• Parking Charge Notice - Ignore, Pay or Appeal Rules Explained

    Parking Charge Notice – Ignore, Pay or Appeal? Rules Explained

    If you’ve received a parking charge notice and don’t know whether to ignore it, pay up or go down the appeals route, you’re in the right place. And don’t worry, you’re not alone either! Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK receive private parking fines every month and have been wondering the same thing. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you decide what your next actions are going to be.

    Can you ignore a Parking Charge Notice (PCN)?

    It’s not advised to ignore a parking charge notice. Even if you don’t think you committed the alleged contravention, ignoring it won’t make the problem go away. In fact, completely ignoring the situation could end up in court action, which would mean you need to pay the full amount for the ticket plus any court costs too.

    If you’re not planning on appealing your parking charge notice, you might be better off paying within 14 days to take advantage of the 50% discount on the ticket price.

    NOTE: don’t interact with private parking management companies that aren’t a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA). You can easily check this online. Essentially, if they aren’t a member of an ATA, all they can do is leave a parking charge notice on the windshield of your vehicle. They do not have permission to ask the DVLA for your details to post a PCN to you.

    Sadly, most private parking operators are members of an ATA, but it’s definitely worth checking!

    What happens if I ignore my Parking Charge Notice?

    There’s no way of telling exactly what will happen, but a number of things could.

    Firstly, the parking management company or landowner of the private car park might simply choose to do nothing. However, you shouldn’t count on that!

    Secondly, the parking management company or landowner might choose to ask a judge to issue you with a County Court Judgment (otherwise known as a CCJ), which forces you to pay. And, if you don’t pay that fine plus any court fees on top within a month, that debt will then go on your credit record for six years, which means you might struggle to get credit in the future.

    Not only that, if you ignore a CCJ that’s been issued against you, the landowner or parking management company then may have permission to use things like bailiffs, property charging orders, or even apply to take the debt from your wages.

    As you can see, ignoring a parking charge notice isn’t a good idea; you’re better off paying or going down the appeals process.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    Will private parking companies use debt collectors?


    The landowner or private management company might choose to sell that debt to a debt collector. If this happens, you may then be chased by debt collectors, which can be very stressful indeed.

    So, if you’ve ignored your parking charge notice and then receive notice from a debt collector, there’s a good chance that debt has been sold!

    Can you get a CCJ from a Parking Charge Notice (PCN)?

    In short, yes.

    While this probably won’t be the first action taken to get the payment from you, it can happen. If you’ve ignored all attempts from private parking companies, they may choose to take you to court to ask a judge to issue a CCJ against you.

    If a judge issues you with a CCJ, you’re now legally required to pay the debt. This might mean paying it off in one or make an arrangement with the parking management company to repay in a way that’s more affordable to you.

    If you still don’t pay, the landowner or parking management company can then ask the court’s permission to send out bailiffs (otherwise known as debt enforcement) to collect the debt you owe.

    Will private parking companies send bailiffs for private parking fines?


    The private management company or landowner may choose to take collecting the money you owe as far as sending bailiffs to your home. This will only happen if you’re issued with a CCJ and still fail to pay the debt you owe.

    However, the bailiffs will need to send you a notice of enforcement before visiting you at home. If you choose to ignore their notice, they will then visit your home to ask you for payment. And, if you can’t or refuse to pay, they have the power to collect goods from your home to be sold to clear the debt.

    NOTE: bailiffs cannot force entry into your locked home or physically harm you. It’s worth cluing yourself up on what your rights are when it comes to bailiffs in the UK to make sure they’re not breaking any rules.

    It’s also worth noting that once bailiffs are involved, they add further fees to the amount that’s owed! So, if it’s gotten to this stage, you’re better off communicating with the enforcement officers to avoid it escalating any further.

    Can I appeal my Parking Charge Notice (PCN)?

    Yes, you can appeal your parking charge notice (PCN).

    Your first step will involve contacting the issuing authority, whether that be the landowner themselves or a car park management company working on their behalf. This is known as an informal appeal.

    You’ll need to provide a valid reason for appealing against your parking charge notice, as well as any evidence that might back you up. For example, you might have parked in a private car park under the impression it was okay to do so because of unclear or misleading signage. 

    Put your appeal into writing and attach any evidence you have, and make sure you keep copies for yourself. You’ll need to make sure you submit your appeal within 28 days of the parking charge notice being issued. Once you’ve submitted the appeal, they then have 56 days to make a decision.

    We’ve written a complete guide regarding parking charge notices and how to appeal if you want to find out more information and clue yourself up on your rights.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    Good excuses for Parking Charge Notice appeals

    There are lots of good excuses to get out of paying a parking charge notice. We’ve written a full guide detailing the ins and outs of this, but some of the best reasons for appealing a parking charge notice are:

    1. You’re a blue badge holder.
    2. Your vehicle broke down and you couldn’t leave the car park on time.
    3. You weren’t given a grace period to leave your parking space.
    4. The ticket wasn’t issued within 28 days of the alleged offence.
    5. No keeper liability.
    6. You were parked correctly!
    7. You paid for your parking.
    8. There was unclear or misleading signage.
    9. You’re a loyal customer.
    10. Road markings weren’t visible or were confusing.
    11. Parking ticket machine was out of order.
    12. Other extreme circumstances.

    We recommend reading our full guide on the best excuses for appealing your parking charge notice, as there may be some other conditions that you were unaware of.

    It’s also worth keeping in mind that having lots of evidence to back up your appeal is also a good idea. For most of the reasons above, solid evidence will really help you win your appeal!

    What happens if my PCN appeal is rejected?

    The process for appealing a parking charge notice is a little different to a penalty charge notice. With private parking fines, you can only make an informal appeal to the issuing authority (the landowner or the management company working on behalf of the landowner).

    They then have 56 days to review, consider and make a decision on your appeal. It’s also worth noting that if they don’t make a decision within 56 days of your informal appeal, you automatically win your case!

    If it’s rejected and it’s within the time limit, it doesn’t mean you have to roll over and pay the fine! However, you’ll now need to get in touch with an independent tribunal to take a look at your case and make a formal appeal. 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.

    Parking Charge Notice – Ignore, Pay or Appeal?

    So, when it comes to a parking charge notice, should your ignore it, pay it, or appeal it?

    We recommend you do not ignore your parking charge notice. If you feel like you weren’t in the wrong, then you should take action to appeal against your PCN following the guide in this article.

    However, sometimes people make mistakes! If you’ve realised that you may have accidentally broken the terms and conditions of using a private car park, then your best bet is to try and pay the fine within 14 days of the PCN being issued. That way, you can take advantage of a 50% fine reduction!

    Not only that, you can get the whole situation straightened out and avoid any unnecessary stress or fines in the future!

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

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