCN in a different area from where you live, you need to appeal to the issuing council, not your local one.

    Here are some other points to remember!

    If the PCN was left on your car, start with an informal appeal to the local council within 14 days of the PCN date. You can write them a letter or find contact details on their website. If your informal appeal is denied, you can still make a formal appeal.

    If the PCN arrived by mail, you can’t make an informal appeal. You must submit a formal appeal to the council that issued the PCN within 28 days of the PCN date.

    Many people find the idea of appealing to the council intimidating, but it’s not as hard as it seems. You have 28 days to make a formal appeal after receiving your PCN. Write a representation letter detailing why you are appealing the PCN, including all evidence, your address, registration number, and the PCN number.

    There are many valid reasons to appeal a PCN, so be sure of your rights before paying the fine!

    If you’re not confident in writing your own appeal letter, we’ve created an easy-to-use PCN appeal letter template to ensure you include all necessary information.

    PCN appeal response times can vary, and you might wait a while for a decision. The council has 56 days to review and decide on your formal appeal. If the council doesn’t respond within 56 days, you’ve won your appeal by default and don’t have to pay the fine.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    What happens after I appeal my PCN? 

    The local council has 56 days to review your case and decide whether to accept or reject your appeal. If your appeal is successful, the penalty charge notice will be canceled, and you won’t need to do anything else.

    If the council rejects your appeal, they will send you a notice of rejection. This notice will include information on how you can appeal further if you wish to.

    Can I appeal against the council’s decision? 

    Yes, you can. The notice of rejection letter will provide details on how to make a further appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber.

    How long does it take for the council to respond to a PCN appeal?

    56 days.

    It might not take that long, but councils in the UK have a maximum of 56 days to review, consider and make a decision regarding your appeal. Not only that, they cannot ask you for payment or add charges onto the fine within that time.

    In fact, some motorists use this fact to their advantage when appealing a penalty charge notice. They first appeal with a weak excuse to give them time to put together a more solid appeal. While this works, it might be adding more stress to your life than necessary.

    What happens if the council missed the deadline?

    Put simply, you’re no longer liable to pay for the PCN.

    If the council misses the 56 day deadline, your appeal is automatically won and they lose their chance to respond or change the decision on the appeal.

    However, be wary that the local council may say they never received your appeal to try and buy themselves time to look at your appeal!

    Take the time to keep a copy of your correspondence with them, including your appeal letter, evidence of posting it/uploading it to their online portal, and be vigilant! While it’s nice to think that councils wouldn’t be sneaky, you can never be too sure. It’s not unheard of for councils to claim they hadn’t received appeals!

    Source: Money Saving Expert

    As you can see from the example above, the council in this case hadn’t responded within 56 days. However, it looks like they are trying to claim that they didn’t receive an appeal from this motorist. You’re better off keeping records of everything to avoid this happening to you!

    Sometimes it’s not even the council being sneaky – it could simply be down to human error!

    How likely are they to miss the decision deadline?

    The council are very unlikely to miss the deadline when it comes to giving a decision on a penalty charge notice appeal. This is because they ensure they have enough resources and manpower to make sure any appeals don’t get overlooked.

    Saying that, it’s not unheard of, and sometimes human errors occur! Be vigilant and keep an eye on the time that’s passed!

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    Lucy R.14-11-2020
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